Poseidon X Review

Right off I’ll just say that I was attracted to this bike in part because of the company. It’s a small company that sells directly to consumers like several other small bike makers are doing. Of course, at less than $600 the price was excellent for the specs of the bike and I’m on a tight budget so that was important for me personally. But it also struck me that the company seem to be specifically catering or marketing to people of color. In recent months, as the Black Lives Matter movement has been growing there’s been acknowledgement that on the recreational, outdoors side of cycling (mountain biking, bike packing, camping…) there is a lack of access and representation for people of color. The marketing, sales, pricing, etc have, for decades, been oriented towards white middle and upper-middle class cyclists. Perhaps it’s just marketing but I really like this from their website:

Have you ever wanted to get away for a short time? Clear your head for some peaceful moments as you explore the town you have lived in with a completely new perspective. Poseidon Bike takes its name from the God of the sea, a place where you can find serenity, stillness, and at a moment’s notice discover the strength the sea has.

We produce our bikes with all of this in mind using a long family history of custom bicycle manufacturing. You deserve a bike that will not break on you after a few rides and a company willing to be part of your riding journey. We want to change the tide of cycling by making high quality bicycles affordable for everyone. There is no reason for this type of peace to be unattainable, and there is no reason why you cannot have quality and affordability.

If you are feeling down or overwhelmed then let the bike be your stress reliever. Allow your legs to work through what is bothering you as the wind hits your face and the beauty around you opens up. Find a coffee shop you never knew existed, or a youthful feeling you thought was gone forever, discover a trail with trees surrounding you and remember that the world isn’t as scary as we always see. We want you to feel what so many others are feeling. Change the tide with us.

And it’s true that they are selling an excellent bike at an affordable price. Sure, it costs more than a Walmart bike which is about as cheap as can be had but this is a far, far better bike. From what I can tell a comparable bike sold by the larger manufactures such as Trek or Specialized would likely sell for two to three times the cost.

So, about the bike. It’s the Poseidon X, flatbar configuration. It’s what might be best called a gravel or adventure bike. It’s what you get when you cross a mountain bike with a road bike and similar to what would have been called a hybrid 20 years ago. The difference being (as far as I can tell) hybrids always seemed to be a compromise in a bad way. They didn’t seem to be a priority for the companies making them and they seemed to be without a mission. The best I could determine is that they were a slightly more rugged road bike for mostly on-road riding. The gravel bikes of today seem far more capable, more serious. They’re often referred to as adventure bikes or all-road bikes meaning that they are meant to tackle a broad range of road-like terrain. The cut-off point seems to be the kind of rough single track that is really intended for mountain bikes.

Just a quick scan of specs begins to tell the story. The frame is 6061 double butted hydro formed aluminum, internal cable routing, full carbon fork. The frame and fork have an abundance of attachment points for adding water bottle cages and racks, useful for touring and bikepacking . It’s an foundation for a bike that will last.

The components are equally excellent and better than would be typical. This is where the bigger brands would cut corners offering downgrades to keep costs down. But here Poseidon is providing MicroShift’s very well reviewed, highly praised Advent X shifters and 1×10 drivetrain. Out of the box the shifting was nearly perfect. In the first 245 miles of riding I’ve had the chain come off the front chainring twice. That’s the only problem I’ve observed and apparently it’s the most common problem with 1x systems. Both of those chain drops happened on the third ride and I’ve not had the problem again in the 130+ miles I’ve ridden since then.

Before I go any further I should say that the miles I’ve ridden thus far are about half pavement, half gravel. I expect most of my riding to be that same mix going forward. The gravel ranges from silky smooth, hard-packed dirt with very fine gravel to hard-packed with larger, rougher gravel to super smooth dirt to roughly rutted, washed out gravel. These back county roads I ride are generally a great riding experience but they do change and from day to day, week to week, I encounter roads that have been damaged or are being maintained. Sometimes they’re in the middle of maintenance which is to say they can be very, very rough with the dirt churned up and the gravel thickly applied. It get’s quite messy at times. Case in point, today Perry county was grading one of the roads I ride so, suddenly, a very different experience from the past few days of riding. Tomorrow will likely be different again as the maintenance often goes on for a few days with something new being done each day.

