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16 Mar 2012

Faster

My Pioneer is my 'bent I use for shopping and errands. He's also is my choice for long rides and short scenic evening runs. Last year I gave it a Scott Unishock front fork. That did a good job on soaking up almost any bump in the road. My right ankle (Spezi adventure) appreciated that. It also look really cool. The weight penalty was no more than 450 gram. The fork is made from magnesium and thin walled stainless steel. And it's rare because of a big recall in the early 90-ties...

In preparation of this years Spezi, I put back the original fork. Lobbes is now much lower again and steers a whole lot better. Further upgrades include the Sora crank set from the K and lighter tubes. This afternoon a SP hub dynamo came in from Taiwan. I'll build a new front wheel that saves another half a kilo. All these upgrades will surely result in a Pioneer weighing less than 18kg. Which isn't light, I know that. But it's acceptable if you know how fantasticly it rides and how versatile it is.

In the above paragraph I mentioned the K's Sora crankset. Ksynonica J. now has an Ultegra SL crank set. I found a new one offered for half the price because of minor cosmetic damage. The weight advantage is 213 gram and it looks better. The pedals got a treatment with a saw and grinder. The cage of a Shimano A520 pedal has no function on a 'bent. By removing that I saved 26 gram. The pair now weighs 291 gram.

On the other hand, I added weight to the K too. Today I installed an Airzound. It's known as a torture device, but after several 'moments' when even a 5 meter wide road barely was wide enough, because some people have no idea of the other traffic, I ordered one. This added weight will make my rides more relaxed. And don't worry, I tend to ride carefully and with respect to traffic laws. And I brake for animals, especially for coots ;-)

Speedwise, the biggest step in mentioned in this blog post is the rain cover I made for Ksynonica J.. Made from Coroplast, it looks rather cheap. However, I expect it to keep me dry and I've already noticed a significant aero advantage. Easily 4% or so at 40kph, and that's cruising speed area.

More numbers? Yep. Based on quite some experience I can say that on my 41.8km commute, from Nazca to home, my K is 15% faster than my Mango was. This under 'normal' conditions, with the usual commuter power input. There are 2 sections of road where the K is slower, 2 sections with old brick road surface.

Yesterday was the first day with 'spring-and-want-to-ride-my-pretty-Fuego-weather'. 58km of happiness. Faster than expected and, for the 1st time ever, without a helmet. (there's been quite a debate on that in the Dutch 'bent scene)

After that ride I made a video. A video that answers a question about the Evo K. A question I never really understood. Because A: you hardly ever have to work on a crank set and B: it's really easy to reach.