It is no secret i am big proponent of Jeff Jones designs - both bikes and components. I have been using Jones bars - H and loops - for so long now most other bars feel weird to me. I really like them. Comfort factor is high and the ability to distribute weight fore and aft is unparalleled. However, riding different bikes sometimes benefits from a slightly different set up. B.A (my Vertigo cycles all-mountain - though i'm beginning to dislike that term - hardtail) is slowly evolving, as is my style of riding that bike. When the fox doss is released, it will be added and i have some tyres in the post and there are some due later in the year that i think will complement the hard riding nature of this bike. I have already talked about my thoughts on forks that may or may not end up on B.A. My ponderings have also turned to handlebar and cockpit set up. No surprises that i have tried 5 different stem lengths and 3 different styles of bar on the bike already. But all have fallen short of perceived ideal. I *do* agree that shorter and wider has an advantage in steeper, nastier terrain and it is here that i wonder if somethign a little wider than the Jones' 27" could be beneficial. Of course, to achieve this and still allow comfort on long ride in and ups, a wider 45 degree sweep may not be the best, indeed, after using a 28" wide 31 degree sweep Watson cycles Parkarino on my 'cross bike, i think this may be a useful set up.
The usable grip section would be longer too. One of the truly great things about the Jones loop bar is the huge 195mm length of usable grip. You can place your levers wherever they feel best but have huge swathes of real estate along which to place your hands. This translates to a huge range of weight distribution with little effort and no contorted arm positions and also eases the efforts demanded of you hands and wrists during prolonged rides.
So where am i up to? This is a sort of second draft of the concept. A fair amount of thinkering around how it will be made to come. But i think it might be pretty damn good.
Clutch beer, no less. Would like the try that.
Vittoria style' valve extenders. These allow you to increase the valve length of removable core presta tubes, whilst retaining the valve's ability to be closed - a boon in muddy wet conditions.
It is also probably no secret that i have very wide feet. VERY. Short and square, knowwhatimean?
The privateer is slipper like to say the least, and fits really, really well. The quality of the shoe seems high, and it is both supportive and stiff enough, whilst giving in a way that allows comfortable walking even on concrete surfaces. High hopes there then. It has a thin sole, and as such you dont feel like your pedals have turned into wooden blocks.
M162 - there's that phrase again - all mountain shoe. It is very snug accross the toe box for me, but roomy compared to so many shoes. In addition, there is no constant loop of fabric accross the whole toe box, so my reckoning is it should give a little (by the by, the privateer also is split in terms of fabric in a similar way so the mesh sections will allow give and movement.
So: we'll see. All i can say is im stoked to have 2 different pairs of shoes that might fit.
All in all, keeping out of mischief. And i have an incendiary green chile for tea. Aces.