Saturday, 12 October 2013

Post-trip gear report - Kate's bottom and other issues.

This time at least Kate lasted the trip... but there have been a few minor repairs to make. After the rough track down to YHA Tintagel it isn't a surprise that some of the stick-on carbon-kevlar patches that I use on Kate's delicate lower reaches needed renewing. This material often looks like it has had a hard time and is badly damaged, but, on removing it, it is often just the soft glossy surface that is damaged and the 'working' layer of carbon-kevlar is just dirty with no damage to the gelcoat below. I guess this means the stuff is doing it's job and the small cost of renewal just means that it is ready for next time.

The ongoing problem of Kate's rear wheelbox needed attention. I've reglued parts of this before but there were a couple of lose sections - the ends closest to the axle entry hole. I've both glued-and-screwed this time - both to clamp the epoxy and to provide secondary mechanical fastening. Hopefully these will stay attached this time.

It doesn't seem to be a real problem but when the wheel box join starts to separate there is a lot more vibration noise from the rear of the bike. The 8mm dome nuts aren't pretty but seem a relatively tidy and light weight solution to the problem. Looks like I forgot to clean down the greasy marks after remounting the back wheel too...

The only other gear problem I had was with the Nemo Zor sleeping mat...

On the 2nd night I woke in the morning to find the mat a bit soft. On pitching at the end of the day it wouldn't inflate and I found a hole just little towards the centreline of the mat from the dark part of the label. I'm pretty meticulous about what-goes-where in my tent so haven't had anything sharper than the zipper of my down bag against the mat. To add to the disappointment, on opening the 'repair kit' that comes with the mat, what I'd thought was a self-adhesive repair patch was just a circle of colour-matched fabric - supply your own glue. The only glue I had was from my tyre repair kit which, obviously(!), was as effective as water on this material. I used the uninflated mat as a protective layer under my bag for the rest of the trip and that's on my repair list before next time.

I've never experienced this problem with the Thermarest mats and to experience it so soon on the Zor is disappointing. I'm now torn between repairing and hoping for the best or returning to the slightly heavier but previously reliable Prolite 3. Either way I guess I need to work out the correct glue for a repair first as I'm sure that won't be covered under any guarentee.

My Garmin Edge 500 doesn't seem to have survived the trip either - it refuses to connect to a computer to upload all the 'trapped miles' I've stored in it. That seems to be the only problem as it charges just fine and still works as a speedometer. I've probed the depths of the menu system to recover the summary data recorded in this blog. I've tried all of the published 'reset' incantations without them fixing the problem - including one which seemed to achieve a 'factory reset' but despite the warnings, didn't delete the data on the device. I bought this unit in 2010 so perhaps it owes me nothing and its time to move on.

On the upside, the Aeropress coffee thing worked fine and was worth the bulk as a luxury item for that first coffee of the day.

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