The brakes are pretty standard with mechanical disc brakes by Tektro and Tektro levers. The seat post, seat, handlebar, pedals and wheels are either generic or Poseidon branded. These bits are the compromise on this bike but not really a problem because these are the parts that most often get personalized first by a cyclist. The seat and handlebars especially. The tires are Kenda Small Block 8 at 700×35. Fine tires but for the kind of riding I knew I’d be doing they were the first thing on my list to be swapped. I also changed out the seat and handlebars.

The Kenda tires would have been okay to ride on but given my expected mileage and knowing I’d likely be on a lot of pavement as well as rough gravel I changed to WTB Nanos which are 40mm wide and have a center tread that rolls very well on pavement. The added 5mm width is going to be much better when I’m not on pavement.

The saddle Poseidon includes would likely be fine for 10 to 15 mile rides but I’m doing 30+ miles per ride, daily, usually 3.5 hours or more. I swapped the stock seat for a Charge Spoon which has good reviews for being a comfortable but still light, minimal seat.

Perhaps most importantly, I swapped the nearly straight 6° sweep handlebars for On-One Geoff bars. They are a nearly identical knock-off of the more expensive Jones Loop H-Bars. The reviews on the cheaper Geoff bars are good so given the savings I went with those. They are a very different kind of handle bar in that they have 45° of backsweep and have a 2nd bar, a loop, that extends off the front. The benefit here is that this bar provides a great variety of hand positions for not just more hand and wrist  comfort but really whole body comfort allowing for sitting more upright, stretching down and forward, shifting shoulders and arm positions. In fact, I went with the flat bar version of the Poseidon X over drop bar version specifically because I planned to switch to this handlebar.

My upgrades are done for now. I expect that any future upgrade would be new wheels, either a better set at the current 700c size or a change to a smaller 650B wheel set that allows for even wider tires. I’ll be sticking with the stock wheels until they need to be replaced which will be awhile and by then I’ll know whether I want to change over to the 650B or stick to the 700c.

I also added a Rhinowalk seat bag which has already come in handy for bringing some ride snacks and an extra shirt. It has a 5 liter capacity so not as large something for multi-day bike packing but perfect for long day rides when extra clothing, snacks are brought along in addition to the usual roadside tools, air pump, etc.

So, what’s it like to actually ride the Poseidon X? I’ll compare it to riding the 38lb Gravity fatbike I’ve been riding since mid April. The Poseidon X weighs in at about 25lbs so right off, it’s a lot lighter overall. It’s wheels and tires are significantly lighter. The result is that the Poseidon X is much faster on flats and riding up a hill. In general, with the thinner width tires it feels like a faster bike on pavement. On gravel, especially downhill, the fatbike feels faster and more stable which makes sense given the width of the tires. The fatbike, again due to the fat tires, also has a more plush ride, and almost feels like it has suspension. The 4” fat tire is forgiving of hitting larger rocks in a way that the much smaller 40mm tire is not. And on any gravel downhill I especially find myself being more cautious and riding the brakes more. Riding the Poseidon X on gravel (and I’m guessing this is true of any other gravel bike with similar width tires) requires more care and focus.

The 1×10 gearing is perfect for my terrain. The front chainring is 38T and the range on the cogs is 11 to 48. Compared to the Gravity fatbike it’s high gear is a good bit higher for a faster ride on the downhills and it’s lowest gear is very near to the lowest on the Gravity. I’ve now tackled the steepest hills I’d previously ridden on the Gravity and Rad Rover and had no problem climbing. And I’ll add that I don’t find any of the jumps between gears to be too much. It’s both mechanically very smooth but also close enough that I have no problems finding a gear that I’m happy with as I move through the landscape.

