Monthly Archives: June 2024

Happyfield

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My happy place!

Awesome as always catchups with Leslie today at Happyfield.

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INXS

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I told you
That we could fly
‘Cause we all have wings
But some of us don’t know why

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Post Drive-side Photos

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No.

I’ve got nothing against people who are new to a hobby buying the best top shelf goods before “getting good”, or… do I?!

I like nice things, but I’ve always felt like I needed to earn nice things by going through trial and error with not so nice things. When I was really into riding I always owned Giant bikes because they’re such great value for money, but not so secretly I always wanted a porn bike. A Yeti, Specialized, Santa Cruz, basically the same bike but 3 times the cost that wouldn’t make me any better a rider.

10+ years ago I heard about Canyon bikes. I instantly liked their brand logo and look of their web site and mountain bikes too. Clean, slick, modern, less is more, love it. Their videos were so well shot too (not to mention riders in their vids were doing things I could never do). Fast forward to now (I’m 49) and I was quite surprised at the reality of Canyon (like Giant) are very much known for great value for money as they sell their bikes direct to consumers via their web site (IE: you won’t find Canyon bikes in your local bike store).

This threw me for a spin as I remembered Canyon as a bike of desire.

Since buying my Canyon (first bike I’ve bought since 2008 and the most expensive bike I’ve ever bought) I’ve been visiting the Canyon subreddit daily and initially I was taken aback by how many people are buying these bikes without much previous bike experience.

The bikes come in a box and you have to put your own bike together. It’s an easy task (I think I love building bikes more than riding them!), but this is not IKEA and I wouldn’t trust someone who’s never put a bike together to do the job. There are so many technical posts made by people who have little to no idea about bicycles on the sub, and the sub has got to have the most non-drive-side photo posts of any sub I’ve ever visited (it’s as bad as eBay and Facebook Marketplace listings for shit bikes!).

It’s not nice to judge, and in this case I’m judging anyone who ever posts a non-drive-side photo to show off their bike as someone who’s quite clueless about bikes. IMHO you best learn from making mistakes, but making a mistake (say, overtightening bolts) on a carbon bike with carbon parts would be pretty damn costly, but hey, it’s not my money so why should I care?!

There are all types of people out there. Some people are born with a silver spoon, some people are OK with paying to win and ultimately I have to be OK with that whether I like it or not. I’m just processing how I feel about Canyon as a brand and inexperienced people buying expensive bikes and putting them together on their own vs getting a local bike shop to do it. It’s all innocent enough though and if there’s any kid of fault here it’s got to be blamed on Canyon and not the people buying their bikes.

/rant.

PS: Please post drive-side shots!

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Canyon Grizl Shakedown

I’ve yet to take the Grizl off-road, but I thought I’d chime in on my impressions so far.

Love the bike, but I’m finding it much like my Fender American Pro II Strat in that it’s a beautiful thing to look at, quality components too, but it’s just not as amazing as I thought it would be. IE: This bike isn’t cheap, neither was my US made guitar, and both are things I’ve always desired, but now that I own them I’m not sure they live up to the hype.

IE: I still love my old beat up Giant Reign and my Korean Fender Squire much more. Both have so much history, and they both just fit me so well and above all they both just “feel” perfect.

The Campagnolo gear shifter is a strange thing. Works better when you’re in the drop bar position, but I mostly ride on the hoods and down-shifting from the hoods is far from ergonomic as you have to move your hand away from the hoods in order to press the gear lever. The shifting is fine, but it feels far from buttery smooth. I’d assume this is because it’s got more of a MTB cassette on the back with big jumps in gears vs. a much more tight gear ratio on a road bike?

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Love the look of old school road bike cassettes!

Initially I was worried about the Grizl rolling as slow as a MTB as it’s got super fat tyres, but to my surprise it rolls really well, and has confirmed that this isn’t a 90’s MTB with drop bars, but a road bike with fat tyres. I didn’t miss not being clipped in to SPD pedals at all. The MTB pedals on the bike have big (quite sharp) pins so I had plenty of grip there (and it’s nice to be able to micro adjust foot placement on the pedal too).

The hydraulic brakes work well but they’re not as amazing as the brakes on my Giant Reign in both feel and stopping power, but hey they’re a shittonne better than the brakes on my old Paino road bike that’s for sure!

Part of me still wants a modern road bike (endurance, race and aero, they’re all rad to me!), and an e-bike (I’m looking at both road and dual suspension e-bikes), and a fixed gear… but in reality I have more than enough bikes to ride right now and I think all in all buying the Grizl was a good choice. Straight off the bat it’s just SO much more comfortable to ride than my 80’s Paino road bike as I’m in a more upright position, it’s also a lot safer to ride too (the Paino literally can’t stop as the brakes are so bad!).

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It’s cold outside

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You can find this shoot on my Patreon and DeviantArt.

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Care package from Jay Mijares at The Kickz Stand

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Who doesn’t love freebies in the mail?!

Got this amazing care package from Jay Mijares at The Kickz Stand and now I feel like a V.I.P. (Very Important Person!). I’ve known Jay for ages through the car scene, and later through ZEN Garage, he’s always been so good to me, most of all I have a tonne of respect for the guy as he’s built and continues to run an awesome community via It’s More than Just Sneakers, his sneaker and lifestyle event.

Especially love the cap (I’ve been looking at a lot of caps online lately!), and sneakers too, the colourway is the exact same colourway as a pair of Onitsuka Tigers I used to wear in the days before I only wore black!

