Bontrager kit has landed…

On 15/07/2012 by GaryLake

Only 20 days until Gary Rides WC2C…
Gary is fundraising for the Cots for Tots appeal on Just Giving, any donations are appreciated!

I got my big drop of Bontrager kit for the WC2C the other day. It feels ever so real now to be unpacking the very kit I’m going to be wearing and using! I’ve been training in various pieces throughout the winter and spring, and the Bontrager name is propping up the Superfly in a big way too, so it’s proven stuff and I’m really confident and very pleased with it all. I’ve managed to get some snaps so here’s a bit of a nose at some of the key pieces.

Here’s ‘The Jersey’. I wanted something pretty striking for the WC2C but also clean cut and stylish. I saw the new Bontrager Retro race jerseys and absolutely had to have them, in blue to match my Superfly of course! White might be a bit of silly choice for a 200 mile hack across Wales in the mud and rain, but what the hell! The cut and features of the Bontrager jerseys are lovely (I’ve been training in a different design), especially for the pretty modest price. Nice full length zips, luxurious fabrics, and quality gripper materials all make up for a pretty high-end, well cut jersey. And I’ve got a few of these to change into if I need to.

Bontrager Retro Race Jersey

It’s sounds a bit weird, but one thing I’ve been properly agonising over was whether to ride in bibs or baggies. On the one hand, baggies have an extra risk of chaffing and bunching, on the other hand baggies have pockets and pockets can contain food and nibbles for easy access. There’s also the fact that the ‘lycra clad racer’ look doesn’t sit right with me for this challenge given its both amateur and charity status. Anyway, the decision was made so much easier when I got my hands on Bontrager’s Rhythm shorts. These baggies are made from a super soft, comfortable material which I have no worries about riding for the long haul. I did the 12 hours of Bristol Bike Fest in them without any qualms. So there, I’m breaking convention and riding this in baggies.

Bontrager’s Rhythm Shorts

If there’s one thing you get through lots of in endurance riding is gloves. You can reach the lowest of the low, and a fresh pair of gloves can be an incredible tonic. Perhaps a bit ambitiously, I’ve got some RL Fusion GelFoam fingerless gloves in case it’s really hot. Otherwise it’s full fingered gloves in the form of Bontrager’s Rhythm range again. A light-weight glove with full mesh back mean they should keep my hands reasonably cool, and if it’s wet, not take on too much water! I’ve been riding the Rhythm gloves all year and they’re a good fit with no bunching or rubbing issues to report. Again, I rode the 12 hours of Bike Fest in a single pair without a single niggle or rub.

I’ll be using a selection of Bontrager long finger and fingerless gloves.

When it became apparent I’d be riding with Bontrager, I did have reservations about the shoes. I’d reviewed the RXL MTB shoe for Cyclist No.1 and while it was a good shoe, there were some personal compatibility issues and I found them a little unforgiving. Trek assured me the shoes were all new and that I should definitely give them a try.

I’ve been training in the non-carbon soled RL MTB shoe and I’ve been suitably impressed by it’s comfort and durability. The photo below was taken recently, the shoes having done over 4,000km, not bad!

Bontrager RL Mountain Shoe
Bit stinky but in incredibly good condition for their mileage… 

I’ve also got the new RXL MTB shoe which I’ve sort of been saving for the big day. Sticking road miles on them just to make sure they’re broken in but also offering up a nice treat on the big day of a posh new shoe. They’re a huge improvement over the outgoing RXL. The slippy heel cup has been sorted, and the inForm insoles are now more forgiving and are moldable for a semi-custom fit. The same super stiff carbon sole is present so the power delivery and weight is good as before. Despite trying to keep them ‘nice’, I crashed on the road dodging a wayward car and managed to rip one of the buckles off in the process. The good thing about these is that the buckles are replaceable and Trek actually carry spares, great!

