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Saturday, June 12, 2010

More about the bike...

So after a day spent fiddling with cables and duct tape, trying to make sense of user manuals and pedalling up hills to see what gear ratio to use, the bike is finally dressed up in race mode and ready to go (well almost, it still needs one more bottle and cage)

A couple of tweaks include ditching the lock-on grips in favour of thicker bar tape for a bit of cushioning, putting all the tools and spares into a bottle and storing it low down in a bottle cage instead of a saddle bag, strapping the spare tyre under the saddle and sticking with the original 32x17 gear ratio.

And then there's the electrical system - the front hub houses a dynamo which powers the light directly, without the need for a battery pack. It also powers an onboard charging unit mounted on the stem, which will be used to charge the tracking device and a phone. The devices being charged are stored in the small pouch mounted up front on the top tube. I'll also be using a headlamp mounted to the helmet to light the way when walking or carrying the bike over some of the portages because the front wheel needs to be turning to provide power and light. The components are all off the shelf items popular among long distance touring cyclists so hopefully they'll be reliable out on the trail too.

Now it's just a case of packing my bag with all the clothing, maps and other paraphenalia needed and then I'll be on my way down to Pietermaritzburg for the race registration and briefing on Monday night. The race started officially today (Saturday) with the first of seven batches leaving this morning at 6am. Most people made it into the first support station at Mackenzie Club just before dark with some riders electing to push on even further.


  1. hmmmm, hub dynamo.

    ok that's definitely a FC first. good luck, bike looks awesome.

    but rather you than me!

  2. Ditto Steve. It all sounds conplicated to this gal. Give me batteries in boxes as a safeguard.
    Go Glen - gonna be watching you all the way.

  3. Enjoy the ride Glenn. Pity I will not be on the trail when you wizz past me, but I will follow your progress with interest from the comfy of my bed...

  4. 32x17, on a 29er, with a 10kg backpack. Great on the flat bits, but on the climbs, well, you're obviously absurdly strong.

  5. i think the ratio is probably the best. about a 32x16 on 26inch.

    by 'best', i mean least worst. kak on the flats and ok on the climbs as long as you're only doing it for 10 minutes.

    lotsa of good luck!