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It was a dark, stormy night...on my gravel bike :)

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

It was a dark, stormy night...on my gravel bike :)

Old 10-05-21, 10:15 AM
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It was a dark, stormy night...on my gravel bike :)

ladies and gentlemen, I went in a gravel ride last night. It was raining, fairly cold, but said what the hell, I'm going for a ride!

Was a bit of road, some dirt trail, some gravel, mud, and a lot of the ride through the forest was in the dark, only with my little Blackburn single LED lighting the way.

My garmin called it a sprint ride, which, I guess that's what it was. I hit the pavement hard and fast, and same for the mud/gravel/grass, lot's of fun!
Avg speed of 17.7kph, max of 40.6, HR at 122-156bpm, a decent little ride.

The bike is a Cannondale Topstone 1 with 2x11.
The front derailleur makes a bit more noise than I like, I'm thinking of converting to a 1x11 with 40T in front, 11-46 in back with Shimano GRX RD-RX812 long cage. It's specs say 42 but I think I can push it a bit
harder.








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Old 10-05-21, 11:48 AM
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cool bike- your front derailler cable shouldnt be so long and dangly after the pinch bolt. It should route under the plastic cap that sits atop the front derailleur and that cap routes the cable out the back towards the rear wheel.
^ that probably wasnt worded cleaerly. Just google how to adjust that specific FD and youtube will have close up videos showing how the cable is routed.

I mention this because perhaps the noise you hear is the loose cable end clinking against the frame or bottle cage. Or perhaps the FD just needs to be adjusted to better clear the chain and the noise is simply the chain rubbing against the FD cage.
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Old 10-05-21, 11:53 AM
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Fast dark ride on a tuned dark bike in the fall... NICE!
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Old 10-05-21, 01:11 PM
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Nice. I'm imagining it looked something like this (well, maybe without the moon).
Gotta say, its pretty warm this time of year for our latitude!


(My bike is grey like yours, but I put reflective stripes all over it - lights up like a Christmas tree if car lights shine on it. I do too much commuting to ride a dark grey bike).



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Old 10-05-21, 02:40 PM
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Hahaha yes, but even less light!!! I stupidly wore a black coat (warmth) over my bright red shirt (safety) and negated the safety part. My lights are Blackburn Dayblazer 550 front and rear My Lights
and they don't emit a lot. I'm thinking of the Blackburn Dayblazer 1500 Front and 65 Rear.

I was hanging on for dear life for a lot of the ride through the forest, but the edge-of-seat riding was bloody exciting! When I got home I realized my rear light had died, not ideal! I like the idea of reflective stripes, I think I'll get some of those for my bike, and some to wear as well. Thanks for the ideas and the pics, they made me smile.

Btw, when I got home, covered in a bit of mud, grabbed a shower and was ready to watch a movie with my wife, who patiently waited 30m for my ride and cleanup, what a women she is! (but she hates bike talk, that's why I'm here a lot)



Originally Posted by chas58
Nice. I'm imagining it looked something like this
(My bike is grey like yours, but I put reflective stripes all over it - lights up like a Christmas tree if car lights shine on it. I do too much commuting to ride a dark grey bike).


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Old 10-05-21, 02:41 PM
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Thanks! It was a lot of fun!
Originally Posted by zandoval
Fast dark ride on a tuned dark bike in the fall... NICE!
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Old 10-05-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Amelio
Hahaha yes, but even less light!!! I stupidly wore a black coat (warmth) over my bright red shirt (safety) and negated the safety part. My lights are Blackburn Dayblazer 550 front and rear My Lights
and they don't emit a lot. I'm thinking of the Blackburn Dayblazer 1500 Front and 65 Rear.

I was hanging on for dear life for a lot of the ride through the forest, but the edge-of-seat riding was bloody exciting! When I got home I realized my rear light had died, not ideal! I like the idea of reflective stripes, I think I'll get some of those for my bike, and some to wear as well. Thanks for the ideas and the pics, they made me smile.

Btw, when I got home, covered in a bit of mud, grabbed a shower and was ready to watch a movie with my wife, who patiently waited 30m for my ride and cleanup, what a women she is! (but she hates bike talk, that's why I'm here a lot)
Personally, I like having a backup, so I'll have a pair of 900 lumen lights (Cygolite or nightrider) at half power. That way they last longer, and I have options. That and if solo, a little 350 on my helmet.

3M makes some really nice reflective tape. you can get great stuff in white/red at your auto parts store, or about any color you want online. Other brands tend to be horrible in my experience. Yup, some tape is kinda nice when the battery dies. Bikes (especially you last night) are kinda hard to see without lights and/or reflectivity!