Any negatives? One annoyance is the right rear chain stay which bumps out just enough that I find I hit it with my foot if I’ve got my foot too far back on the pedal. Not a huge problem just something I’ve noticed a few times. That’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll check back in after I get another few weeks riding it. I’ve also gotten an idea for another post I think I’ll be writing in the next week or so which will explore the idea of what an all-road or adventure bike is beyond what I’ve touched on here. But I think I need more time on this bike and a bit more time mulling over what it is I may be wanting to write about.


Three or so weeks ago I posted that with only 5 days into the month I was on track to ride 900 miles in July. I wasn’t all that certain that with 26 days left I’d actually ride that much. But as has been the case for the past 6 months, I’ve been excited to ride everyday and so I rode 30 days in July and as it turns out it wasn’t that hard for me to average 34 miles per day. As the month went on it was looking like I could actually ride 1,000 miles for the month so that became my new goal. As of today, July 31, I’ve got 1,034 miles. All but three days of these miles were ridden on the Gravity fatbike The last three days were done on the new Poseidon X (which I’ll be covering in my next post).

I’m not certain that I’ll ride that much in August. I’m not sure I want to have any kind of monthly goal in regards to my time or miles. I’m not really an athlete, I’m not training for any kind of competition. When it comes down to it I ride because I want to ride. I like the way it feels to ride a bike. The exhilaration and the sense of adventure that I get to tap into. Seeing the world by bike is a wonderful way of getting to know it. Also, ice cream. And food generally. I like to eat and it sure is nice being active enough that I can eat without much concern about my health. Cycling is a great way to stay fit!

Honestly, I think I’d be happy to ride 4 or 5 or 6 hours a day if it weren’t for the sore ass and back, both of which seem to set in every ride at about 3 hours. I’d love to be able to do some all day rides at some point if I can get past that current problem. For the most part my legs are fine to keep going. My plan is to just work on getting used to more time in the saddle with each ride. If I have a goal of any kind it would be to extend the time I can comfortably stay in the saddle.

Date Duration Miles
7/6/20 168m 31.90
7/7/20 160m 31.00
7/8/20 222m 41.60
7/9/20 200m 37.47
7/10/20 180m 35.23
7/11/20 220m 41.00
7/12/20 175m 33.80
7/13/20 216m 39.90
7/14/20 191m 33.70
7/16/20 168m 30.00
7/17/20 225m 40.00
7/18/20 198m 38.20
7/19/20 242m 45.30
7/20/20 195m 37.00
7/21/20 183m 36.50
7/22/20 128m 21.30
7/23/20 193m 36.40
7/24/20 196m 37.40
7/25/20 183m 35.30
7/26/20 192m 36.40
7/27/20 192m 36.40
7/28/20 97m 16.00
7/29/20 215m 32.60
7/30/20 221m 34.10
7/31/20 172m 34.50

Bike and Trail Updates

First, the trail updates…

I’ll start with trail update and it’s just one. I’ve put in a new trail by the creek at the southeast corner of the property. This is the creek that flows with water the longest though it too usually dries up by mid to late summer. The trail is a short one that connects to the trails I put in during the spring and allows for a nice ride or walk right along the creek edge (well, there’s a few feet of buffer but it’s close enough to feel that you’re on the edge). It’s about an 8 minute walk or 2 minute ride. And I’ve put in a couple chairs and a table at the spot which seems to hold water the longest. It’s a nice place to sit and watch the few small fish that live there.

The rest of the trail put in or re-established this spring is looking pretty good. Maintenance has thus far mostly consisted of riding it a lot and the occasional trimming back. I’ve ridden about 600 miles on the trail during May and June which is a good amount of traffic and it shows. The trail looks very well used.

Now for a few bike updates…

I’ve got 1200 miles on the Gravity fatbike over the past 2 months. Assuming my current pace It’ll have at least another 400 miles on it before the end of July. Most of my riding in May and June was trail riding where the fatbike is a blast to ride. It’s perfect for trail riding.