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R.I.P. Minty :(

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Grizl CF SLX 8 EKAR

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She’s all mine.

When I was working at MC Cyclery I got told off for taking way too long to build a bike from a box, but it took me 4hrs put this bike together. Not because I was in a rush, but because I was geeking the fuck out and savouring the entire process!

I’ve set the seatpost a little lower than usual. It’s a whack seatpost, insanely hard to adjust (not to mention I have to take the rear wheel off to tighten the bolt with the supplied torque tool) and I would much prefer having a dropper on there, but I’ll at least try it out as I’ve heard it really does do a good job with absorbing bumps. You can’t see it in this profile shot, but the tyres are super chunky, the bike is so light and god damn the wheelset is so porno!

I need to duck into a local bike shop to buy some tools (again, kicking myself that I threw out my bike stand and tools in the move). Mainly some grease for the pedals (I’ve only just lightly threaded them on for the photo), and also a crank removal tool for the Wahoo which came with an 11-speed cassette which doesn’t play well with my Reign’s 9-speed).

PS: That strange cloud formation in the sky has been posted all over social media today. Turns out it’s a rare rotor cloud.

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New Bike Day!

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She’s here!

UPS came good and I’m so glad I put off this morning’s ride with Nick and also an appointment with the bank to make triple sure I was home for delivery.

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Grizl CF SLX 8 EKAR

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After much deliberation I pulled the trigger on a Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 EKAR gravel bike. There are many firsts; it’s my first gravel bike, my first carbon frame and my first new bike purchase since 2008.

I bought it during Canyon’s World Bike Day Sale for $5,829 (was $6,599) making it the most expensive bike I’ve ever bought. I did really want a steel frame, and considered titanium too, mainly because I hate the fragility of carbon (ran some carbon handlebars on my MTB once, never again!). I also considered buying another Giant as I have a history with the brand and they’ve always been great value for money, but fuck me dead I’m glad it’s not another Giant! That said, Canyon are much like Giant in regards to being good value for money. They sell direct to consumer which explains how they’re able to be price competitive, but that also meant that I couldn’t test fit the bike before buying it as there are no local shops that stock Canyon bikes.

The Canyon web site bike fit tool suggested I buy an XS size bike based on my height and inseam. After much research it seems like Canyon bikes run large, and most people online have confirmed that buying a size smaller than usual is the right way to go. I was looking at a few of their 29’er MTB’s but sadly they replace the 29’er wheels with smaller wheels on smaller frames so that ruled out a lot of options.

The bike features a full new Campagnolo groupset. I considered Shimano’s wireless electronic shifting, and SRAM’s AXS electronic shifting too, but the thought of using batteries for shifting gears on a bicycle just doesn’t sit right with me. I hate wireless products and to this day I still use a wired mouse and keyboard and I hate batteries going dead on my TV and audio controllers.

The campy group is as rebellious as the paint job! I only wear black and only own black, white or grey things, so the idea of a full stealth black Canyon was always going to be a given, but something about buying a new bike, and being able to choose a colour made me open up to this wild “Blueberry Milkshake” colour scheme with tan-wall tyres.

Frame
Canyon Grizl CF SLX in XS
Axle dimension: 12×142 mm
Tyre Clearance: 50 mm
Material: Carbon
Weight: 950 g

Fork
Canyon FK0087 CF Disc
Axle dimension: 12×100 mm
Tyre Clearance: 54 mm
Material: Carbon
Weight: 518 g

Rear Derailleur
Campagnolo Ekar, 13-speed
Weight: 275 g

Cassette
Campagnolo Ekar, 13-speed, 10-44

Crank
Campagnolo Ekar 40T, 13-speed

Bottom Bracket
Campagnolo Pro-Tech Pressfit
Bottom bracket standard: PF 86,5
Weight: 50 g

Chain
Campagnolo Ekar C13 C-Link 13-speed

Shift/Brake Lever
Campagnolo Ekar Ergopower, 13-speed
Weight: 301 g

Brake Rotor
Campagnolo Ekar
Size: 160 mm
Weight: 157 g

Wheel
DT Swiss GRC 1400 Spline db
Axle dimension: 12×100 mm
Rotor mount: Center Lock
Rim height: 42 mm
Rim material: Carbon
Weight: 750 g

Wheel
DT Swiss GRC 1400 Spline db
Axle dimension: 12×142 mm
Rotor mount: Center Lock
Rim height: 42 mm
Weight: 863 g

Tyre
Schwalbe G-One Bite 45mm
Width: 45mm
Weight: 540 g

Thru Axle
Canyon Thru Axle
Axle dimension: 12×100 mm
Axle dimension: 12×142 mm

Stem
Canyon ST0035
Fork steer tube diameter: 1 1/4″
Clamping diameter: 31,8 mm

Handlebar
Canyon HB0064 Ergo
Clamping diameter: 31,8 mm
Width: 440 mm

Handlebar Tape
Canyon Ergospeed Gel

Saddle
Fizik Argo Terra X3
Weight: 238 g

Seatpost
Canyon S15 VCLS 2.0 CF
Material: Carbon
Setback: 13 mm / 25 mm
Technology: VCLS 2.0 | Fliphead
Weight: 220 g

Pedals
Canyon MTB Performance Flat Pedals
Size: 36-42
Weight: 380 g

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