Ain't fall riding nice? I love me a warm dark fall night, riding through the leaves.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:20 PM
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thanks for the good advice! Warm dark ride through the leaves, yes for sure!

Just wondering about the brightness of these lights. Iíve got my Blackburn Dayblazer 400 (not the 550 I thought) which is up to 400 lumens on full power. I thought it was pretty bright until I bought a https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00XJXP6V8?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share]no-name set from Amazon [/url]
that claims to be only 200 lumens but to my eyes is at least 2x or 3x the amount of light. The rear light says 25 lumens and it again is at least 2x as bright as my 20 lumen bb light.

I found a good deal on Blackburn 1500 front with 65 rear light for C$195 Iím thinking of ponying up for some better lights. 😀

the cheap set on half power is a great idea. 👍

yes fall riding is really good so far, especially on the gravel bike. The tires are really confidence inspiring through the leaves, wet grass, ruts and tree roots. I canít wait to get out and ride more. Itís funny it was a YouTube video that mentioned riding in the rain isnít bad, you just need to dress for it. I did a fair bit of winter riding and this is a nice intro to it.


Originally Posted by chas58
Personally, I like having a backup, so I'll have a pair of 900 lumen lights (Cygolite or nightridera) at half power. That way they last longer, and I have options. That and if solo, a little 350 on my helmet.

3M makes some really nice reflective tape. you can get great stuff in white/red at your auto parts store, or about any color you want online. Other brands tend to be horrible in my experience. Yup, some tape is kinda nice when the battery dies. Bikes (especially you last night) are kinda hard to see without lights and/or reflectivity!

Ain't fall riding nice? I love me a warm dark fall night, riding through the leaves.
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Old 10-05-21, 06:44 PM
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OP, you probably don't need 1500 lumens on a headlight, but that's alright: you can put it on a lower setting, still have enough light AND longer battery runtime!
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Old 10-06-21, 01:17 AM
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I rode at 9.00PM the other day and ended up racing 4 deers (3males and 1 female). They ran @ 28kph through a path and field (cotswold bridleway)... since then, I went back a few time at the same time and I met rabbits, squirrels and a fox...
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Old 10-06-21, 06:01 AM
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What a great ride, and 28kph, wow, I didnít realize deer run that fast! Itís times like that when you wish you had a camera crew to record that ride! thanks for sharing that it was a nice read this rather dark and dank Wednesday morning. 😊

You just got me thinking of this YouTube video I was watching on Sunday of this guy who does a lot of hard grinding across country and is always spotting wildlife. Ryan Van Duzer is the channel.


Originally Posted by Fentuz
I rode at 9.00PM the other day and ended up racing 4 deers (3males and 1 female). They ran @ 28kph through a path and field (cotswold bridleway)... since then, I went back a few time at the same time and I met rabbits, squirrels and a fox...
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Old 10-06-21, 06:12 AM
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thanks Mstate, thatís a good observation. 😀 itís this annoying ticking sound only in the two highest gears. The only time it doesnít bother me is when I pedal and breathe harder, which I do a lot! I will look up that cable route and maybe put it on my bike stand and see if I can get it to tick or click. I donít think itís the bottom bracket, I think itís the front derailer touching the chain ever so slightly in small (back) big on front.


Originally Posted by mstateglfr
cool bike- your front derailler cable shouldnt be so long and dangly after the pinch bolt. It should route under the plastic cap that sits atop the front derailleur and that cap routes the cable out the back towards the rear wheel.
^ that probably wasnt worded cleaerly. Just google how to adjust that specific FD and youtube will have close up videos showing how the cable is routed.

I mention this because perhaps the noise you hear is the loose cable end clinking against the frame or bottle cage. Or perhaps the FD just needs to be adjusted to better clear the chain and the noise is simply the chain rubbing against the FD cage.
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Old 10-06-21, 06:17 AM
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true true, but it was only 20 bucks more and it was a combo on sale so I figured what the heck?! 😀

great point on the 50% = 2x the batt life!

thanks for your reply 👍

Originally Posted by Koyote
OP, you probably don't need 1500 lumens on a headlight, but that's alright: you can put it on a lower setting, still have enough light AND longer battery runtime!
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Old 10-06-21, 07:20 AM
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I did have a dear once running parallel to me who just had to cross the street in front of me. I got up to 45km/hr and he still passed in front of me.

This little guy wasn't quite so fast, but did manage to cross the street before I got to him. Lots of this, this time of year.

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