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Filled with tasty rewards, almost like a carrot extending in front of the mule, the handlebar bag provides quick access and a place to stash a harmonica, train whistle, gummy bears, or whatever else you find useful in motivating yourself and the group. Another purpose is to sequester the valuables. If wearing a jersey with pockets, use them for food and stash your ID, credit card, and phone in the handlebar bag. Combining jersey pockets with food and valuables, while traveling over trail, is a recipe for a phone lost somewhere 'bout 10 miles back?' Especially as smart phones have inflated in size, taking advantage of the handlebar-bag allowance provided while 'on tour' is a privilege not afforded to the club-ride set. While speaking on the front-end, the handlebars were a bit narrow for the broad shoulders I bring to the party. The stock width doesn't seem proportionate to the sizing of the frame, at least for the size large I rode, but I acknowledge that my gangling arms aren't proportionate to the sizing of my body, so you may not have an issue with this. Given more time for preparation, I would have liked to take advantage of this mount point to include a more substantial handle-bar bag for my camera. Using an additional point on the other side, and at the crown of the fork, a front rack can be attached to bring items to the front. I prefer riding without a loaded front wheel, so even with such a rack I prefer a more responsive steering, especially on technical areas. This can be an issue if you're carrying a lot, and are of a larger heft, but the 32 spokes laced around aluminum double-walled rims allowed my desire for handling to win over any fear of a busted wheel.

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A third set of eyelets comes in handy, seen here carrying an MSR fuel bottle. Other uses of the eyelets adopted by the group included various accessories for carrying tools and pumps using this width of spacing for attachment. For the bikes provided on this trek, the Poseidon X, frames include three mounts on the interior, and one on the underside. Speaking on the task of creating fire, there are many options depending on the type of trip you're venturing on, your comfortability with mechanical devices and the geography of your adventure. The MSR WhisperLite Camping stove has long been the default choice for providing the heat for meals for many touring by bike. The ability to use a range of fuel types found around the world, dependability and repairability explicate this choice, and was the source of heat for meals on this trip. The price/weight/ruggedness measures up in a way that we haven't found matched. A less gear intensive option that came in handy were hexamine fuel blocks. The cheap and convenient tablets provide 2025 minutes of burn and can be found in most sporting good retailers, big box stores and even some gas stations. The silent fuel-source provided a camp-fire atmosphere, and a welcomed source of warmth for the evening. Definitely, going to pack on all future trips, even with the MSR.

Where the rubber meets the road or trail is of most importance when carrying your home on your back, or bike. Gearing that makes sense unloaded is a recipe for walking when carrying bags. Though the front triple, a common option for the touring crowd, has been left behind, the industry adoption of larger rear cassette sizes provide enough range for carrying your stuff and yourself. In the case of the Poseiden X, the bike matches a Prowheel RPL 46/34 crankset to a Microshift SpeedBottle 8-speed 11-34 cassette, directed by Shimano Claris R2000 derailleur and shifters. The component choice keeps the overall price of the bike low ($600) while providing enough dependability and repair-ability to be considered for remote tours. The ensemble is slowed down by a set of Tektro mechanical disk brakes that provide all-weather dependability, even for fullyloaded packs on the steepest of descents. This is a welcome change from the squeeze and pray I've previously experienced on loaded bikes after lengthy descents.

(Continued previous page) Beers were drank, burritos eaten and schedules missed. After everything was said and done, a 3:30 departure from the late lunch left another 15 miles of road to clear, 5 miles of grades over 6%, the final push to the hill-top campsites. Making a stop at the Newport Coast Shopping Center (see map, page 11) for some further delays of the final ascent provided us an opportunity to wave goodbye to the sun just as we reached the entrance to the State Park after the grueling trip up the 11% of a local extra credit, Ridgepark Road. As lanterns and lights clicked on, this merry band of travelers bobbled and bounded down the miles of doubletrack to our campsite for the evening located at Moro Flats. The ride continued without incident, the best conclusion for a trip that was pushing for surprises, anomalies and anything that would creep up on a longer tour. The only complaint that came up was a unanimous feeling the handlebars weren't wide enough for the frames. It's clear the landscape is shifting when that's the complaint for a $600 bike amongst demanding riders with fully loaded packs, going down rutted out double-track, and up 11% road grades. Quite impressive how far the industry has come and specifically to Poseidon, what they've been able to achieve in terms of logistical and operational efficiency, making a bike that helps open up the sport to more people. â–˛

Issue 156 | 15

Profile for BICYCLIST

BICYCLIST Magazine #156  

#156 | DWR: Crystal Cove, CA, ISOD: San Diego County, The 24-Hour Overnight, SDMBA Profiled, Gear Patrol: Behind the Curtain at CADBA, Race...

BICYCLIST Magazine #156  

#156 | DWR: Crystal Cove, CA, ISOD: San Diego County, The 24-Hour Overnight, SDMBA Profiled, Gear Patrol: Behind the Curtain at CADBA, Race...