What works, what doesn't!

Talk about anything.

Moderators: Bearbonesnorm, Taylor, Chew

Post Reply
ssnowman
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 1:38 pm
Location: London

What works, what doesn't!

Post by ssnowman » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:49 pm

I'm thinking about bike components and bivy gear rather than full bikes.

What really impresses me:

Schwalbe G-one all round evo tyres in 27.5 x 2.8". I've never known a tyre make so much difference. Obviously when it gets a bit wetter and muddier, it'll be back to the WTB Rangers, but for now, I'm loving them.

Jones carbon loop bars. For me, the most comfortable bars I've ever used.

Gatewood Cape. Just a great bit of kit, especially when used with a bearbones carbon pole!


What I didn't like:

Time ATAC pedals. Just couldn't unclip from them. Switched to candys on the mtb's and spd's on the road bike. Much better.

780mm wide bars. Just don't get it. Feels uncomfortable and difficult on forest single track.

Alpkit seatpack, sways all over the place, no matter how I pack it or how tight I do it up. I think I've lost patience with it now.

I'm sure there are lots more, but that'll do for now.
May satan walk with you.

Lazarus
Posts: 1414
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Lazarus » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:05 pm

Hope - works on the bike and also on you :wink:


I love time pedals personally

User avatar
TheBrownDog
Posts: 1374
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:46 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by TheBrownDog » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:06 pm

Oooh ... nice thread. Can I play?

What works for me:
Stormin Normin windshield/stand for any pot you might have.
Sea to Summit hammock - so big, so comfy, it's like being hugged all over
DD Hammocks Superlight 3x3 tarp. It's light, cheap and strong and you don't say that a lot in this game.

What I wasn't so keen on then
Every gas stove I've ever used. Ever. And I've had heaps of them. Just prefer the elegant simplicity of meths.
Thermarest Pro-lite self inflating mat - it wasnt light, it didn't self inflate and it took up more room than my tent.
Tents.
I'm just stepping outside ...

User avatar
ScotRoutes
Posts: 5906
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
Contact:

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by ScotRoutes » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:11 pm

Ooh - too personal I think. Lot's of stuff that works for me but might not be for everyone, and vise versa.

Paramo? Load of tosh.

ton
Posts: 1238
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:53 am

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by ton » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:20 pm

stuff what works for me will probably not work for most other people.


Stuff what works.
heavy steel frames. alpkit tents (they are long). 29+ tyre (good support for a huge weight). very wide bars, paper OS maps.

Stuff what dont work.
anything lightweight. bivvy bags. cyling clothes (lycra specifically). disco slippers. small screened gps units.

:-bd

ssnowman
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 1:38 pm
Location: London

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by ssnowman » Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:00 pm

TheBrownDog wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:06 pm
Oooh ... nice thread. Can I play?

What works for me:
Stormin Normin windshield/stand for any pot you might have.
Sea to Summit hammock - so big, so comfy, it's like being hugged all over
DD Hammocks Superlight 3x3 tarp. It's light, cheap and strong and you don't say that a lot in this game.

What I wasn't so keen on then
Every gas stove I've ever used. Ever. And I've had heaps of them. Just prefer the elegant simplicity of meths.
Thermarest Pro-lite self inflating mat - it wasnt light, it didn't self inflate and it took up more room than my tent.
Tents.
With you on both the meths stoves and self inflating mat. I think I was somehow sold on the self inflating bit, not thinking that inflating a small mattress isn't actually that difficult!
May satan walk with you.

User avatar
htrider
Posts: 2982
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:51 pm
Location: Fife
Contact:

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by htrider » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:07 pm

Works:-
Deschutes in a wide range of weather
Thermarest neo air full length mat, exped pillow and cumulus 150 quilt - best nights sleep I ever have
29+ best tyre size ever invented. Oh apart from 26 x 4.8
Steel frames as they don't break under my ham-fisted, clumsy body
860 Surly Sunrise bars with 20mm stem
Shimano disk brakes
Singlespeed
Paramo jackets (Sorry Colin but they do!!)

