Oval Incoming, Rack Revelation

Winter is coming….

It was only weeks ago we had record temperatures amid a drought in the UK. Looking at how green my garden grass is, there is definitely more moisture in the air but we’re not out the woods yet. More rain needed which could make the next few months miserable on the bike. Throw in the nights drawing in, cooler temps and shops putting out their Christmas displays, it’s time to get ready for winter.

Usually I’d just throw my mudguards on the bike but (unbelievably) Rotor have listened to the call and brought out GRX 2x compatible chainrings. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. Take my money.

Time for guards and some oval

If you know me, you’ll know how much I rate oval rings. I’ve been using them for about 10 years and for me, they are pound-for-pound one of the best upgrades you can put on a bike. Climb better, less fatigue for a fraction of the cost of your bike or your wheels. Frankly, it’s a no-brainer.

My Ribble CGR couldn’t take oval rings. That pissed me off. Rings for Shimano GRX 2x chainsets didn’t exist and rings for Shimano 105 chainsets didn’t fit so these new rings from Rotor will complete my Dolan GXC and the set. No more bikes with round rings.

They come in my perfect 46/30T ratio too (48/31T are available too)

a dream come true

Rack Revelation

In other news, Ortlieb have made my life simpler. I love simple. In fact, I think I want ‘…kept it simple’ on my headstone, I live my life by it. But what have they done?

Controversial. I’m not a fan of bikepacking bags. I actually prefer a proper rack and pannier bag. Always have. I find them more practical and just easier to access. When I’ve commuted, this year, I’ve used my bikepacking bag so I don’t have a rack permanently fitted to my bike. That’s the bit I don’t like about them. Heavy, semi-permanently fitted to your bike and a faff to fit or remove. So what if I could get a quick release rack? Not something that hangs off the seatpost, a proper, supported rack which means you can fit your saddlebag of spares and a light under your saddle. Step forward the Ortlieb Quick Rack. It popped up in my Faceache feed one day and it was like an epiphany. On and off in seconds but has the strength of a regular supported rack. All that remains on the bike are small brackets on the rack mounts. Clean, simple and awesome.

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