Performance Mode: Hed Ardennes

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by Byron on Feb 22, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Add another mode to the Modal and that’s performance. When it was built, both Mark V and Bill Davidson commented that the Modal would perform, if needed, and perform well. In my previous trips, I was either riding it in singled-speed mode or geared and just touring. I rode to Hana with a Carradice seat pack last time we were in Maui and mostly just rolled it, but did observe

“The Modal in geared mode performed as expected — very well. It’s built for performance riding and adept at climbing, cornering, and all-day riding … I’ll adjust the sliders for more road clearance and swap cassettes to a 27 next time.”

This time, with racing starting next week, I came here to train harder and added some intensity. For the past 5 days, I’ve ridden Upcountry in the hills with lots of rollers and climbing; bombed down descents over very rough “Roubaix roads”; rolled roleur style, staying on top of the gear with a tailwind; added fast tempo, sprint intervals, a recovery spin; and a bonus trip over the lava fields.

upcountry_08.jpg

The Modal not only took all of that, but if this bike has a personality, it’s of a young, rebel punk saying, “is that all you got.” The performance had a lot to do with the new Hed Ardennes. The Ardennes are like the Jet 50/60s. Built with the C2 (wide rim), same hub, and spokes, but without the carbon wing.

There are so many sensations going on with the new Ardennes, that I wanted to ride them a few more times to condense it down into a few sentences. It’s possible that the C2 feel is more pronounced without the carbon wing. Besides the a clincher that’s a tubular road vibrations, that I’d written about before, they feel like “crit” wheels that’ll track right through the worst pavement and I rode on some of the worst ever during an 8-mile descent down from Upcountry to Kihei. The wheels didn’t squat, squirm, or move as I dived into s-curves, with lots of body english and power to the pedals pushing out of the corner.

I’m not a wheel engineer but I think the combination of the wide rim, lower pressure, and overall stiffness makes for a very confidant ride and high performance.

hed_ardennes.jpg

Without the carbon wing of the Jet 50s and 60s, they don’t “roll” as much as a deep-rim, aero wheel, but also get up to speed faster and don’t move around in the wind. The rim is aero enough for training and certainly racing. Hed has outfitted Euro teams with these wheels and for good reason.

I’ll train on these, race them on “broken pavement and turtles” crits and travel with them. For comparison, they’re lighter than Krysiums (a travel standard for me cause they’re bombproof in S&S travel cases, and almost never got out of true), as strong, and come with the Hed pedigree.

The wide rims require that you adjust your brakes and open them up. Wheels from Hed, Reynolds, and others are shipping with “loose” bearings and not a lot of adjustment to make them tighter. By that I mean, side-to-side play. I run my brakes tight and had to open them way up to prevent brake rub. A bonus of the C2 rim is lower pressure; especially when when traveling and using gas station air. All of the riding I’ve done on the C2s was at 80 PSI.

Notes

  • The modal is a travel bike concept that folds and toggles between single, fixed, and geared modes.
  • Modal photos
  • Modal Tag

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Sheldon is my co-pilot

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by Dave R. on Feb 22, 2008 at 9:07 AM

sheldon_copilot.jpg I’ve been seeing a lot of tributes to Sheldon Brown, lately, as one would expect on the passing of a figure of such magnitude. Most featuring his helmeted, hawked head (that eagle’s got a name, ‘Igor’ – who knew!). Sheldon has a posse shirts. Sheldon ‘Obey’ badges (some background on the OBEY campaign here). My favorite printed media to date: Sheldon is my co-pilot. It’s great that Sheldon has a posse, but I’d much rather think of him riding along side. Speaking of riding, some cities seem to be having Sheldon rides. What’s your favorite Sheldon tribute? Are you riding for Sheldon later this year (or have you already?).

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Bike Shop Nirvana

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by Andrew Martin on Feb 21, 2008 at 12:07 PM

Warehouse

My wife always gives me a hard time about being drawn to a new bike shop like a kid drawn to the candy store. I’m sure there’s nothing new or all that exciting in the shop, but I always have to go in, kick tires, check out the latest bike stuff. Imagine my excitement when I got to go to Seattle Bike Supply to return some bikes and take a quick tour. That place is HUGE. Wall-to-wall bike stuff. 6’ stacks of just anodized rims. Big boxes with the words “Shimano” and “SRAM”. It was great. I’ll have to do a formal interview with Tim Rutledge (he’s our contact down there) once he gets back from the Tour of California, but in the mean time - I’d wanted to give you a little perspective on what goes on at this cool place.

SBS is the shop behind your local shop. As many in the industry know - stores are only as good as their supplier. If you ever walk into your shop and need a part ASAP that just isn’t something they carry - the shop may hit up SBS to fill that gap. In many cases, SBS can get the parts you need to the shop in 24 hours - very nice since most of us tend to plan for our big events the day or so before we need them. SBS has also done a good job of identifying the need for urban bikes and has started to shift their inventory to cater to the emerging market.