Doesn't:-
Carbon fibre near me as it will break as soon as I look at it
Tubeless on 40mm tyres
vee tyres
Inner bearing on hope pro 2 evo freewheels (number 6 on the way to little bits)
KMX single speed chains
Most mountainbike shoes (slight exaggeration but most of the ones I look at seem excessively priced, too narrow, look like roadie shoes with a bit of tread on, have pointless velcro straps or complicated ratchet dials. Of the large number I've owned only a very small number have been any good)

Hamish
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:29 am

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Hamish » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:54 pm

Works:

Hope BB
Soma Clarence/On One Mary bars
Hilleberg (prob too heavy for most of you!?)
Frame bags
Mini Trangia
Paramo Velez Light Smock: I absolutely love mine and would be lost without it. I am not sure even another Paramo model could replace it... Mind you I have three of them. In 40 years of cycle touring all over the place, nothing else has ever kept me dry or comfortable, has lasted as long and is so repairable.

lune ranger
Posts: 1130
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:52 pm
Location: Peoples Republic of Devon

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by lune ranger » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:35 am

Works:

Rockgeist Spacelink and compatible cockpit bags.
Suplest Sup-traction SPD shoes
Grip Grab neoprene gaiters
Brooks leather saddles
Square taper BB
QR wheels
Giles Berthoud drop bar Rohloff shifter.

Doesn’t work:

Flat shoes/pedals
‘Waterproof socks’ after about 5 mins.
Brooks Cambium saddles - putting profit before reputation.
Gebla Rohbox - an extremely expensive way to spoil a Rohloff.
Inflatable pillows

slarge
Posts: 1832
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:49 pm
Location: MTB mecca (Warwickshire)

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by slarge » Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:11 am

Works:

Cumulus 200 sleeping bag - the best bag I have, light, warm, snuggly and not PHD expensive
Neoair 3/4 mat (might be a thermarest xlight or something). warm and comfy
Tyres set up tubeless - more grip, fewer punctures

Doesn't work

Topeak seatpack - waterproof and I like the drybag inner but it wobbles like a jelly on a tightrope
Sealskins socks - just not waterproof
Waterproof gloves in general - hot, sweaty, difficult to take on and off. horrible things
Stem Cell type feed pouches - always in the way of my knees when standing up to pedal

mattpage
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:35 am

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by mattpage » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:32 am

ScotRoutes wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:11 pm
Ooh - too personal I think. Lot's of stuff that works for me but might not be for everyone, and vise versa.
Agreed. Unless you know the context of what and who you are recommending things too it won't work.
Lots of what others have already said here I would say the opposite.

Lazarus
Posts: 1414
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:49 am

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Lazarus » Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:51 am

I dont think anyone expects us all to agree - we would not even agree on what type of bike to take never mind the kit - but it might be iteresting to see the variation/what folk like the most.

Can i add i agree about waterproof socks - they are ok for commuting but how they can be decribed as waterproof is a mystery to me

User avatar
PaulB2
Posts: 873
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:32 pm
Location: Stafford

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by PaulB2 » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:14 am

What works for me:

Ortlieb accessory pouch - really nice light waterproof bar bag that can be used as an add-on to the bar roll or on its own on a day ride. Ideal for stuffing a map and electronics in.

What doesn't work:

Ortlieb bar roll - waterproof and fairly bombproof but it doesn't work well with (my) front suspension - it hangs quite low and tends to wobble on wide bars. The reason it hangs low is that the spacers are made out of cheese, at least one of them has ripped on every ride it's been used on and half of them have been repaired with duct tape, and the top straps seem to constantly loosen so the bag hits the tyre at full travel. To be fair to it, the newer versions have hardier spacers and I've used it on my gravel bike with several extra rolls on the side to reduce width and it was much better on that bike so it would probably work much better with a rigid bike.

User avatar
Alpinum
Posts: 1712
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:38 pm

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Alpinum » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:28 am

mattpage wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:32 am
ScotRoutes wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:11 pm
Ooh - too personal I think. Lot's of stuff that works for me but might not be for everyone, and vise versa.
Agreed. Unless you know the context of what and who you are recommending things too it won't work.
Lots of what others have already said here I would say the opposite.
Very true.

The frame material I've had most failures with, was steel. In some cases > 3 kg heavy frames. I've put more hard riding and more riding time into carbon frames by now, but had less failures.
Would I use a carbon frame in everyday riding? No. Steel? Yes.

Well, the world is not black and white.
Funny.

Asposium
Posts: 1317
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:39 pm
Location: Hull

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Asposium » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:35 am

Works
- TLS, though confess to be on expert
- Shimano Di2
- Small hiking GPS, such as an Oregon 700
- Two small capacity USB battery packs, rather than a single large
- Shimano XM9 boots
- Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 tent, light, easy to pitch, spacious for one, about okay for two (good friends)

Doesn’t work
- Dynamo hub
- Gravel bike off-road
- Bivi bag, still feels like sleeping in a coffin, need more practice
- Ghetto tubeless tyres, pay the extra and get a “proper” tubeless tyre

Will come back to this
Last edited by Asposium on Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
K1100T
Posts: 547
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:36 am
Contact:

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by K1100T » Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:55 am

This is an incomplete list...