Bontrager RXL Mountain Shoes
Bontrager RXL MTB Shoe, stiff, pimp, comfy…

You’ve probably seen it in all the photos but I’ve also been riding in Bontrager’s great MTB helmet, the Lithos. Again, I’ve worn one for about 4,000km and it’s still in amazing condition (albeit a bit stinky). I’ve got a fresh new one in the for the ride though thank goodness, but to be honest, a decent clean of the pads and a good wipe out and it would be good to go. The fit has been great, and it’s another survivor of the Bristol Bike Fest 12 hour.

Bontrager Lithos Helmet
Bontrager Lithos helmet… 

I also had a drop of Bontrager tyres. I’ve been riding and raving about the 29-1 2.2 Team Issue tyres that came with the Superfly, but I suspect it might not hurt to run something a little bit more all-weather for the WC2C. The 29-2 tyres look as if they’ll be almost as fast although but offer up a bit more soggy terrain grip, they look like they’ll clear the mud quickly too. Their 2.1 carcass is going to lose me a bit of cushion in the rough stuff though.

I’ve (well Richard Fox has, more in a later blog) also blown these up with Bontrager’s tubeless rim strips to take advantage of the tubeless ready Bontrager RL wheels and tyres. According to Rich they “went up a treat” and he was suitably impressed with it as a tubeless system. He reckons I’ve lost a fair bit of weight and I should be able to keep tyre pressures desirably low without the risk of punctures. I have no idea what I’m going to make of the 29-2 tyres but I’d be more nervous about it if I was planning to race an enduro on them where I’d want to know their every handling characteristic inside out.

I’ve also got some 29-Mud tyres. I’m not expecting to need them but if it’s atrociously wet and I’m struggling around mid-wales, I figured it might not hurt to have the option and security of running them—I was adamant I wouldn’t need mud tyres when I 24-soloed, and ended up buying a pair of these mid-race—so I’m packing them.

Bontrager 29-2 TLR Team Issue
Bontrager 29-2 TLR Team Issue

Bontrager 29-2 and 29-Mud tyres

Bontrager 29-2 TLR Team Issue on RL Wheels

The 29-2 tyres blown up tubeless on the Bontrager RL wheels…

There’s a whole myriad of other Bontrager kit I’m using, and it’s a testament to how good it all is as there’s too much to mention, I’ve had no grumbles with it, and it’s basically underpinning so much of this challenge. Bontrager padded shorts and base layers all go unseen but are essential. And on the bike itself, if it’s not the shocks or groupset, is all Bontrager!

4 Responses to “Bontrager kit has landed…”

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    • Ann

      Welcome to the blog, Arnie!Yes, Garmin Connect is a free service for owrens of Garmin fitness devices. They’re in the process of a major migration of data from their old site to Garmin Connect. So, right now, the only fitness devices that will work with Garmin Connect are the newest Edge and Forerunner units.If they stick to their migration schedule, ALL Garmin fitness units (and some others like some of their hiking units) will be able to access the features.

    • After seeing this pcroudt advertised and asking fellow MTB riders about it, none of which had tried it, I thought I’d do my bit and try it out especially as it seemed not bad value for a litre bottle. So here we go. I fitted my Continental Mountain King Supersonic’s onto my Stan’s rims with around 120ml of Caffelatex in each wheel and pumped them up with my compressor, it was no suprise that the sidewalls were porous; but with experience with Stan’s sealant I new to give things a good shake and keep rorating the wheel whilst doing so. It took ages for me to get a semi air tight seal. All semed to work in the end though so before going out to try them I topped them up with air. The sealant began to blast it’s way through the sidewalls in jets at around 30psi so I started the shaking of the wheel again. In the end I decided to try going for a ride. The agitating of the tyre on the road led to an almost completely flat tyre in less than 2 miles and Caffelatex everywhere. Enough was enough. The Caffelatex came out and the Stan’s went in, Two rotations of the wheel whilst shaking and the porous sidewalls were sealed and I would have been happy if I hadn’t wasted my money and time on the Caffelatex. The advert says it can seal 6mm puncture on a MTB, I could not even get it to seal pinholes in a porous sidewall! What can I say- I tried, it failed!! Save yourself valuble time, money and stress. STAN’s STAN’s STAN’s.

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