Melbourne by Bike Path

Melbourne by Bike Path – by David Blom
This trail shows the fantastic network of bike trails Melbourne has to offer. What David has worked out is a 600km loop path with no crossovers or up and backs and minimal on-road riding. Its pretty much all bike paths.


My new fat bike

I got a new bike, a Kona Rove NRB DL
I managed to buy my bike for only $2,400! This might seem excessive, but it is normally $2,999! I pick it up Friday, June 15

My fifth decade on this earth is approaching and I am getting a little wide in my girth. I have a perfectly good touring bike sitting in the garage, a Bike Friday Pocket Lama:

The only problem is because it is a foldable bike, there is a weight limit for the frame. I am over that limit 🙁
I need a new bike to ride my plus size me and the Kona Rove NRB DL fits the bill.

So why this bike?

The marketing spiel for the bike starts with:

what does a modern road bike look like? If you ask us, it would be quick on the pavement but completely capable of putting in time on a variety of surfaces. Thru-axles, hydraulic brakes, and room for big tires. 


  1. A road bike with drop bars, thru-axles, and hydraulic brakes
  2. Room for big tyres: in 700c > 40mm and/or 650b > 45mm
  3. A wide range of gears with a low gear suitable for cycle touring
  4. Must be able to mount a rack and mudguards (fenders)
  5. At least three water bottle cage mounts (two in the frame, one underneath)
  6. A steel frame
  7. On the front fork, attachment points for water bottle cages
  8. On the top tube, attachment points for a top tube bag.

Bikes with these attributes are usually aim at the gravel market. This is for cyclists who like to ride on unpaved roads or even technical single track like a mountain bike.

Bikes in this category are often used for bike packing

The bike I have purchased meets the first five categories, but instead of steel uses aluminium for the frame.

Despite the ease of putting points 6 and 7 on a bike they didn’t do this for my bike.This would be down to two factors, cost and market differentiation.

Bike designed for the bike packing scene have lots of attachments points everywhere. This is incrediably versatile, but a little ugly. An excellent example of this type of bike is the Surly Troll.

While my dream bike entails images of cycling a heavy ladden bike through a desert or mountain pass, reality is moving around quickly, comfortably in a busy city with the occassional foray into the bush.

This is best served by a Road+ bike, which is essentially a comfortable road bike with fat tyres, in my case 47mm 650B (27.5″

One of the bikes I was considering was the Surly Midnight Special which epitomises the Road+ category. I didn’t get this bike because

  1. It wasn’t on sale! So $600 more then my  Kona Rove NRB DL
  2. No hydraulic brakes.
  3. Rims are not tubeless compatible
  4. No closed through axle dropout due to the frame supporting QR and thru axle wheels, see THE SURLY MIDNIGHT SPECIAL IS TRULY A FAT TIRE ROAD BIKE

On the plus side it did have mounting points on the front fork. I love their marketing spiel which is just as applicable to my Kona Rove NRB DL:

Today’s road bikes are tricky little buggers. Sure, there’s still a place for super narrow, pizza cutter-esque tires that save watts and shave grams or whatever. There’s probably still even a place for a road racing bike. Those places still exist. We just don’t know – or particularly care – where they are. When it comes to road bikes, we just want to toss a few banabikenas into our pockets and see where the road takes us. We seek out varied surfaces on our rides and frequently go from pavement to gravel to shittier pavement. 

Enter: The Midnight Special – a Road Plus bike designed to provide comfort and speed on those all-day rides that extend well beyond fresh pavement. It rides like a cloud on smooth pavement. but that’s expected. Any bike can do that. Where it truly shines is on pot-holed, deteriorating pavement and the occasional long stretch of gravel. The Midnight Special’s 650b Road Plus tires eat up road chatter and absorb all the bumps in the road like the champion it was designed to be.

If you’re some masochist who is unfazed by the thought of a bumpy, chattery eight-hour road ride, you should know that the benefits of Road Plus go beyond just comfort. They also create a wider contact patch, thereby increasing your traction. And traction is a good thing. Additionally, higher volume tires allow you to better fine tune your tire pressure on varying surfaces. Let a little out on bumpier roads and pump those suckers up on smooth ones.

Want to know what bike packing is? .. have a look at for lots of great photos and stories.


