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

45 Is The New 20

44 Marauder with Jones H-Bar Bend 710.

Although that statement seems fitting, I'm not talking about age here. In the second installment of Tales Of A Successful Experiment these numbers reflect where I've landed with handlebars in over thirty years of mountain biking. If you started in this sport in the 80ies, your first mountain bike had a flat bar with some back sweep. As you got into the 90ies the handlebars of your XC bike got narrower. In order to get better leverage while climbing, you added bar ends. Chances are high these were sporting big Onza logos; maybe they were 3D purple too. As time moved on, handlebars grew wider and started to rise. Somehow, the mountain bike community collectively decided that it was uncool to combine a riser bar with bar ends and that was the end of those handlebar extensions unless your name was Fred. Fast-forward across the turn of the century to the arrival of 29 inch wheels. The larger wheels moved the whole cockpit upwards and out of necessity the flat bar returned.

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Patrick

40 Is The New 28

Compass Barlow Pass 700Cx38

I started cycling in the mid 80ies when the first mountain bikes arrived at the local bike stores. I had just begun my apprenticeship and a few work colleagues and I spent our small apprentice salary on these new 18-speed fat-tire bikes. We rode them to work and to our summer hangouts at the lake and soon enough discovered the trails around and above Biel. It didn't take long and I was hooked. After a couple of years, 1992 to be precise, I decided to start road cycling as well. My LBS was the Trek dealer at the time and I placed an order for a black Trek 5200 OCLV road bike. The bike was my primary road bike for many years, moved with me to California where it became my commuter bike after a couple of years.

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Patrick

Oval Rounds Your Pedal Stroke

Rotor Q-Rings oval chainrings.

I've been running oval Rotor and Garbaruk chainrings on my road and gravel bikes for years, but have not used any on my SingleSpeed or FatBike even though the benefits of oval rings would be particularly advantageous on these two bikes. On my FatBike I've dialed chainline to an optimum with a round 28T Wolftooth chainring. Due to lack of chain stay clearance an oval ring would not fit without me increasing chainline. Until now, my SingleSpeed was equipped with a round 34T titanium chainring for technical reasons also. My favorite MTB crankset - Rotor's Rex 1.2 - had a 5-bolt, 110 BCD spider. The smallest oval ring for that bolt circle diameter is a 36T - too large for a SingleSpeed in mountainous terrain - I don't have quite that power. This all changed now because Rotor expanded their direct-mount chainring options to the Rex line of cranks.

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Patrick

Gravel Grinding

Drone shot taken on October 1, 2017.

Back in 2011 I bought a Focus Mares CX2.0 cross bike to do gravel rides when I didn't feel like mountain biking. A few years later, in October 2014, I replaced it with a Focus Mares CX 0.0. This was Focus' top of the line carbon cross bike with SRAM Force CX1 groupset. Somehow though, the bike lacked soul and didn't excite. I sold it a year later in December 2015.

I had my red Volagi RD road bike already at the time, so I bought a second frameset in all black to build it up with SRAM Force CX1 and a set of Enve/Chris King wheels I had retired from my 29er. In comparison to the two Focus cross bikes, the Viaje had room for much wider tires. I found my preferred tire width at 40-41mm. This bike got ridden until the end of July 2018.

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Patrick

AllRoad Cycling

Descending from the Place Centrale on  August 11, 2018.

I got into cycling in the mid 80ies on a steel Muddy Fox Explorer mountain bike equipped with a 18 speed Suntour groupset. A couple of friends and I had just finished high school and we all had started to earn a small paycheck doing an apprenticeship, when mountain bikes began to get popular. Obviously, we had to have one too. First, just as a means to commute to work and get around on weekends, but soon enough we started taking them to the trails. I was hooked from the very moment.

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