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Review: Otso Waheela C is a Swiss Army gravel bike that can do almost…

first_imgIf you’ve read my other stories about Otso, you’re probably aware that I’m a big fan of their Voytek fat bike. Mostly, that comes from the narrow Q-factor with the ability to run multiple tire sizes thanks to some clever engineering and their Tuning Chip dropout system. So when I heard that they were bringing the same versatility concept to a carbon gravel bike, naturally I was intrigued. More than intrigued. I was downright excited. But as is often the case – would the actual bike live up to the hype I built up in my own head? I wasn’t sure, but I couldn’t wait to find out.In order to get a bike into my hands as soon as possible, Otso ended up sending one of their final test samples in a non-descript blacked out finish. Even without any visible branding (or maybe because of it), the bike attracted a lot of attention wherever it went. Mostly along the lines of, “wow, what is that? It looks awesome.” Without spilling the beans as to who made it, riders seemed to like the built in versatility. With three sets of tires and three different drop out positions, it’s essentially an all road bike, gravel race bike, and big tire gravel/bikepacking bike all in one. Chips help you get skinnyAs much as I love gravel, there are days where you need to put in miles on the pavement and this gets it done with a simple swap of the tires and change of the dropout position. And it’s not like it’s a dog once you throw on road shoes either. The frame is surprisingly efficient for something that’s made to fit large mountain bike tires from the 90’s.Otso lists tires down to 28mm as compatible with the Waheela C frameset, but to me that would have to be a big 28mm on wide rims. Even the 30mm G-Ones measured just 29.37mm on wide rims and I felt like that was as small as I would want to go with this bike.Of all the tire combinations I tried with the Waheela C however, this one was the most surprising. Most of the time when I’ve thrown a set of slicks in a CX or a gravel frame, the resulting BB drop has been too severe for my liking, leading to clipped pedals and funky handling. On the contrary, when swapped over to ‘all road’ tires with the Tuning Chip all the way forward, the Waheela just gets better. So far I’ve done a number of long training rides with the G-Ones and it really made me think that this really is a quiver killer. The ability to shorten the stays and raise the BB results in a nimble road machine with impressive power transfer. Something that can run 2.1″ MTB tires has no business being this good with 30mm tires. It looks a little weird with all of that empty space around the tire, but it rides well enough to make up for it.Gravel MasterTo be honest though, you don’t even need the road tires for it to be quick on pavement. While out riding some dirt trails with the 40mm (but actually 43.69mm) Terrene Elwoods mounted, I ran into some friends. Before I knew it, we were meeting up with a few other riders to start a quick group road ride. Even taking pulls up front, the Waheela motored along, big tires and all. The Elwoods are a little slick in the center for our greasy trails this time of year, but the trade off is that fast performance on the road. They also offer decent amounts of grip when you turn into a corner off road.Dropbar MTB? Monster Gravel? Yes.Getting even more radical, I mounted up the Schwalbe Racing Ralphs in a full 29 x 2.1″. Surprisingly, these actually fit in the frame in the front chip setting – though I wouldn’t recommend actually riding it that way. There’s just not enough tire clearance to be on the safe side. But in the middle and rear position? There’s more than enough room. Only in the absolute worst mud (the kind that globs over the sidewalls of your tire and doesn’t come off) was there any issue with mud clearance. But the key thing is that even then, the bike kept moving as the stays peeled away the mud (note that these were river bottom trails that were open, I wasn’t out destroying hand built trails).Overall, the road and gravel tires were my favorite set up, but the ability to run something like the Racing Ralphs is a huge bonus. To me, this would be best for using the Waheela as an offroad bike packing rig. It’s also fun just ride the big tires on mountain bike trails, but the bike is quite a bit slower on the pavement which still makes a gravel tire the best compromise in my eyes. Also note that for me on a medium frame with size 42 shoes, there was the tiniest bit of toe overlap with the 2.1″ tires. As in my toe would just touch the tread blocks, but if you pushed the bars to the side, the knobs would flex over it. Obviously bigger shoes may have more issue, so keep that in mind.Suspension? SureWant even more? Don’t forget that the Waheela C is suspension corrected so it’s designed to work exceptionally well with a Lauf Grit, Fox AX, or similar gravel oriented suspension fork. It’s also set up pretty well for in terms of frame mounts, though many bike packers would probably want to see 3 pack mounts on the forks and possibly internal dynamo wiring.If this was my bike, I’d have a set of 30mm slicks and something like