The Origin8 Space Off Road II Handlebars I added back in May have been a great addition to the riding experience allowing for 3 different hand positions though one of those positions is only useful for faster riding on the road. I’ve also added some grippier RockBros pedals and they’re better than the pedals I’d taken off the Rad Rover. Also, a small but very helpful addition of the Moosetreks Bike Handlebar Stem Bag has been very nice for carrying small things such as the dog spray, dog horn, cords, phone, etc. Last, the change from the stock tires to the Maxxis Mammoth tires has been great. The stock Mission Command tires were fine, these are better both in terms of the ride which is a bit softer thanks to the higher TPI and also in the weight as the Maxxis tires are a good bit lighter.

All that said I’ve bumped up against a barrier with this bike which is my desire to get back to doing some longer road and gravel riding. I can certainly ride the fatbike on the road and have been. 413 miles of mostly road riding in the first 12 days of July alone. Compared to the 80lbs of the Rad Rover the 38 lb Gravity seems like a nimble featherweight. But those 38lbs and fat tires, while fine on the trail, make for a fairly slow road ride. I’m not racing anyone and am generally okay with a slower ride with one exception: dogs. My ride to town and my longer ride out to the gravel roads of Perry county both take me up hills that also have dogs that chase. I’m not willing to ride uphill on a heavier bike when I’ve got a dog that I don’t trust living at the bottom or anywhere along that hill. I have no problem peddling the Gravity up a steep hill but I do slow down on such hills. An aggressive dog chasing me in that situation would not be good.

The solution is, of course, yet another bike. In this case, a much lighter gravel bike. I’ve ordered a flat bar version of the Poseidon X which weighs in at 24 lbs and has fairly nimble 700x35mm tires. It’s still a fairly inexpensive bike compared to the big brands but the frame is excellent and the included components are fairly nice. That’s 38% less weight than the Gravity and substantially faster tires. While my current average speed is 11.8 mph for road rides I should have no problem maintaining 15 mph or more on the Poseidon X. Uphills will be substantially faster. And it’s a gravel bike which means that it should do fairly well on the gravel roads as well as the paved roads. It’s slated to ship my way sometime this week. After that I’ll be happy to be able to get back to some 40 mile rides at the far reaches of Madison county and into the neighboring counties. I won’t be entirely dog proof but I’ll have a much better chance at outrunning any that I encounter!


As the summer heat has moved in I’ve been getting up earlier so that I can get a good long ride in before the sun gets too high in the sky. At the moment that time is 4am and I really like it. Early mornings are similar to late nights in the sense that it’s still dark outside and it’s quiet. It’s the time that the birds are beginning to wake and sing.

My routine seems to work fairly well. Wake at 4 and have oatmeal or an oatmeal, peanut butter and banana smoothie. Then a sandwich with peanut butter and preserves. I check the news and charge my watch then step out at 5am almost ready to ride. Check the tires and add air. At that point the sky is just starting to lighten up a wee bit but the sun is still 30 to 40 minutes from actually peaking over the horizon.

About halfway into my ride on my current route the sun is just rising above the horizon and this is the view from the bike…


Apparently my life now revolves around bikes

I expect to post in the next day or two about some trail updates, a few upgrades I’ve made to the fatbike and a new bike on the way. Until then, some photos from recent rides and mileage updates.

Total miles ridden on the Gravity fatbike for May, June and July is, as of 7/5, 1092 miles. While most of June was trail riding I’ve decided to move back to mostly road riding in July in the mornings and trail rides in the evening. Thus far, only 5 days into the month, I’m on track for 900 miles in July which is my goal. That means 30 miles a day, for 30 of the 31 days. My ride time for July is up to 181 minutes per day thus far which meets my goal of 3 hours a day.

As much as I love trail riding I think 2 hours of road riding and 1 hour of trail riding is probably better for my knees. It seems that any knee issues I have or am likely to have are more likely with the constant sitting/standing that I do when I’m trail riding. On the road it’s almost all sitting and steady spinning. Will see.

Another consideration is the disturbance I seem to cause to the deer back on the trail. I’d like to try to minimize that as much as possible. Rather than 2 or 3 trail rides during a day I’ll try just the one for about an hour. We’ll see how it goes.

