A Tale Of Three Bars: Ritchey WCS Streem II – by Grannygear Introduction: The world of gravel riding has spawned a few trends and brought other trends back to life. One such thing that gravel riding has brought out from the depths of time is the flared drop bar. Once the realm of retro-MTB folk, […]
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When I get back to riding, I will be moving this to my road bike to get longer miles on it, but so far, as a gravel bike bar, I think it is very, very good and could be a total winner for someone who struggles with hand or wrist issues.
It’s Castelli, and this is a race type jersey, so the cut is slim and I upped things to an XL just to make sure I could wear it with some of my pride intact. The fit for me was very good unless I zipped the jersey all the way up, then it felt odd and tugged across the front of the jersey. Even unzipping a little bit made that go away.
I began using Expresso Time road pedals with that ICLIC system and the unique carbon blade about three years ago. I had not much experience with other systems, coming from a set of Ritchey road pedals that I finally wore out. I enjoyed the ease of entry with the Time pedals and the way they stayed ‘open’ upon exit so you do not have to overcome spring tension to enter the pedal.
Bar tape has come a long way since the thin, fragile cork-type tapes of days past. Now it is even high tech. The colors and thicknesses are quite varied and you can pretty much have it your way. It is also a disposable item, so it is not unusual to go through a set of bar tape each season. And with the cost of premium tape at near 50 bucks a pop, its not a trifle.
The cut of the glove has been quite good with a size LG being right for me. There is no bunching or tension or pinching. The closure does not bother my wrist, as some are wont to do, and they wash fine and just do the job well.
But back off a bit in surface conditions and the Overides are up to the task. On the road they sure seem fast enough to me, and there is not enough tread to worry about any deflection under fast cornering on the road.
Rolf Prima just introduced the Sojourn wheel set for Adventure/Gravel. It fits right into our needs with an internal width of 25mm and an outer of 28.5mm. It is cost effective as well, priced at $699.00, not cheap, but you are still under a grand. Weight is quite good at a claimed 1695g and I weighed them ready to go, seems, tape, etc, at 1741g.
The stock feel of the bike fit wise is very roadie. It feels long, low, and narrow with the 100mm stem and 42cm bar. With lighter wheels and a swap to faster tires it has a very nice road presence to it. Right now I am running some Hutchinson 38mm tires…zoom zoom…I disliked the WTB Nanos on the road. Actually I simply disliked the Nanos…period
So I will be living with a Johnny Cash black Cannondale Topstone for a few months. I will be using it to play with upgrades on a budget to see where we can improve performance, drop weight, and add comfort. But first, I want to begin with my thoughts on how the bike is spec’d and how it is to ride stock at the risk of duplicating some of MG’s findings