Welcome to the first Bicycle blog round trip this year!
This year I will again present selected videos, texts, pictures and podcasts from the world of bike travel and Bikepacking. This time among other things with many Bikepacking & cycle travel films from all over the world, practical experiences with the Aerothan tube and 12 bikes for Gravel- & Bikepacking.
And again: to prevent copyright problems, instead of the respective article pictures, there are photos from the last weeks from me. Have fun!
Who loves his bike… (eng)
…pushes. And that’s okay and often unavoidable. RJ Sauer on Bikepacking.com thought about the three types of pushing and was able to experience them in detail in the Southern Chilcotin Mountains. The Art of Bike Pushing: Power-Walking, Sweet Spot and No Reversal Possible are his three types, which he describes and pictures in detail. A nice way to show that it’s not always about great graveling, but pushing and carrying are also part of a great tour – and often a natural part of it.
Buy a bike and ride 15,000 km home… (eng)
Josh bought a Giant bike. But not just in a shop, but directly at Giant in Shanghai. And then he picked it up there and rode it home. 15,000 km. A nice video about a great bike trip.
Bike Tour or Bikepacking Race (eng)
Bikepacking events are gaining more and more interest and the sportive discovering and measuring with others is quite important for some. Whether it’s a leisurely bike tour or a Bikepacking Race – both have their advantages, which RJ Sauer has compiled here. I’ve also just noticed that the fixation on a race naturally marginalises a lot of things that otherwise make up a cycling trip. But that’s the plan for me and after the “race decade” I will also return to the tour decade – or mix it up
Into the Dark – 5 friends get lost in the forest (eng)
5 friends and their bikes, no plan, but one goal: to ride from Basel to Stuttgart, through the Black Forest. And that only with a compass and a map (or as we would say: like in the old days). The film introduces the new Focus Atlas Gravelbike. I like the idea of “getting lost”, also in contrast to today’s networking and digitalisation. But I would also like to ride through the Black Forest, but then with GPS.
Shimano 12-speed in comparison (eng)
Deore, SLX, XT and XTR – Shimano now has quite an extensive range of 12-speed MTB gears. How the individual groups differ from each other and what the advantages of an XTR or XT are in comparison can be found in this technically very detailed article by the colleagues from Bikerumor.
12-speed easy to retrofit (eng)
One of the most technically interesting news was from Ratio, who have developed a retrofit kit with which 11-speed road shifters from SRAM can easily be converted to 12-speed. This enables them to shift SRAM MTB 12-speed rear derailleurs (GX Eagle) without having to switch to electronic shifters. This is certainly not really relevant for all of you, but those who are often off-road with luggage or simply need more bandwidth in 1-speed shifting will be happy about this.
Borderline experiences with Markus (eng)
“Border Experiences” – that’s the name of Markus Stitz’s new film about his home tour in Thuringia, along the former inner-German border. On the occasion of the film premiere, I had the opportunity to talk to Markus afterwards about his film, the tour, freedom and his homeland.
The conversation that followed can be seen here:
An overview of his bike and equipment can be found here:
12 bikes for Gravel & Bikepacking (german)
The colleagues from GrandFondo have taken 12 bikes and tested them for gravel tours and Bikepacking. I think the test is quite good and comprehensively described. Of course, it’s a question whether bikes like the Fern Chuck for 11,000 euros or the Trek Fuel EX for 9,000 euros are really that useful, but there’s something for everyone. And looking at great bikes is always nice…
Everesting with Max (eng)
Everesting: that’s climbing 8,848 metres in altitude by bike – and you’re welcome to do it for a limited period of time. Some prefer to do it in summer, but others save the most beautiful season for it: winter. Like Max Riese, who made a film about his “little winter tour” with “HIGHpothermia – Everesting in Winter”:
Bohemian Border Bash (eng)
Let’s stay with Max: At some point, everything will be over with the pandemic and we can ride again as we like. And whoever wants to should then go and see the Bohemian Border Bash Race. Max Riese has helped to scout this 1,300km long route with 24,000 metres of altitude and has now written more about it in an article. There is also a link to the Komoot collection of the sections.
Winter Bikepacking Tips (eng)
Snow outside and it’s cold? No reason not to go on a tour. To make it a success, here are 10 tips on how to make the trip out into the cold a success:
The best mountain-gravel bike! (eng)
Finally, the wait is over, and I am really looking forward to the new MTBGB. A timely test has already been arranged and I should get it next week. The options on the new bike look promising. What I’m missing, however, is a permanently installed selfie stick and the pre-installed wall mount for the living room (automatically in the laptop-cam viewing area). But that will probably come as an update in the summer. The handlebars with their 1100mm width convinced me immediately.