The past couple weeks of rides:


A month of trail riding

Yikes! It’s been three weeks since my last post. Not a surprise that I’ve spent a lot of time over the past weeks riding our trails. My daily ride time has generally averaged about 2 hours most days, usually around 15 miles for the day. Exceptions are days when I end up doing trail work or the odd day when I just rest my legs a bit.

I’ve still not gotten out for any 2 to 3 hour road rides but that’s fine as I’m really enjoying my trail rides. With the exception of a few rides to the Slime Pond, which is just a mile across the road from us, all of my riding in June has been on our gravel road or our trails. Most of it has been the trails. I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep my average daily ride time up even with all the trail riding. The biggest difference now compared to my February and March rides on the Rover is that those were longer single rides on the road. Now I’m doing 2, sometimes 3 rides, mostly on the trail.

I expect to post in the next day or two about some trail updates and a few upgrades I’ve made to the bike.

Date Duration Miles
5/28/20 95m 0s 18.80
5/29/20 90m 0s 17.80
5/30/20 145m 0s 17.40
5/31/20 37m 0s 4.50
6/1/20 143m 0s 16.20
6/2/20 123m 0s 13.70
6/3/20 88m 0s 9.30
6/4/20 135m 0s 14.00
6/5/20 90m 0s 9.40
6/6/20 178m 0s 18.30
6/7/20 75m 0s 7.80
6/8/20 151m 0s 15.40
6/10/20 156m 0s 20.30
6/11/20 177m 0s 15.30
6/12/20 124m 0s 14.40
6/13/20 148m 0s 16.80
6/14/20 150m 0s 17.50
6/15/20 153m 0s 16.50
6/16/20 145m 0s 18.00
6/17/20 154m 0s 19.20
6/18/20 100m 0s 10.00
6/19/20 128m 0s 13.50
6/20/20 117m 0s 13.50

Ride, ride, ride

Pretty country barn along my route

I know with the virus situation not everyone has been fortunate enough to be outside. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in that sense. I’ve had nearly 6 months of daily riding and it’s been fantastic. I think I’m likely healthier than I’ve been in 20 years. The past 5 weeks of cycling with the unassisted fatbike on our new trails and road rides during rainy weather have been the best part of my days. When I’m not working (which is often these days due to the virus situation) I’m either riding or thinking of riding.

Foggy morning ride

Since my last post we’ve had a very wet 10 days which meant switching most of my riding to the road. It also has manifested as longer ride times and more miles ridden. Mostly it’s my time in the saddle that I care about. On the road an hour means 12 miles or so ridden, on the trail it’s more like 6 miles. I’ve found that my road rides are generally longer and end up with more calories burned.

Farm road

Riding the road with the fatbike is an excellent experience. I air the tires up to about 20 psi which eliminates self steer and results in a very quiet ride. The Vee Tire Mission Command tires are excellent for this kind of mixed pavement and trail riding. Far from riding a skinny tire bike but very doable. The gearing on the bike is a nice sweet spot for off-road and on-road riding. When I’m off-road I keep it on the small chain ring and on-road I tend to keep it in the larger chain ring as the speed of the ride is generally faster. The gearing range I’m getting is working very well.

Last, I’m really happy with my ability to handle the riding I’m doing. 80 to 90 minute rides are no problem. Daily totals of 140 minutes of ride time are no problem. The next step is to try some longer rides, perhaps in the range of 160 to 180 minutes which should be no problem. I’ll likely try my longer ride into Perry county soon. It’s a mix of pavement and gravel, about 28 miles and on the Rover was about 144 minutes with a speed of 11.5 mph. I expect I’ll be able to do the same ride at a similar pace on the Gravity.

