Today February 2020

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,750
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133
Setagaya, Tokyo
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This bike takes up to a 3" tire. So I have tons of space to go bigger!
I guess the trade-off is at the chain stays, as to handle such wide tires you will be restricted to wider Q-factor MTB cranks and/or smaller chain rings, but that's OK: This is not a bike for a Sunday morning coffee ride with a roadie crowd but a go anywhere bike :)
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,249
2,736
433
Miura, Japan
I guess the trade-off is at the chain stays, as to handle such wide tires you will be restricted to wider Q-factor MTB cranks and/or smaller chain rings, but that's OK: This is not a bike for a Sunday morning coffee ride with a roadie crowd but a go anywhere bike :)
This bike is more or less a modified MTB. It has 73mm bottom bracket ruling out some road options right off the bat.
but since I run MTB cranks on everything except my road bike and since I am a 188mm tall dude... wider is actually more comfy for me than my road setup.

And you are dead right... this is a go anywhere bike. I have already dented my commuter helmet a wee bit testing that theory.
 

OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
1,024
726
143
43
What is the appeal of this bike, @bloaker? I'm still scratching my head here, what can this bike do better than a hardtail with a flatbar or a gravel bike with a dropbar? Or are you just enjoying the challenge of using a different tool for the same job?

To me, dropbars make sense when I want to go fast. But then I need narrower tires than you have. On the trail, dropbars seem like a liability.
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,750
1,673
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net


This is a picture of the Sagami river a little downstream from Rt510 near Sagamihara that I took on my ride on Sunday.

This is the first place after Shinagawa where the Chuo Shinkansen (the 500 km/h super high speed Maglev train) will see daylight. Except for the bridge to be built here, the entire track from Shinagawa to the current Maglev test track near Rt35 west of Akiyama is being built through tunnels, including the crossing under the Tamagawa near the Todoroki stadium in Kawasaki. All you'll be able to see from the surface will be a couple of emergency exits spaced several km apart.

The bridge over the Sagami river valley will be built just after the houses you see on the very left. Most likely the track on the bridge will be encapsulated in a shell for noise protection.

A little north of Toya village near Lake Miyagase they'll build a train depot.
 

andywood

Maximum Pace
Apr 8, 2008
2,327
2,138
133
Niigata


This is a picture of the Sagami river a little downstream from Rt510 near Sagamihara that I took on my ride on Sunday.

This is the first place after Shinagawa where the Chuo Shinkansen (the 500 km/h super high speed Maglev train) will see daylight. Except for the bridge to be built here, the entire track from Shinagawa to the current Maglev test track near Rt35 west of Akiyama is being built through tunnels, including the crossing under the Tamagawa near the Todoroki stadium in Kawasaki. All you'll be able to see from the surface will be a couple of emergency exits spaced several km apart.

The bridge over the Sagami river valley will be built just after the houses you see on the very left. Most likely the track on the bridge will be encapsulated in a shell for noise protection.

A little north of Toya village near Lake Miyagase they'll build a train depot.
Nice one Joe, you certainly know your onions.

Andy
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,249
2,736
433
Miura, Japan
What is the appeal of this bike, @bloaker? I'm still scratching my head here, what can this bike do better than a hardtail with a flatbar or a gravel bike with a dropbar? Or are you just enjoying the challenge of using a different tool for the same job?

To me, dropbars make sense when I want to go fast. But then I need narrower tires than you have. On the trail, dropbars seem like a liability.
Drop bars are wonderful for hand positions. The same reason I enjoy Jones bars. I get multiple ways to stretch my back out while on a ride.
Being an actual drop bar bike vs a hard-tail with dropbars is a shorter reach so you don't need a shorty stem to use drops.

What is it best at?
1) being a monster truck!
2) Super comfy on and off road.

Compared to my Ti 29r hard-tail - the Ti bike is faster, lighter and more responsive. The ti bike climbs better and is pretty much better at everything. Yet I shipped that one home to use when I am in the states over the summer. - So why would I ship an amazingly capable bike home and then buy this frankenbike? Fun. While that hard-tail is amazing - and the faster MTB I own on flats and climbs - it doesn't bring the smiles. I have been on MTBs since the 1980s. I have raced since the 1990s. My ego for the longest time required me to have the fastest, lightest, etc, so I could be faster. Somewhere in that mix, bikes went from fun to methodical. Somehow riding went from fun to a chore. Races became anxiety.

