Back in the saddle again!
A few weeks ago I took the plunge and bought some new components for my gravel bike. Her brakes were incapable of stopping any longer and after a bit of internet sleuthing I came across Paul Component Engineering. The brakes a pretty pricey but I really wanted a solid mechanical disc brake so I would not have to upgrade my shifters - so the Paul Comp Klampers made a lot of sense. Sure I could have gotten something cheaper like an Avid brakeset but they did not get very good reviews in terms of usability and stopping power.
I ordered the brakes right before a ten day vacation to Florida since they said that there were some significant delays in production. When I got home the brakes were waiting for me. I picked up some compressionless brake housing too, even though it was not strictly necessary. In the end I was glad I spent the extra $30-$40.
The brakes required very little setting-in. By the end of my first ride I was able to lock the wheels up and skid from the hoods! The Klamper brakes stop just as well as my Hope Tech 3 X2hydraulic disc brakes with braided steel housing (that are mounted on my XC race bike), which really blew my mind.
I also splurged and bought the Selle Anatomica R2 saddle (I am vegan so the leather ones were not an option).
Buying this saddle was probably the best money I have ever spent. The riding comfort of my bike is indescribable. It feels like you are sitting on a cloud. I can ride for hours now without having to stop because my nether regions are numb.
I also replaced my square tapper bottom bracket and POS crank-arms for a nicer SRAM Rival setup. The pedal stroke is considerably smoother now and I feel like I have a much higher power transfer to the ground with the higher quality setup.
My old pair of Crank Bros. Eggbeater 1 pedals were getting pretty haggard. I was able to find a pair of Crank Bros. Candy 2 pedals in the discontinued "Burnt Orange" color-wave on Ebay. These new pedals match the other burnt orange bits and pieces on my bike quite nicely. I was super stoked to secure the winning bid, and at an amazing price to boot.
It took a day or so to get everything installed and dialed in and a few more days to fiddle with the saddle to get it perfect. The bike rides amazing now, and I am really happy with the upgrades. In an earlier blog post I mentioned that I was waiting for the Redshift Shockstop Seatpost. Well after a long wait it did arrive and it was totally worth the wait. I liked the seatpost so much I pre-ordered the Redshift Kitchen Sink Handlebar. I went with both the top and drop grips add-on & chose the 47mm size with the loop. Now the only original component left on the bike (besides the frame) from the factory is the stem. Redshift's components are phenomenal.
Overall I am quite happy with the upgrades and the way the bike rides now. The next big upgrade I think will be panniers as I want to start doing some long bike-packing trips.