the WTB Riddler 45s as the main set up which could easily cover all of my drop bar needs. That seems to be the beauty of the Waheela C – you can make it your ideal drop bar build without much work, whether that’s all road, gravel, or bike packing. If you’re tight on space and/or cash, you can do all of this with a single wheelset and a few tires. Or, you can have a second or third wheelset ready to go so you could transform the Waheela into a different bike in minutes. There are a few gravel bikes out there with a little more compliance when it comes to the ride, but most of them are not nearly as versatile.Dropper compatibleHeck, you can even run a dropper post which I’ve been playing with on this build. Is it a necessity? Absolutely not. Did it make it easier to bunny hop big trees and send sketchy chutes? Certainly. You know your riding style. If you think a dropper post might help you in your riding, it probably will. If you don’t understand what all the fuss is about, skip it. It definitely adds some weight to the build, but as pictured, the bike came in just over 20lbs with the gravel tires mounted.One thing is for sure – Otso’s bikes deserve more attention than they currently get. When I talk about the brand to many riders I’m met with blank stares. But mention the fact that it’s the bike arm of Wolf Tooth Components, and then it clicks. But if they keep putting out bikes like the Waheela C, I get the feeling that they won’t be flying under the radar for long.otsocycles.comcenter_img Three tires. Three positions. All the possibilities.If you haven’t read the first post yet, one of the big things that makes all Otso frames unique is their patent pending Tuning Chip dropout system. The dropouts offer three axle positions, with 20mm in total chainstay length adjustment resulting in 420, 430, and 440mm CS lengths. The droput system is also slightly angled, which means that from the front to the back position, the bottom bracket height changes by a claimed 4mm. That’s key when you’re trying to fit anything from a 30mm road slick to a 29 x 2.1″ MTB tire in the same frame, as it helps to compensate for the added bottom bracket height from running larger tires.That doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get the same bottom bracket height across the board, though. Osto sent three different tires to try out with the Waheela C, all meant to be mounted to the DT Swiss Spline C 1800 wheels. These rims have a 22mm inner width which isn’t quite as wide as you’ll find on modern XC MTB wheels (24-25mm), but it’s wide enough to mount the bigger tires while still allowing for you to run something like the 30mm Schwalbe G-one Speed.With so many tire and dropout combinations to experiment with, I kept track of the various positions and measurements to visualize how the bike changed from tire to tire and chip to chip. So far, I’ve only been able to measure all three positions on the Terrene Elwood gravel tires, and keep in mind that my measurements are only approximate. I ended up seeing an 8mm difference in BB height from front to rear position, but if my measurements were +/-2mm, that could then work out to be the 4mm in difference claimed by Otso. Whatever the case, it seems like good news.Why? Since I was able to replicate the BB height of both the 700c x 30mm G-One Speed in the front chip setting with the 700c x 40mm Terrene Elwood in the rear setting, you can run slicks or gravel tires without being forced to ride with a higher bottom bracket. Although if you wanted a slightly higher BB for increased pedal clearance, or a shorter chainstay length to quicken the handling, you have the ability to do so with the Tuning Chip system.Tuning Chip system from the original Otso VoytekThe front and rear positions use the same chip, just flipped around. A second chip with a centered hole provides the middle axle setting.It may seem like a daunting task to change out the chip position, but all that is needed is a 20mm socket wrench and a 5mm allen wrench. Pop off the 20mm nuts, loosen the brake mount bolt, pull out the chips, replace with whatever position you’re wanting to run, and retighten the two nuts and brake bolt. Once you get good at it you should be able to have it done in less than 5 minutes with a work stand.last_img read more

Robinson joins Cardiff with immediate effect

first_imgThe back rower – who agreed a contract with the PRO14 side for the 2018/19 season – will return to the Arms Park for the remainder of the current campaign.Robinson made 56 appearances for Bristol, following a debut in 2014.Head coach Pat Lam said: “With injuries in their back row, Cardiff Blues contacted us to request bringing Olly back for the remainder of their season, following his signing there for the next two seasons.“After first confirming with him, we endorsed their request and support Olly in his future at the Blues. He told the rest of the squad in a meeting and it was good for the team to get an opportunity to wish him well.”last_img read more

Game Rewind | Look back at UK’s 41-3 loss

