Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tread Lightly

My touring aspirations have moved one step closer this week as the task of adapting my old road bike into a ‘light tourer’ is now complete. The first thing I did was put a ‘deore’ rear derailleur and cassette giving me much more hill climbing capabilities. Then there was the arrival of the new Carridice Super C Frontbag and to finish it off, I’ve bought a lovely new Brooks B-17 saddle. I’ve heard a lot of talk about the famous B-17. Some people swear by them, others hate em, or profess that the wearing in period is a very long and painful process. I strongly contest this argument. From just spending the whole day on the road, I found the B-17 comfortable from the very beginning. It’s a very smooth and well shaped saddle suited for a relaxed riding position.
I took the new rig out today for a meandering 65km ride from Windsor up to Sackville ferry and back via the Cattai National Park. Everything ran very smoothly although the derailleur is a little jumpy (perhaps a minor barrel adjustment?). I’m aiming to do quiet a few loaded rides around Sydney in the next week as I’m planning to go bush sometime next week. I’m thinking maybe Victoria?
To go with the cycle touring scheme, I’ve also recently purchased a cyclist flap-hat. Harking back to the late 80s when fluro flap-hats were all the rage, I’m now reliving my youth as a more sun-smart late 20 something.

3 comments:

Grant said...

Nice build and good luck with your tour. I'm a big fan of the B-17 and have one on the Apollogy. I found I did go through a break in period - but that was more me than the saddle.

Adrian E said...

Interesting point Grant. I wonder if many of the people who complain about brooks saddles, have tried them with backsides that were not ready for long distance riding! I think the brooks saddles are great, but they are a bit overpriced with a lot of 'old school' marketing hype. AT the end of the day you just want a quality saddle. I've just put a Brooks Swift on Mellow Yellow and it's made a very noticeable improvement in my riding.

Have you been using the proofhide or something else to soften the leather?

Surly Dave said...

Nice set up. I'm a huge fan of the B17 too. The break in period seems to vary from saddle to saddle. Some take ages and some no time at all. Still, once they're broken in, there's nothing that can be beaten for comfort. I can't imagine riding on anything else.