Friday looks like it’s going to be as nice as Thanksgiving here in Seattle, brisk but clear, a great day for an evening ride!
The media climate is shaping up as well: check out this recent SeattlePI letter to the editor criticizing Critical Mass. I’m not 100% down with Mr. Dudley, but I definitely am down with having a down-town ride that’s a bit more integrated and a bit less confrontational than CM. Hopefully that’s just what we need here in Sea-town. Mr. Dudley, we’d love to have you and anybody else who’s wanted to come to CM rides but been put off by it’s reputation.
We’ll meet around 5:30 at Westlake Center in downtown. We’ll plan on leaving shortly after 6:00, and wrapping up the ride around 7:30. See you there.
Earlier in the week, the conditions were just right – a side tailwind across the bike, “lifting” the wheels – and I rode the Modal fast. As “a roleur” type of rider, I get a rush from the momentum of a bike, from getting on top of the gear, and holding it there. Riding a tailwind for me, is like a surfer dropping into a big wave and with 60 mm of wing surface, the Jet 60s catch that wind and roll almost effortlessly.
As we first blogged, the C2s are Hed’s wide rim wheel. The wider rim changes the profile of the tire, spreading it out. OK, in principle, I get that, but really had to just ride these wheels to understand and feel what’s going on. On the rims, a 23 Michelin tire looks like a 25 and at lower pressure, around 90 PSI, the tires ride like tubulars. I didn’t notice it right away, but after a few bumps, cornering, and riding, there’s definitely something going on.
The C2s are also, “fun.” I don’t know that I’ve ever described a wheelset as fun, but because they ride so differently, there’s more road sensation, you want to just throw them into a corner and that translates to fun!
Check with your Independent Bike Dealer that carries Hed Wheels, or ask me out on the road. Whatever you do, definitely try the wide rims out.
- Does changing the tire profile, affect durability?
- Don’t know yet – long term tests will answer that. Hed sent us the C2s for the Modal and I plan on traveling everywhere with them.
- How low PSI?
- I ran them at 90 and that worked for me. I’ve heard that others are running them as low as 60.
- What size Tire?
- I like lots of rubber and run Michelin 23s. I think a better choice is 20s.
- Tire Manufacturers responding?
- Don’t know, but hope so.
Last week Mark toggled the Modal to geared mode and I videotaped the process. The Modal is a travel bike that folds and toggles between single, fixed, and geared modes. In geared mode, I’ll ride it around Seattle and trips where I’m touring, training, and riding longer.
Switching between single and geared took about 16 minutes (without the cassette change, we’re clocking it at around 15 minutes).
Note: the time is compressed in the video.
To ease mode changes, the Modal, has two sets of bars: one with shifters and the other just brake hoods. As Mark demonstrates in the video, he removed the chain, swapped chain rings, replaced the single (or fixed) dropout with the derailleur, changed the bar, and connected the cable split stops.
After a few adjustments, the bike was ready to ride.
In geared mode, the Modal rolls with Hed Jet 60 C2 – Hed’s wide-rim wheelset. Wider is better and the initial rides prove that. A 23 tire rides like a 25 – or a 20 like a 23 – with lower pressure. Read our full review of the new Jet 60s for more.
In single mode, we converted Krysiums to single speed with a spacer kit. The video shows Mark swapping cassettes for demonstration. Way faster to just swap wheels.
The first hundred miles or so with a Wipperman chain and master link are frustrating. The link has to settle in and until it does so, it’ll skip, click, and cause the drivetrain to auto-shift. Periodically stopping to wiggle the master link helps.
To accomodate the Paragon dropouts, the chainstay is wider than normal. Not by much, but enough to cause concern about heels hitting it. My heels do not hit, but are close.
S&S couplings are stiff, don’t creak, or present any alignment issues. They work exceptionally well.
Modal photos in our Photostream.