After the Methlick Cycle Challenge, I decided I wanted to replace my mountain bike. I’d really enjoyed off-road bits of the ride, but using a mountain bike (albeit quite an old one) slowed me down on the road and hard-packed gravel sections.
With this in mind, I decided on a gravel bike. There’re some good gravel routes in my area and it’d be good to use as a winter bike. I eventually decided on a Planet-X Tempest – I’ve long wanted to try a titanium bike, and this seemed like the ideal opportunity. I hummed and hawed about the size and eventually settled on an XL (I’m 6ft 2in, 188 cm tall).
The bike arrived well packed, and I only had to fit the front wheel, handlebars & drop the saddle in. Since this as my first bike with disc brakes, fitting the front wheel took a bit longer than expected. The fit seemed perfect, so I was glad I didn’t go for a large instead of extra-large.
For a first ride, I went around Fyvie Castle estate, a local sporting estate and stately home, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. The route took in a range of road conditions from decent asphalt roads, potholed roads and rough landrover tracks. The bike handled well with the titanium seeming to absorb more road ‘buzz’, compared to my carbon Felt Z3. The SRAM ‘double-tap’ gears took a minute or two to get used to, and they’re not as ‘snappy’ as Shimano I have on my other bikes, although I may have been spoiled with Di2 on my Felt. The brake levers have quite a bit of movement before brakes bite, and I suspect these may need to adjust.
The Tempest seems to be a great bike and I’m looking forward to exploring more off-road stuff locally.