Now the trip is over, its time to review.
Lets look at the winners and losers.
The bike as a whole was a definite winner.
It's back home now and is as good as new.
We had no issues with the bike. It asssembled and
dismantled simply and minimal tools were required.
My main objective was for easy transport by air and that was acheived.
Only disappointment were the Primo Comet tires and
moving to the Schwalbe Stelvio was the answer.
Our Bike Friday Tandem is a XLQ Traveller 451
XL - Xtra Light, Q - Converts to single bike, 451 - The wheel size
Its Eqipped with Shimano 105 triple and Shimano Capreo running gear. The gearing is a triple chainring and 9 speed 9 / 26 on the rear. The brakes are Avid Shorty cantilevered brakes assisted by the drag brake.
Another winner. No issues.
The Amazing Tubus -
The Fly, used on my last tour London to Istanbul.
At only 350 grams it's light and this was one of the best performers on our last tour.
THE SUSPENSION SEAT POST
Note also the Cane Creek Thudbuster - when Pokey doesn't see that pot hole, the Thudbuster will look after her tender parts with a suspension movement that goes back as well as down for - hopefully - more comfort.
Ortleib remain the king of pannier bags and are still in
perfect condition after 2 long tours and many minor
expeditions. Putting them on and off the bike many
times was simple and reliable with positive fitting to the rack every time.
The Ortleib Rear Panniers were also used on the last tour and still are in perfect condition.
They have no compartments but are light, waterproof, great reflectors, quick remove and re-fit, shoulder strap when walking about and they never tangle with your feet or your spokes. I've had panniers that did catch the spokes.
THE FRONT BAG
We loaded this up considerably on the tour with many supplies and our heavy D-Lock and as well as anyting we would buy through the day. The maps were kept dry and readable from both sides
The Ortleib Front bag holds the valuables, camera for quick
access and the map pocket clips on top for navigation as
you ride. Before I got this bag, I was constantly stopping
to get out the map. Now I can look at it while I'm riding.
The Ortleib also has a clever fixing method that is very
secure but still gentle enough to put on carbon handlebars.
Waterproof, shoulder strap when removed and its blue!
THE DRAG BRAKE
Worked well and saved us on the long decents.
With its own thumb lever, the drag brake has already proved useful on long alpine decents.
The SRAM VT5000 36o F Drum w/cable & lever allows
us to apply constant drag on the big descents saving
wear on our regular brakes and keeping the speed
manageble. Its amazing the amount of stopping power
required when there are two people and luggage on
one bike are coming down a steep hill.
The simple tub of Vaseline was one of our most useful pieces of equipment.
Bits of nether regions where rubbing or chafing caused irritations were soothed.
- Dry skin, mosquito bites, itching were all helped.
- When riding in rain, rubbing on the legs kept them warm and dry.
- chains were lubricated as were other parts of the bike.
Fibre Flare Light
Last Minute Addition to the equipment the Fibre Flare light was an absolute star.
A 150mm long 10mm in diameter light tube was bright enough to be seen in the day.
On the many instances when we rode through tunnels the concern was being seen by the cars.
The cars were coming into a dark tunnel from the bright sunlight and were bound to have difficulty seeing a little bike light.
This light was bright, large and easy to turn on and off.
Its light enough to put on my carbon road bike and I will continue to use it on my night rides.
The Fibre Flare is apparently an Australian invention and hopefully it will be as successful as the Australian "Knog" lights.