Works
Exped DownMat Lite 5 M
Shimano GRX 1x11
Lake MX 237 Endurance Wide
Look X-Track Race Carbon
Galibier tops - cheap and comfy

Doesn't
Brand-X Integrated Tapered IS42/IS52 headset - cheap for a reason
Brand-X Inline 6061 Seatpost - zero compliance for bouncing over the rough stuff, cheap though
SPANK Wing 12 Vibrocore™ Drop Bar - still get numb fingers when pounding over the rough stuff, even with their gel pads
Galibier bibs - Overly big pad, lycra starts failing after a few rides
Moment lenses - Hipster bollocks for your smartphone. Edge to edge sharpness my arse...
I like beer. 🍻

Scud
Posts: 472
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:18 pm
Location: North Norfolk

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Scud » Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:46 pm

Things that work for me..

Rab Superlight bivvy bag, event fabric actually seems to breathe and the single attachment point means entrance is held open and away from face, and with a 48" chest i can still roll over without taking whole bag with me..

Shimano SPDS, they refuse to die

Wildcat front roll, stays in place really well, simple design that just works.

Specialized Rime shoes, just fit so well, comfy to walk in, and i have four pairs now!

Singlespeed, as Norfolk doesn't really need those new-fangled gears..

Doesn't work:

Apidura front roll, doesn't match i cinch straps up, bugger drops forward onto front wheel

Road tubeless, love tubeless on all other tyres, but sealant and 100psi don't seem to work for me...

Cheddar Man
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:32 pm

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Cheddar Man » Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:32 pm

Cable ties and masking tape always seem to roughly work, although sometimes you need both, like when your pedal falls apart at 3 in the morning on the Exmouth Exodus.

Despite what you read, stuffing a tyre with grass when you have no spare tube or pump on a mountain bike ride miles from anywhere is not very successful at all.

jameso
Posts: 3486
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:48 pm
Location: Chilterns

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by jameso » Tue Jul 07, 2020 4:55 pm

Alpinum wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:28 am
The frame material I've had most failures with, was steel. In some cases > 3 kg heavy frames. I've put more hard riding and more riding time into carbon frames by now, but had less failures.
Would I use a carbon frame in everyday riding? No. Steel? Yes.

Well, the world is not black and white.
Funny.
I was going to put carbon as something that doesn't work for me purely on an 'if' basis. I just can't relax when riding a carbon fork fast. imo it's not how often it fails, it's simply 'how'.

What else doesn't work for me.. Thermarests / air mats. They seem to have holes in ~half the time. It isn't that often, but they are frustrating. Seems that tiny hair thorns can cause tiny leaks, really hard to find them. But I can't get that comfy on a thin foam mat either.
1x on anything but my MTB.

What does work -
Dynamo lights and charging (mostly :grin:)
GPS mapping/navigation
Gore Active and Primaloft
Mudguards
- I could do without the GPS / charging on a trip but really miss the others, unless it's 100% good weather.

Edit to add, the Wildcat harness F+R that works much better than anything else I've used. Really well thought-through kit. My Ortleib accessory pocket is pretty good too - easy access and as waterproof as I'd expect it could be.

Al
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:53 pm

Re: What works, what doesn't!

Post by Al » Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:06 pm

Good game...

Works:

Ergon ga3 grips - as comfy as the original ones with the bonus you can also hold on going down hill.

SQL lab 16deg bars - after lots of searching and lots of bars think I’ve found the perfect sweep for me.

2x10 drivetrains- controversial but moving to Shropshire has seen me ditch expensive 1x drivetrains on all the bikes and now have a greater range of gears and am able to afford a new cassette without selling a child’s kidney.

Microshift thumbshifters - I really love thumbshifters, almost as good as the old XT ones.

The little sleeve thing I made that slips round your sleeping mat - stuff a jacket or inflatable pillow in and it stays put.

German army goretex cuttoffs with braces- ultimate winter shorts. Dry bum every time and no crap down the wasteband.

Those clear food pouches for whiskey someone posted up on here while back - revolutionary! I’d given up on hip flasks as a bulky luxury.

Not working for me:

Rucksacks for biking - sweaty and give me back grief.

Trying to get an iPhone to charge reliably from a dynamo set up - makes me cross just remembering it.

Msr waterfilters - seem to die / clog well before claimed amount has been filtered. Prefer my steripen or not bothering.

Post Reply