first_imgRefresh this page regularly throughout the University of Kentucky’s game Saturday against LSU for updates, video highlights and commentary. The Cats kick off at 7:30 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.Final: Mercy. This one’s over. LSU 41, UK 3.Said Tigers coach Les Miles on the field: “I think we’re improving. I think our quarterback managed situations. I think we threw the ball effectively. We ran it. There was balance in the offense.“…Give credit to Mark Stoops and that Kentucky team. They’re a good football team. They just ran into a tough night in Tiger Stadium.”LSU 41, UK 3: Wildcats stumble, Tigers roll in routWHAT WE LEARNED: Takeaways from the blowout lossREWIND: Look back at a tough night on the BayouINSTANT ANALYSIS: Breaking down the 41-3 loss to the Tigers Tweet by Kyle Tucker3:12, 4Q: Tick, tick, tick…LSU is keeping its offense grounded late here, running out the clock on a UK blowout.And how about this stat? Les Miles is 55-0 as the Tigers’ coach when his team rushes for 100-plus yards while holding an opponent to fewer than 100. That one courtesy of ESPN.6:18, 4Q: Post-interception, UK went three and out with Josh Clemons going for no gain on a rush and two Patrick Towles incompletions.On the night, Towles is 19 of 36 for 146 yards. Rushing-wise, carries are even, with six players combining for 71 yards.7:19, 4Q: Future star LSU quarterback Brandon Harris went for the end zone — yes, LSU is still up 38 points and throwing deep — but UK’s Marcus McWilson snagged it to record the first turnover of the night for either team.Tweet by Kyle Tucker10:40, 4Q: In comes the backup for LSU. The Tigers are driving and across midfield thanks to quarterback Anthony Jennings’ 31-yard scramble, after which Les Miles brought in freshman signal caller Brandon Harris to finish the drive.13:12, 4Q: Mikel Horton opened the fourth quarter with a 20-yard rush that set up UK in the red zone, but the drive ended on a 4th and 3 shot to the end zone. Sophomore Rickey Jefferson tipped a Patrick Towles pass out of the reach of Cats freshman Garrett Johnson, returning possession to the Tigers at their own 9.The score remains 41-3 LSU.0:00, 3Q: UK’s on its best drive of the half having just converted 4th and short on a dump pass off to fullback D.J. Warren, whose 6-yard gain has the Cats at the LSU 36 to start the 4th quarter.3:27, 3Q: All the talk entering Saturday’s game was about LSU running back Leonard Fournette, but it’s Terrence Magee lighting up UK.He accounted for all 53 yards on the Tigers’ most recent scoring drive, rushing for 35 yards before a 23-yard touchdown run that made it 41-3.On the night, Magee leads LSU in rushing with 127 yards and receiving with 44 yards.4:19, 3Q: Held to 151 yards of total offense on the night, and trailing 34-3, the Cats punted again. They’ve booted it away on 7 of 9 possessions. The other two ended with a field goal and turnover on downs.Dorian Baker may face the same fate as teammate J.D. Harmon, too, after laying out what appeared a defenseless LSU player. Officials didn’t call targeting, though they didn’t have to do it last week with Harmon either for Harmon to land a suspension.6:11, 3Q: It’s too little, too late, perhaps, but the Cats’ defense is still fighting and forced an LSU punt. Demarco Robinson fielded a fair catch at UK’s 24.Tweet by Kyle Tucker8:00, 3Q: Two possessions, two punts for the UK offense to start the half.Mikel Horton picked up eight yards and a first down, but the drive stalled from there, with Patrick Towles sacked on 3rd and 11.Up 34-3, LSU takes over at its own 25.10:30, 3Q: Following the kick return, freshman Stanley “Boom” Williams went down on the field, laying on his right side. Eventually, he sat up, showed movement and walked off with help after taking a number of hits on the return, including one on his back.Tweet by Kyle Tucker10:37, 3Q: Now LSU is pouring it on.Terrence Magee’s 9-yard touchdown rush capped a drive he dominated, also contributing a 38-yard run and 14-yard reception.On the scoring play, UK’s Fred Tiller wound up injured but eventually walked off the field.It’s 34-3 Tigers.13:03, 3Q: Out of the half, it was three and out for UK again. The Cats went to Stanley “Boom” Williams on all three plays — two rushes and a screen pass — but got just four yards combined.Following a 34-yard Landon Foster punt out of bounds, LSU will take over at its own 36.It’s not often a team comes back from 24 points down in front of this sized crowd, which LSU announced at 101,581.Tweet by Kyle Tucker15:00, 3Q: UK will start the second half with the ball (that is, assuming the Cats field the kickoff this time).Halftime: It was an unceremonious end to the half for UK, which trails 27-3 at the break. The Cats were going to attempt a hail mary pass, but Patrick Towles was sacked before he had the chance.Said Mark Stoops: “We’ve got to get it cleaned up. It’s been all special teams and penalties. They’re playing very good defense.”