Monday, March 16, 2009

Kogswell P/R after a month

I have had the P/R for a little more than a month now. I have ridden it a lot, in fact, I didn't ride any other bike for this entire time--partly because i want to get some miles in to dial the settings in, and partly because my Romulus has no fenders on and it has been raining.

I really enjoy the ride of the bike. The standard-gauge tubing gives me a good springy feedback and edges me forward. I think the 155mm crankset I have on the bike now also helps to encourage me to spin more and mash less. Together with more regular training, I have seen improvements in my riding.

I also really dig the appearance of the bike and after adjusting the angles and switching a stem, now really think the moustache bar will work really well for me. I pulled on the swept-back part when i want to sprint, rest my hands there for upright, around-the-town riding, and hold the bars near the brake levers for climbs.

even though the bike has 40mm Riv/panaracer fatty rumpkins tires, I haven't noticed any significant difference in my performance and speed. the comfort and confidence level on descent around corners definitely have improved; the big tires also enable me to ride this bike on off-pavement trails.

riding with no hand at low to moderate speed is a piece of cake on this bike, even with up to 30lbs of load up front on rough pavement. The bike does shimmy above 20mph when you try to ride with no hand (in fact, the bumpy pavement seems to help to disrupt the onset of shimmy). I can attenuate the shaking by putting my knee(s) on the top tube, but I can reproduce the shaking every time. I am not concerned about it, as if I really need to use both of my hands (for putting on or taking off clothings on long rides), I will probably do it on relative small gradients and it won't take me long. I won't be surprised by it either. I switched out the stem recently to see if that makes a difference; the shimmy still comes, but at a higher speed. It's so predictable that I don't think it will cause me any problem.

The rest of pictures for my kogswell is on my flickr page.

The arrival of my ebisu is delayed for another week. When it gets here and and after I build it up, I will likely sell my Romulus as the Ebisu and the Kogswell will cover all my cycling needs for now. I might jump on a fat-tire fixed-gear road bike (like the quickbeam) if a deal emerges. Even though I think the Romulus is a nicer-built bike, it lacks the versatility of the kogswell that I need as an everyday bike. The Ebisu will be my go-fast/long distance bike, as even with fenders and rack, it will weight slightly less than my romulus.
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