Here’s the quick story I got from Tim on the SBS story:

Seattle Bike Supply is a full service bike and bike parts distributor. We also own several leading bike brands; Redline® bikes, Torker® bikes, Pryme® protective gear, Potenza®, and Inline®. As of January 2007 SBS is the exclusive USA distributor of Lapierre, and Batavus branded bicycles Our 4 warehouse locations (Kent, WA; Rancho Dominguez, CA; Reynoldsburg, OH; Dallas, TX) are able to offer 1-3 day delivery anywhere in the USA. With thousands of SKUs in stock and fast friendly service, SBS is your one stop bike and part supplier. Redline History intersects with the start of Seattle Bike Supply. Redline bicycles started in Southern California in 1974, meanwhile, 1,115 miles north of the Redline factory, in Renton, WA. a man named Terry Heller begins selling bike parts out of the back of his Ford station wagon. Seattle Bike Supply is started. Little did anyone know how these two companies would evolve.

More SBS Warehouse Photos

Warehouse

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Yellow Bikes at the SXSW BBQ

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by Byron on Feb 21, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Austin Yellow Bike Project has confirmed they’re coming to the BBQ with 4 bikes, a wall of tools (to adjust bikes), and a whole lot of Austin bike community goodness. Anyone can ride the Yellow Bikes, just show up and ride one. Then, ride it back for the next person to ride.

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Car, Car, Cyclist, Car

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by Byron on Feb 20, 2008 at 10:25 PM

car_cyclist2.jpg

That’s part of Maui experience: lots of cars, tourists, and a few cyclists.

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Tour of California

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by Byron on Feb 20, 2008 at 10:18 AM

I think I’m as disillusioned as anyone about the sport of cycling and professional racing, but when Pam found Versus on cable here in Maui and we watched Stage One of the Tour of California, that was still entertaining and made for a good ending to a day of riding. It also reminded me that

  • With full props to Roll, I wish he we would just do featurettes and it was all Phil and Paul narrating.

  • The TOC obviously doesn’t bring the prime time camera crew, the angles were so far out, I couldn’t tell who was who at all – and the circuit camera was dizzying.

  • Are ultimate fighting men (or rather men in a cage, locked together on the mat, until one says, “Uncle”) really more popular the cycling? And Rodeo? That just makes me sad.

Damn Rock Racing and the King of Pants! Their color for this year is green! Also see Let Levi Ride, the Tour Tracker, and the TOC on Flickr.

toc_08.jpg

Uploaded by richardmasoner

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Glo Gloves: Turn signals for your hands

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by Dave R. on Feb 20, 2008 at 9:17 AM

Gloglove.jpg I’ve mentioned them before, but when ever I wear them I get questions and comments so it’s time for a bit more coverage.

Glo gloves are simple, reflective over-gloves which will help you survive your night time rides. Here’s a good review by the Gadgeteer, but you won’t need too much convincing once you understand the value of the gloves.

These are the same gloves you see police officers directing traffic with, although there are 3 models, only one of which has the ‘stop sign’ on the palm. You can get this model online or at uniform stores here in Seattle and elsewhere.

The gloves will help you stay visible during one of the riskiest road maneuvers for a cyclist – turning. Signalling is a great way to improve your safety, but if drivers can’t see your signals they don’t count for much. Glo Gloves increase your odds of being seen. At around $20 they’re incredibly cheap insurance.

Lots of riding gloves come with their own reflective piping, but none bear as much as Glo Gloves. Plus, Glo Gloves are compatible with your favorite glove because they’re simple lycra finger-less ‘liners’. They go right over my cheap goretex winter gloves or any other gloves I have. I don’t ride at night without mine.

Some models also come with a palm reflector, which is helpful in signalling to oncoming traffic as well as those behind you. The version with a directional triangle reflector is probably best, although the stop-sign version is useful as well.

Tip: reflectors only work when they reflect light back towards they eye of the observer. Make sure to keep your glo-glove reflectors pointing towards what you want to see you. For cyclists this means keeping your hand vertical, facing backwards. A bit awkward at first, but well worth it in the long run.

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Back in Maui

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by Byron on Feb 18, 2008 at 10:14 AM

We’re back in Maui for Winter Break, training, and riding the last batch of big miles before racing season starts. We rode yesterday and unlike the last trip, it didn’t rain on us – woohoo. We also discovered a new bike path!

maui_winter_break.jpg

I’m riding a new set of Hed wheels while here and will report on those later.

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Hugga Minutia

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by Byron on Feb 17, 2008 at 9:20 AM

Getting ready for SXSW and the rest of the blogging this year, we’re updating the blogosphere with Hugga Minutia on Twitter …

minutia.gif

While Tim reminds us that racing is coming up, and ghelf advises on what day is better to shower, I’m thinking of tracking the debut of the Brooks basket to all the baskets seen at the Handmade Bike Show.

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