Without much other than Buck Hill for racing the past couple weeks (IMO the best way to stay fit or get fit are mid week races), I figured I should update on a few equipment things.
Oh, I should mention that I skipped my second planned gravel road race of the year (first being Ragnarok), Lutsen 99er. After Red Wing I wasn't up for any more mud, and I guess I was not alone, as I don't see anyone that finished the Red Wing Elite race in the Lutsen results!
1. I got a hold of a new Shadow Plus Shimano Rear Derailleur. The thing is ridiculously awesome. Remember that debacle in Red Wing a couple weeks ago? Yeah, I had no chain suck or shifting issues in that muck. Besides keeping the drivetrain silent, it is a little known fact that the shadow plus eliminates chain suck! All manf will be putting a clutch like this on the rear derr's in the near future...or they will be left behind.
2. As things dry out (and get dusty), I am falling more in love with the Bontrager XR1 tire. I have that on the front and a XR0 on the rear now. I raced it at buck last week and am going to keep it that way for a while.
3. For grips this year, I am doing 1 layer of bar tape over the ESI silicon grips. This is holding its shape over time better than 2 layers of tape. If you like a bigger soft grip, try this.
4. The Rock Shox SID continues to impress me. It is definitely the best fork I have ridden from a stiffness and adjustability perspective. I don't have the remote version so I can simply set the platform to match my rear platform. That way I can concentrate on pedaling during a race rather than messing around w/ lockouts.
In other news, I blew myself apart yesterday. I like the heat, but it still takes it's toll when I can't convince myself to pedal slower....