FRAME MATERIALKona 6061 Aluminum Butted
FORKKona Full Carbon Flat mount CX Race Disc
B/BShimano 68mm
FREEWHEELShimano 105 11-32t 11spd
F/DShimano 105
R/DShimano Ultegra
SHIFTERSShimano 105
BRAKE CALIPERSShimano Hydraulic Flat Mount
FRONT BRAKE ROTORShimano RT54 160mm (centerlock)
REAR BRAKE ROTORShimano RT54 160mm (centerlock)
BRAKE LEVERSShimano Hydraulic
STEMKona Road Deluxe
SEATPOSTKona Deluxe Thumb w/Offset 31.6mm
GRIPSKona Cork Tape
FRONT HUBFormula 100x12mm (centerlock)
REAR HUBFormula 142x12mm (centerlock)
SPOKESStainless Black 14g
FRONT TIREWTB Horizon Road Plus TCS 650x47c (650x40c size 46)
REAR TIREWTB Horizon Road Plus TCS 650x47c (650x40c size 46)
PAINT COLORMatt Metallic Sand w/ Charcoal & Red Decals

Geometry for 56cm Frame Size

1ST LENGTH56022.0
2TT LENGTH57922.8
6HT ANGLE71.571.5
7HT LENGTH186.67.3
8ST ANGLE73.017.1
9CS LENGTH43517.1
10BB DROP702.8
11BB HEIGHT27310.7
14FORK LENGTH39515.6

Riding the new Kona Rove NRB gravel bike in southern Spain
pelotonmagazine article
Riding Gravel Forum Post




I purchased a new bike on Saturday, went a little over budget so I walked into the city (8km), picked it up and was riding home and I got a bloody nail through the tyre, so another 4 km walking 🙁

So far, I like it. It is very responsive, easy to accelerate.
My goal with the bike is to lose 20kg over the Australian summer and build a good physical base.


More Bike Porn

2009-10-01 - Toechon to Yeoju 07

The second day of my cycle tour involved a few hill climbs. I imaged cycling to the top and then having a rest.
In reality I walked to the top and had a rest or two.


Bike Porn with Pretty scenery in background

2009-10-01 - Toechon to Yeoju 33
Looking back at my lunch stop


My Bike Friday fully loaded

The panniers and backpack weigh around 10 kgs, the bike about 14.5kg, so in total about 25kg !
This is going to hurt when I hit the mountains.


My new Bike Friday has arrived

On Friday, my Pocket Llama from Bike Friday arrived.

Once I get some better photos I will post them up on the blog.

I went to Cycle Science, the bike Friday dealer in Melbourne to collect the bike on Saturday.
I folded the bike and put it in the back seat of the car, but I forgot to put a blanket between the two parts of the folded frame … result: the Bike Friday logo is slightly scratched and there the top layer of the paint on that side (left) is scratched 🙁
All this before I even go for a big ride.

Today, Sunday I rode into the city.
Verdict: I love it, I expected to feel all the bumps with the small 20″ wheels on the bike, but nothing, it was OK.


My Bike Friday is on the way

Not long ago I said I wanted a new bike, well it’s nearly here now

Tracking number 979485808207
Ship date Aug 18, 2008
Estimated delivery Aug 25, 2008 by 6:00 PM
Reference 109712B109180,1
Service type INTL Economy
Master tracking number 979485808170
Pieces 4 of 8
Status In transit
Date/Time Activity Location Details
Aug 20, 2008  9:10 PM In transit  ALEXANDRIA AU
 7:39 PM Clearance in progress ALEXANDRIA AU
 7:39 PM In transit ALEXANDRIA AU Package available for clearance
 7:31 PM Clearance delay ALEXANDRIA AU
 4:00 PM At dest sort facility MASCOT AU
Aug 19, 2008  10:08 AM In transit HONOLULU, HI
 3:14 AM Departed FedEx location LOS ANGELES, CA
Aug 18, 2008  11:51 PM Departed FedEx location OAKLAND, CA
 11:18 PM Arrived at FedEx location OAKLAND, CA
 5:47 PM Left FedEx origin facility SPRINGFIELD, OR
 4:45 PM Picked up SPRINGFIELD, OR
 12:00 AM Package data transmitted to FedEx

I have your bike order with Fed-Ex tracking #’s below.

Order I.D. #  109722     tracking #  979485808207


I want that …

Nice Bike … one day I want one.

Because it is a foldable bike, it needs small wheels (20″) if you want it to be able to fold it up into a small space This means you need a long seat post and handlebar post then on a normal bike.

Bike Friday Pocket Llama

Compare the 700c road bike frame size versus the Bike Friday

Bike Friday Pocket Llama vs 700c bike


2008 Giant CRX City Pro

Today I purchased my new bike. It’s a 2008 Giant CRX City Pro. What’s special about it is that it does not use a derailleur , it instead uses an 8 speed internal hub (Shimano Nexus)

My impressions based on one short ride home?
– The steering is twitchy! why? short wheelbase make turning easier, but high speed stability is lessen by this.
– Had some problems changing gears. Not totally unexpected, new bike, new problems – the gear still has to run in. But there are some funny sounds when using 3rd gear
– When you are pedalling it sounds like you are coasting on a derailleur normal bike
– Not sure if I like the handlebars, but I need more time to tell
– The tyres are are 700c (good) and inflate up to 120psi (my poor bum!, you really feel the bumps).. So not so good for going over curves.

It will be interesting one the bike runs in and I get used to riding it. It should be a fast bike