And of course I can’t go bike packing without a bike. I’ve got a Cervelo S3 disk, which is a fabulous and fast aero carbon fibre bike. But it’s designed for races and sprinting. It’s high geared, can’t take racks, isn’t designed for comfort and I worry when I leave it locked up anywhere. I needed something more practical.
So I headed over Landyatchz, an excellent bike shop on Adanac. They are one of the ones I’d trust in the lower mainland to work on a bike and also build custom frames.
What followed was repeated visits over a couple of months to try out their bikes and see what else was available. I really couldn’t find much in other shops either, so two Landyatchz bikes became the favourite, the aluminium AB1 or the steel cb mkII.
I actually wanted the latter, but to get one in my size would have meant waiting to August. Thanks supply chain. So I’ve got the aluminium AB1, in the newer colouring.
New gravel touring bike Saturday pic.twitter.com/ES9mfCq7A6— Andy McKay (@andymckay) April 9, 2022
Nice gear range, but using SRAM Rival there’s only one gear on the front. Hydraulic disk brakes. Mount points absolutely everywhere. It’s a nice comfortable ride for long days in the saddle. Nice big fat tubeless tyres for off road bits.
Building out the custom build was fun, but again the supply chain problems that are ongoing meant that the choices were rather limited unfortunately.
Anyways I’m really happy with the bike and some 600km later it’s done the job well, coping with gravel, road and everything I’ve thrown at it. The only two downsides so far is that I do wish the gear ratio went beyond 1:1. With all the bags on, it can be hard work getting up some of the bigger hills. Although I made it up everything that was paved.
I also would like tyres with less rolling resistance for the road. That’s an easy fix and based on my (perhaps faulty) assumption that I’d be doing more gravel than tarmac.
Next up, loading it up.
Update: The original gearing on this bike was a 42 chainring on the front and a 11-42 on the back. While I was in Maui I really struggled on some steep hills. So I took it to Landyacht and chatted to the mechanics there. Whilst there another person was complaining about the exact same thing.
If you are doing long days with lots of gear you need to make life easy on yourself. I changed the front chainring from 42 to 38 before my third trip.