I've being doing some experimentation lately. The Ti-framed Amazon tourer has being doing splendidly well at getting me around the country but I thought I'd give it a go in another guise. Removing the mudguards, fitting some Maxxis Raze 700x35c knobblies and flipping the stem has transformed it into a pseudo Cyclocross machine. I was a bit tentative taking it out at first. Despite running the little Ti hardtail MTB with rigid forks, the bigger wheels seemed a bit unwieldy. However, I was soon getting the hang of it and taking on some rougher terrain.
What I have noticed is that the bigger wheels do seem to run over minor obstacles better than 26" wheels and I was soon getting used to a more detached feeling from the back tyre - grip being great longitudinally, but poorer laterally than a MTB equivalent. Braking is well sorted with BB7 cable discs at both ends too.
So much have I been enjoying this new experience, it's become my favourite bike - the one I'll grab and just head out on. The combination of decent road speed and its go-anywhere ability is allowing time to just make up routes as I ride and I've been finding little bits of track I'd perhaps pass on a road bike but not be able to explore and that might be outwith my normal MTB riding due to the amount of tarmac riding necessary to get there.
Typical of this was a ride I did last Sunday. Without really knowing where I was gonna go, I headed up the Pentlands, came out at Flotterstone dropped into Glencorse and Penicuik and then followed signed cycle tracks all the way to Dalkeith, Wallyford, Niddrie, Duddingston and back home. 57km or thereabouts with no more than 10km of that on the road.
What other rides do I have planned?? Well, a ride to Glentress, a circuit of Green/Blue and a return home would seem possible. I also have a circuit of Ben Lomond in mind. All I need now is for the weather to stay in my favour!!
Oh - it looks the dogs danglies too. I was in Princes St today, having a bagel by the art galleries. This guy walked past, turned to look at it and walked into a lampost!