Monday, July 19

Promises, promises... why does Mike believe?

I wished I woulda said something more about Julian Dean's tangle with the Tour de France safari sensation Mark Rhinoshaw...

but it's too late now. Heaven help us if Evan "Outta my fucking way" Plews grows horns before he toes the line in the single speed class at the Breck Epic.

How about what I managed to get into over the weekend?

Mike Piazza read Fixie Dave's comment regarding whether or not he would fit in the new Camelbak. He found a picture on the internet of Pue Sawicki with her chihuahua going for a ride in her hydration pack, and he figured it would be easier to coach me if he could actually do a ride along and see for himself what I'm doing out in the woods. He thought the small soft lined pouch at the top of the pack (where I was planning on keeping my expensive broaches and lockets) would suit him best, so we tried it out for size Saturday evening.

Best laid plans and all...

On Saturday my window for riding was full of life's little things, so I was hoping to get Mike Piazza out for his dirt experience on Sunday. The winds of change blew in and brought rain with them forcing me to make the unfortunate call to cancel the mountain bike ride. Road riding it had to be, and Mike Piazza shed a tear that was 1/24 to scale of a normal human sized tear when I told him there was no way in Hell I was wearing a pack on a road ride for fear that the other roadies would laugh at me.

I opted to go for the Bicycle Sport Sunday morning road ride... yes, a road ride. I now have over 250 miles on my road bike for July which is an all-time (at least over the last 15 years) high for me. Of course I'm not counting fixed gear work related miles.... well, because I just don't count them.

One of the most interesting things about the ride was that both the shop owner (Ilan) and his faithful employee (Andreas Raab) both tactfully and most respectfully pointed out that my seat was too low, way too low, painfully and obviously too low.

"Hey Dicky, ummmm... how tall are you? I've analyzed the video I took of you riding on my Blackberry, and your pedal stroke seems quite inefficient. First off, you should not be riding on my Blackberry. Secondly, your saddle on your Fuji... I mean Kestrel, is obviously too low when your knees are hitting your chin at the twelve o'clock position."

This was a combination of a few things.

I set the seat height based on my MTB not thinking about the shorter crank length.

I put a new seat on before Tour de Burg without checking the height.

The original seat post clamp that came with my bike was bottomed out and allowing the seatpost to slip. I replaced the clamp with a Salsa and maybe I kinda guessed at the correct height and never checked it.

I moved it up 15mm and realized I would have had the overall Tour de Burg win had I spent more time with Ilan and Andreas before I left.

The road ride went about 20 miles past my happy 50 miles road bike distance (the point where I get hungry and wished I was at home already), but it was a pleasant affair as always making me wish I had more time to get out on road bike rides with friends.

Although I'm hoping to get out this week on my mountain bike before ORAMM while wearing my new Camelbak I thought I would share some information that Seth from Camelbak forwarded to me after he read my post, did a little facepalm action, and emailed me later.

The Charge 450 is so named not because it was "ninety better than they originally thought it would be during the graphic design phase". The pack itself weighs 450 grams without a reservoir. I guess this is the hydration pack industry's equivalent to weighing bikes without pedals knowing full well they are useless without them.

The yellow string that holds up the bladder will not be on the production models since the handle drop slot holds the reservoir on its own.

Seth also promised to get the new Camelbak Octane LR to me for "review" (which means I'm gonna try to keep it) when he has one he can spare.

photo cred:

I only mention that to put him on the spot if he fails to follow through on his promise.


allan said...

Camelbak is doing a Wingnut style pack now? Nice. Any idea of how big of a bladder is uses?

dicky said...

Hmmmm... I can ask, but in this photo ( it looks similar in size to the standard shaped 100oz.

Billy Fehr said...

Hey, I saw that guy Ilan on the cover of the July edition of Triathlete Mag!

WPG said...

Why would you buy a Wingnut rip off when you can still get the real deal? It's blatantly the same load carrying design, but it doesn't look nearly as user friendly as far as accessing pockets/general storage is concerned.

dicky said...

Interesting POV. I would hardly call it a "rip off" though. Sure, the bladder is carried low like the Wingnut, but it looks like there are differences. My biggest beef with the WN is the use of mesh on the exterior of the pack. I've seen so many blown out pockets on WN (and other brand packs using the same construction). Obviously I can't attest to the construction/similarities, since I've only seen a couple of pictures of the Octane. Looking over at the WN Enduro and Hyper 2.5 I'm not sure how you can call the Octane LR a "WN rip off" that's "blatantly" the same. I'm reserving my judgment until I've actually seen the pack.

dicky said...

BTW: When I finally get around to using the Charge 450 I planned on talking a bit about my issues with other packs (Camelbak included) and whether or not they were addressed with this new pack.

cornfed said...

I had a WN Enduro. I liked the ease of access to the side pockets but they clipped so many trees when full. The zippers all blew out within the first few rides, and the harness didn't fit well across the back at the brace. Plus the default bladder bite valve bit hard.

Having said that I've never liked any camelbak design as it's a pain to get into and out of it without removing it or having your riding partner do it for you.

Frame bags and awesome straps all the way.