What is Graveln? The Path less Paved (eng)
An ode to the gravel bike by Shimano. Well done, well explained, motivating. Maybe I’ll buy one myself one day.
Cycling with Dracula (german)
Moritz Becher cycled through the Carpathians and wrote about this bikepacking trip on Spiegel Online. Transylvania is also on my tour list – it must be very beautiful there.
Friends of sportive graveling will click their tongues, because Badlands is a new, but obviously also very attractive gravel race through the Spanish desert, over mountains and to the coast. 720 km and 15,000 m of altitude have to be mastered. You can ride it in just 43 hours, or take a little more time (forced) and then write about it. Like Marcus Nicholson, who wrote about his Badlands adventure on ADVNTR.
And if you want to know how to drive the Badlands in 43 hours, watch the video here:
Planning road bike routes with Komoot, RWGps or Strava? (german)
The title says it all and refers to Cycling Claude’s good article on planning and the right tools for it. This is not only true for road cycling and since many forest and gravel roads are icy right now, planning as a road bike and thus on hopefully ice-free roads is certainly a good idea for a training ride.
Bikepacking in Georgia (eng)
The Marlok Brothers are on the road a lot by bike and also make quite good videos about their trips. If you are planning a tour in Georgia, I recommend the video here, where Sandra and Hannes cycle or push through the Caucasus:
Cross-shifting allowed!? (eng)
There used to be an iron rule: never cross-shift! That is, never run the chain on the largest chainring at the front and the smallest (largest in circumference) at the rear. Since the advent of 1-speed gears, however, this has become common practice, which is why there are always discussions about this topic. Is it allowed, is it good at all or won’t it damage the chain and sprocket? And isn’t 2-speed better? There are many opinions on this, but I found some knowledge here: the colleagues from Road.cc talked to some manufacturers like Shimano, SRAM, Campa and FSA and asked them about it.
Across Iceland in 9 days (eng)
A Line in the Sand is a truly inspiring film of an Iceland Traverse. Emily Batty, Chris Burkhard, Adam Morka and Eric Batty drove 975km across the island, from east to west. Very inspiring, so much so that I’m seriously considering doing it again. But have a look for yourself:
UL 1-person tents in comparison (german)
Surely some of you are thinking about a new tent. And sometimes weight plays a special role. Good that there is Martin from Berlin, who presents and reviews 6 UL tents for one person on his Ultralight Blog. Maybe this is interesting for your decision making?
Montenegro with Katrin and Jakob (german)
Their videos are always worth watching and above all entertaining. Now you can accompany Katrin and Jakob on a tour through Montenegro. As always, a lot happens and some plans remain plans. But that gives the whole thing the necessary spice and, by the way, it’s a nice invitation to this country. But we will probably have to wait a little for the next video, because Katrin and Jakob are going to become parents and that is adventure enough for now.
Aerothan – practical reports (german/eng)
With the Aerothan tubes Schwalbe has introduced very light and obviously very durable tubes. In the meantime, there are also quite convincing practical reports, some of which even advocate the Aerothane as a viable alternative to tubeless. That sounds promising.
Now the colleagues from Bikepacking.com have also taken a closer look at the tubes and fellow blogger Tom aka Bikingtom has also put the parts to the test.
I bought two of them right away, as an emergency precaution for my tubeless tyres. And whoever wants to say: You shouldn’t do that, because the sealing milk decomposes the aerothane! I can tell you: No, that’s not the case. I asked Schwalbe product manager Felix Schäfermeier this and here is the answer:
“The use of the Aerothane tube as a replacement tube in tubeless operation is not problematic. It is more a matter of avoiding permanent contamination (> 4 months) of tubeless milk and Aerothane tube. Depending on the chemical content of the sealant, the tube can become brittle.”
With Jana on the Three Peaks Bike Race (german)
Finally, I’d like to point you to the really listenable podcast episode with Jana Kesenheimer, who talks to Johanna about the Three Peaks Bike Race in her podcast “The Wondrous Bicycle World” and tells times how she prepared, how she dealt with the ups and downs – mentally as well as scenically – and what it was like to be filmed while doing it. One of the best conversations I’ve heard on German cycling podcasts.
So, the round trip is over.
Did you enjoy it? Do you have any tips on interesting articles and blogs?
Then let us know in the comments field.
The next cycling blog tour will take place in spring!