Daily Totals

Date Duration Miles
5/16/20 101m 0s 18.20
5/17/20 100m 0s 19.70
5/18/20 120m 0s 23.40
5/19/20 86m 0s 17.60
5/20/20 108m 0s 21.30
5/21/20 140m 0s 25.00
5/22/20 177m 0s 26.00
5/23/20 156m 0s 19.30
5/24/20 151m 0s 17.80
5/25/20 148m 0s 16.50
5/26/20 145m 0s 16.20
5/27/20 98m 0s 16.60

Road Ride

It’s been a few weeks since I took a road ride but we’ve had a lot of rain here the past week so I decided to give the trail a break today. I did fit in a 1 mile ride this morning before today’s rain rolled in on me mid-ride. Then later a 4 mile ride on the gravel road and over to the pond across the way. But I wanted to do a longer pavement ride. I’ve got my sister and various nieces, nephew and their significant others here visiting so I sent a group text inviting folks to do a ride. My two nieces rode the ebikes and I rode the Gravity.

We did an 11 mile ride in just under an hour with an average speed of 12.2 mph. I was pretty happy with the ride. I’ve had several one hour trail rides on the new bike but this is the first one hour ride on pavement. The steady cadence with several rolling hills, a couple longer, lower intensity hills and one very steep hill felt really good on this bike. The steep hill was a good bit of work but I made it up without too much fuss. I’d pumped the tires up to about 18 psi to avoid self-steer and decrease the rolling resistance and they performed pretty well on the pavement.

My family have all been using the ebikes and are having a blast on them which has been great as my family are not cyclists. There’s little doubt that in this case having the electric assist has added the zip they needed to get started. That said, for the most part, they’re all happy to offer their own effort with the peddles which I’m happy to see. From what I can tell they are getting used everyday that is not too rainy.

Milage for the past week:
5/9 10.00
5/10 10.00
5/11 9.80
5/12 10.90
5/13 9.30
5/14 10.70
5/15 18.50

In the woods

I’ve been living in the cabin for most of the past 12 years. The first four were spent mostly outside gardening and clearing the area of tornado-downed trees.The fifth was a lot of time outside at night looking through the telescope and then I left for two years. When I returned in the fall of 2015 I never quite got back into the rhythm of gardening or my time at the telescope. I was still outside a lot but not in the steady, mission-driven way that I had been before. My time outside became more casual and meandering.

This spring I’ve been back outside far more. First on the bike, riding around the county. Then, in mid April, my sister and niece began an extended stay in their cabin which prompted me to cut my rides short. From 36 miles I dropped to 26 miles or less and my ride time from 3 hours to 2 hours. And then, almost accidentally, I started the trail building project in mid April. Three weeks later and we’ve now got about 2 miles of completed trail. I feel like I’ve spent most of my days either working on the trails or walking on them or riding on them. It’s been a wonderful, rewarding process.

The simple act of just getting out into the quiet woods during the springtime has been a privilege I wish more people had access to especially in these times of the Covid virus. I’m used to having outside time and space so it’s not really new for me but a lot of people are struggling with what to do with themselves.

Wood Betony, a favorite spring food source for bumble bees

Whether walking, biking or trail building, time spent in the woods is good for the mind and the body. Obviously, increased movement and exercise is always good but the time spent hearing birds and frogs sing, observing the daily emergence of spring wild flowers and the flight of insects amongst those flowers is a constant source of bliss.

Riding the trails

As my trail building slows I’ve spent more time walking and riding. Slowly but surely my time in the saddle is on the up and up and it feels so nice to be peddling again! I’m not back to my 3 hour ride time but this past week I’ve had daily ride times of 90 minutes to two hours. My rides are different in a variety of ways in that they are now primarily on the trails which means they slower. On average a Rad Rover road ride was about 12.5 mph whereas a trail ride on the Gravity is about 6.2 mph. Also, rather than one long ride each day I’m tending to take 2 to 3 rides a day.

I feel like the workout is better on the trails but my heart rate seems to be about the same, perhaps just a bit higher than on the e-bike.

The recent ride journal:
4/28 11.1
4/30 11.5
5/1 13.6
5/2 15
5/3 12.6
5/4 12
5/5 12.9
5/6 10.7
5/7 11.7