I took a break from bikes and started tracking/racing motorcycles. After 6 years on the race track, I came to the same spot. What was once fun, became a chore, what used to be a highlight became anxiety, I would drive 14 hours to a race track, blow thru 2 sets of tires, tons of fuel, sweating in full leathers on a 35degree summer day with a 45 degree track temp... and the entire drive home be silent because on the inside I was fuming I was a 5 hundredths of a second slower than the last time I was at that track. I ruined a second hobby/sport just like I ruined the first one.

When I came back to bikes - I concentrated on he fun side. I slowly fell into the strava trap and started to ruin it, but was able to save myself the grief that inevitably was coming. I have a 29+ bike that does little better than the Ti bike, but it is hella fun. I have a rigid single speed that makes me giggle like I did when I first discovered trails. I have a bike for the bike park that isn't a fully committed DH bike, but good enough and can still be ridden on the local trails. I have a prototype 29+ hard-tail from another manufacturer that is also a monster truck that loves days when the trail is slick and loose, I have a gravel bike with 700x45s on it I would rather ride than my Ritchey just due to overall comfort.

If I could only have 3 bikes would I have a Fargo? Probably. I can commute and hit single track with it. I can go to the beach, add racks, add a babyseat etc. I can even go on an epic bike camping trip.

I do get where you are coming from and I appreciate the question - it is hard to get until you decide the fun factor is more important than any other metric you can measure. If you make it down this way, I have no issues with letting you take it for a spin - in 27+, 29, or 29+ mode (it does all three and I have the wheels for all three). You can see the bike is just a hoot to ride.
 

pedalist

Maximum Pace
Yes!
For exactly that reason I bought a 60 dollar newish old school 26" MTB.
Getting that bike didn't actually make much sense form a logical perspective. But I still remember when I jumped on it and took it to the woods for a first spin. I was smiling all the way and still after I got back home. And I never felt that I rather wanted to ride a different bike. I was riding exactly the bike I wanted to.
There are things one can't really explain, but one has to feel (well, @bloaker did a good job on this one though). I think fun is one of those things.
Why do I sometimes jump on my bike for a spin down to the shop in poor weather late at night, even though we easily could do without? Simply because in those specific moments I felt riding my bike would be a fun thing to do. So I did.

Btw, I like this one:
If I could only have 3 bikes
3, or what ever feels like a small number of bikes to you.
 
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OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
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I do get where you are coming from and I appreciate the question
Just to be clear, I didn't want to poo-poo your bike, as far as I am concerned if you love riding it, then it is a good bike. I just didn't understand the appeal, because from my (very different) vantage point, it seemed to combine the “worst” aspects of each: the (relative) slowness of a MTB (due to the tires) and worse handling on the trails.

But honestly, I am happy by the dynamicism in the bike community. You have so much innovation once you go away from the pure road bike category (where the introduction of disc brakes is seen as a revolution). You have a smooth transition from the 3T Exploro, a racy bike that takes 2.1" MTB tires, its more relaxed step-sisters, the Open UP and the Open WIDE (same father, different mothers) to something you got here, a hardtail MTB with drop bars. I think this is pretty awesome.
If I could only have 3 bikes would I have a Fargo?
Ok, this one made me laugh. I'd have serious problems at home if I had 3 bikes. Two is the limit.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,249
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Miura, Japan
I didn't take it as a poopoo.
I can see the lack of appeal for some people. Just like a Dogma or an e-bike does nothing for me.
And when I said "I do get where you are coming from and I appreciate the question" - meant it.
You very well could have thought to yourself - "that's dumb" and moved on.

With regards to the worst of both worlds... back to motorcycles - that is how I feel about the KLR from Kawasaki.
It is a shitty handling on road bike and a heavy turd of an off road bike. - it got the worst features of the counterpart.

The fargo is far more capable. With the 27+ tires, I can spin at 32kph on flats. That is plenty fast for anything I do not in a group. So the efficiency is good enough without being cumbersome (like my SS... ugh, I dread flat sections of trail and road).

As for off road - it is far more capable of any pre-2000 bike I have owned and possibly as capable as a few I have owned since then.
Is it a shredder? nope. Can it shred? yep.