“…We’ve just got to make some plays. I thought we were moving the ball well.”Tweet by Kyle Tucker0:07, 2Q: LSU had 12 seconds left and no timeouts on 3rd and 2. Rather than risk the clock running out, the Tigers turned to kicker Colby Delahoussaye for a 35-yard field goal. He hit it, barely, bouncing one off the left upright and through to make it 27-3.0:44, 2Q: The SEC Network came back just in time for a huge UK gaffe. Kicking from the 20, LSU dribbled a ball near the left sideline and no Cats players jumped on it. Tigers ball at the 37.Tweet by Kyle Tucker0:44, 2Q: We know, we know. TV’s out. As soon as SEC Network cut away, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings found Travin Dural for a 32-yard touchdown. Make it 23-3.Tweet by Anthony Wireman1:33, 2Q: Just another solid special teams play for the Tigers, whose Tre’Davious White returned a Landon Foster punt 21 yards to the LSU 47.1:48, 2Q: Now it’s LSU that will get one last chance before the half. The Tigers’ defense overcame an offsides call — Patrick Towles never got a pass off — to force yet another UK punt.3:11, 2Q: Referee down. Rick Lowe, the umpire, was tangled up in a skirmish away from the ball. With a banged up knee, Lowe is staying in the game.3:36, 2Q: The Cats’ defense forced a three-and-out, but LSU’s special teams came up big again to pin UK deep in its own territory at the 7. With two timeouts left, Mark Stoops’ bunch has to go nearly the length of the field if it wants to pull within a score at the half.5:16, 2Q: UK went with its Wildcat formation on 4th down, a play LSU completely blew up to take over on downs.Patrick Towles motioned to the left, and by the time Jojo Kemp took the snap, he had nowhere to go.The Tigers have it back at their own 31, still ahead 17-3.5:21, 2Q: Patrick Towles, on a play-action pass, rolled right and overthrew receiver Javess Blue on 3rd and 2 from the LSU 27. The Cats then lined up to go for it before Mark Stoops called for timeout.8:56, 2Q: ESPN’s Brent Musburger suggested it — if this game started over, how would it finish? UK played itself into a 17-0 hole but now trails 17-3 and came up with yet another stop, forcing a successive LSU punt.Demarco Robinson accepted a fair catch at the Cats’ 35-yard line. Now UK has a major opportunity.Tweet by Kyle Tucker12:00, 2Q: UK ran out of downs, forced to punt on a promising drive, but at the very least the Cats finally flipped the field on LSU.13:08, 2Q: Demarco Robinson came down with a moon shot of a pass on 3rd and long, picking up 33 yards along the left sideline to get the Cats out of the shadow of their own goalposts.12:35, 2Q: UK’s defense came up with its first stop, pressuring LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings into an overthrow on 3rd and long to set up a Tigers punt.The Cats accepted a fair catch at their own 9-yard line.0:00, 1Q: The first quarter came to an end with an LSU holding call that set up 1st and 20 before Leonard Fournette stumbled to a 3-yard gain. It’ll be 2nd and long to open the second quarter.A great stat courtesy of ESPN, though: LSU is 18-1 under Les Miles when the Tigers score a special teams touchdown.1:15, 1Q: UK picked up the tempo and used a series of quick passes to drive to the red zone. When the drive stalled, Mark Stoops called on kicker Austin MacGinnis for a 33-yard field goal.MacGinnis converted, and the Cats cut into LSU’s lead. It’s 17-3.Tweet by Kyle Tucker5:47, 1Q: On 1st down, UK went to the Wildcat formation and LSU didn’t flinch. For 2nd down, Patrick Towles and his receiver had a miscommunication. And on 3rd, Towles scrambled and landed at the line of scrimmage.The ensuing punt led to yet another major special teams play for LSU, a 67-yard touchdown return for Tre-Davious White. Make it 17-0, and a UK offense with -3 yards through two drives will take over again.Tweet by Kyle Tucker7:30, 1Q: LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings missed a wide-open receiver on 3rd and goal, and so the Tigers settled for a 21-yard field goal, making it 10-0 early in Death Valley.LSU is getting 4.8 yards per play.Tweet by Adam Himmelsbach11:00, 1Q: UK punted after going three-and-out. On 3rd and 7, Patrick Towles threw behind Braylon Heard on a screen pass. After tipping the ball, he actually lost 6.LSU takes over again with good field position, helped with a 17-yard punt return, set to start its drive at its own 48-yard line.12:09, 1Q: That was quick. Helped by another UK penalty — Za’Darius Smith roughed the passer — LSU closed to the goal line and finished an opening scoring drive with a 1-yard dive by star freshman running back Leonard Fournette.Make it a 7-0 deficit for the Cats on the road.14:50, 1Q: Not an ideal start for UK. A pair of penalties added to a long return. LSU will start its first drive from the Cats’ 29.15:00, 1Q: UK won the toss and deferred to the second half. LSU will receive to open the game.Les Miles, speaking with ESPN’s Maria Taylor before kickoff, was asked what it’s like on a Saturday night in Death Valley: “It’s the best. There’s no other place in America.”Pregame: A Les Miles-coached LSU team hasn’t lost a Saturday night game against an unranked team at Tiger Stadium. But UK is on the doorstep of the Top 25 and looking to break in for the first time since 2007 with a victory.At least one expert is siding with the Cats. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit picked them on College GameDay, and his Twitter handle promptly trended in Louisville after 1,400 users retweeted it.Tweet by College GameDayUnder the lights, UK will wear blue helmets with gray tops and blue bottoms.Tweet by Kyle TuckerTweet by UK Photolast_img read more