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April 26, 2017
I entered the Indian Pacific Wheel Race very late in the piece (just before Christmas), meant I was cutting it fine to get a bike built in time. Without a road bike in operation I did a lot of my training on the mountain bike. The bike I chose was a brand new Trek Domane SL 5 disc. I really loved with the dark blue and green colour scheme of the SL 5, so I got that and did an after-market upgrade to Di2.
I ended up getting the Domane only a month before the race which meant I only got 800km of test rides in, which was less than ideal! I have got to say in a big thanks to Box of Bikes who helped me with the bike and the build and to Adam Franklin for lacing up my dynamo hub! I hadn’t ridden with Di2 before this bike and wow, I will never go back! I was really worried about something going wrong with the electrics or forgetting to charge the battery. My hubby Seb knows how bad I am at remembering to charge any of my devices including my phone. All I could think of was rolling along in the middle of the desert and running out of battery charge. But it was fine and I even managed to top up the tiny bit of charge used after 2000km through my cache battery while on the move. Everything else was stock except some narrower handlebars, another seat and SPD pedals instead of road pedals.
I ran a stock Vision FSA rim on the rear and a Nextie thru-axle SP Dynamo hub on the front. I used a Klite dynamo powered light and charging system. My bags were a combination of Bike Bag Dude and Revelate Designs. The custom BBD frame bag was fantastic, I much prefer the option of having a 6L bladder instead of bottles. That way I can stuff in all my tools and extras and have no wasted space. I loved my setup with the frame bag and saddle bag and I would definitely use this entire combination again. Just have to shave some cm’s off my bulky calf muscles so they stop rubbing the frame bag!
The Domane is Trek’s cobblestone bike and has these ‘IsoSpeed’ features, making it more comfy for the bumps and vibrations. The front IsoSpeed in the head set is essentially a rocker cup that allows the steerer tube to flex. I was a bit sceptical of how this might wear over 5500km, but it ended up being really comfortable and I didn’t have any issues.
I have never owned a CX bike, just road bikes that I use on the road and mountain bikes I ride off-road! This bike isn’t technically a CX bike but it has some neat features. I have already put the 32mm tyres back on and with the disc brakes too I am super keen for some gravel rides on roads less travelled over autumn and winter.
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