So not quite the worst of both... but more of a Jack of all, master of none.
 
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OreoCookie

Maximum Pace
Dec 2, 2017
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I didn't take it as a poopoo.
Mission accomplished :)
I can see the lack of appeal for some people. Just like a Dogma or an e-bike does nothing for me.
And when I said "I do get where you are coming from and I appreciate the question" - meant it.
You very well could have thought to yourself - "that's dumb" and moved on.
Glad we are on the same page. Sometimes pixelated letters can suck the nuance out of a post and make you sound harsh — even if you didn't mean to.

What's fun for one person isn't necessarily fun for another. But the world would be so boring if everything were the same.
As for off road - it is far more capable of any pre-2000 bike I have owned and possibly as capable as a few I have owned since then.
Is it a shredder? nope. Can it shred? yep.
And I reckon it makes trails that are easy on a more capable, trail-focussed bike harder and thus, more interesting.
 

bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,249
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Miura, Japan
That's what i ride those drop bar bikes, rigids, and full suspensions on... different lines for each bike, on this section, its rough on every bike!
 
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luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
1,686
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changed my crankset today, and used the opportunity to clean the BB and around it. still perfectly smooth

1581157121231.png

I wanted 165 mm crank arms, but those are only sold with 46/30 chainrings. I preferred the gearing of 48/31 I had there before, but the chainrings are not interchangeable and 48/31 setup is only offered in 170 to 175 mm range. I swear down it must be a conspiracy by Shimano against common reason and myself

1581157189588.png

was too lazy to mess with front mech height, and on the workstand it seems to be shifting OK. kept the same chain too, tho I may shorten it a link if I notice anything strange. will give it a test spin tomorrow, but hope that shorter crank arms will help with my knee issue, by allowing for pedaling with less knee flexion at the top of the pedal stroke. now I have a spare GRX crankset for sale ;)

1581157337330.png
 

joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,750
1,673
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net


I rode across the city to see @luka and check out his GRX shifters, to decide whether to replace my broken left shifter with a GRX part or a regular road one (R7020 or R8020). I also bought his Nitto Randonneur B135AA bars to put on my Bike Friday (I had originally meant to equip both of my bikes with this part, but accidentally bought the wrong one for the BF).

After the that luka and I rode down the Arakawa for a bit. He headed back up again while I picked up 5 Veloviewer tiles around Tokyo Skytree.

On the way back to Central Tokyo I passed an old man lying on the sidewalk. I turned around after having already passed him and took a look, as I was concerned he may have died or may have collapsed. When I walked up to him I saw that he was moving. He was homeless and the spot he had picked to sleep was on top of a subway ventilation shaft, so there was a stream of warm air from deep underground. But I pity anyone who has to live outdoors, especially this time of the year. I spoke to him and gave him some money. He thanked me with a deep bow. He never spoke a word.
 
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bloaker

Sincerely A Dick
Nov 14, 2011
2,249
2,736
433
Miura, Japan
I took a break from bikes and started tracking/racing motorcycles. After 6 years on the race track, I came to the same spot. What was once fun, became a chore, what used to be a highlight became anxiety, I would drive 14 hours to a race track, blow thru 2 sets of tires, tons of fuel, sweating in full leathers on a 35degree summer day with a 45 degree track temp... and the entire drive home be silent because on the inside I was fuming I was a 5 hundredths of a second slower than the last time I was at that track. I ruined a second hobby/sport just like I ruined the first one.
Prior life...

rc1.jpg
 
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joewein

Maximum Pace
Oct 25, 2011
2,750
1,673
133
Setagaya, Tokyo
joewein.net
I ordered an ST-R8020-L to to replace my broken ST-RS685-L shifter, even though I liked the cheaper GRX 600 shifters that @luka showed me on his gravel bike. They would have made sense if I were to replace the whole pair, but my right shifter is still working fine and the Ultegra part is probably the most similar part to what I had before.

I'll be leaving for a US business trip on Wednesday, but will have at least one bike ride the afternoon of the arrival :) I usually travel with helmet and SPD shoes in my suitcase.
 

luka

Maximum Pace
Jan 13, 2015
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glad you were able to make an informed choice @joewein . have a safe and fun trip, and looking forward to your photo documentaries of the US