Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.
Going up my favorite climb on May 3, 2017.

offtrail.guru

A small blog about offtrail riding, allroad cycling, fatbiking and singlespeeding.

Patrick

My Road Handlebars Over 28 Years

Descending the Montagne de Romont on March 29, 2019.

Looking at the photos of all my road bikes since 1992, one very noticeable change is the handlebar and in particular the position of hoods. On my early bikes the hoods were extremely low on the bars. Thinking about wrist and arm alignment particularly on that photo of my black Trek 5200, I wonder how it could have been comfortable. Well, I was a whole lot younger and rode just fine with that setup. The last couple of years I’ve standardized my handlebar on all my drop bar bikes and used a 44 cm wide Thomson KFC-One carbon handlebar. Before that I ran 42 cm and even narrow 40 cm bars.

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Patrick

Strava Dashboard in Data Studio

Strava dashboard in Google's Data Studio.

For some time I've been using flink.run to log my cycling activities in a Google sheet. I kept a bunch of stats in that Google document and then every so often manually updated the stats here. Nicolas Zimmer, the creator of flink.run, decided with heavy heart to shut down his service. As his small side project became more popular it started to take away lots of his personal time and cost him money; hundres of dollars per month. Time being a scarce resource, he decided it was time to pull the plug.

In order to continue populating my Google sheet with new activities I turned to Zapier, which can do the same thing, though it won't add any past activities, which flink.run could do for you. With my stats in that Google sheet staying up to date, I dove into Google's Data Studio to create a visual report of all my Strava cycling activities. After a few days playing with it, this is the current result.

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Patrick

Another Cockpit Change

44 Marauder with Ritchey Comp Kyote bar.

When you're the mean bastard who tortures his wrists on top of mountain bikes without suspension like I do, the least you can do, is to let your wrists hold onto the bars in the most natural way possible, so that they're not angled or twisted in any way. Alt bars with tons of sweep are the solution. I went from Answer bars with 20° sweep to Jones with 45° backsweep and my wrists have been happy ever since. Ritchey now has an alternative available with a bit less sweep. The Kyote with 27.5°. At the same time, the Kyote is considerably wider than a Jones H-Bar. 800mm versus 710mm. When I saw it on Bike24 and saw the price tag (25 EUR), I had to get one. Due to the different shape, I also needed a new stem in order to use the Kyote. I went from a 100mm long stem with the Jones H-Bar to a 40mm stem for the Ritchey Kyote.

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Patrick

Flink And The Magic Of Google Sheets

Bike statistics in a Data Studio report.

I've been using the flink.run app to add my Strava data to a Google sheet with a bunch of additional tables that crunch the numbers. Each time I add an activity to Strava, flink.run adds a new row to the data table in my Google sheet. The stats in all the other calculated tables are therefore always up to date.

I sent my FortyFour Big Boy fat-bike into retirement and wanted to look up my first ride on it. On Strava there's no easy way to find the first activity with a specific gear. In my Google sheet it's a simple formula to look for the first occurrence of a specific gear within the activity table. Since I was at it, I added a first ride and last ride column to my gear table.

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Patrick

A Bike Jacket For Next Winter

44 Snakedriver in a bike jacket.

A broken down car right ahead of Christmas and New Year, meant driving a loaner until we purchased a new car. No roomy vehicle meant no fat-biking. That was followed by one of the poorest winters in years for snow cover. No snow, oh well, no fat-biking. A new vehicle on our parking spot created another necessity - to safely transport my studded fatty inside the new car without damaging the interior. Tire studs are short, but they're awfully sharp and will scratch interior plastic panels and tear fabrics or leather. In our old car, I did my best to be careful. But a scratch now and then wasn't a big deal. With a brand new car however, being careful isn't quite enough. I wanted something that would protect our car from those sharp metal studs. Thanks to Google I came across a post in the fat-bike forum on MTBR which pointed me to Amy Middleton's Bike Jackets. I ordered one and then waited ages because it got hung up at Swiss customs. It didn't get much use during the no-show winter 19/20, but will hopefully come in handy for winter 20/21.

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