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.
The modal was designed by Mark V with help and advice from Bill Davidson. Building the bike was a group effort from the crew at Elliott Bay Bicycles.
Modal photos in our Photostream.
The audio samples are Guns of Brixton, London Calling – The Clash. Gorditas de Mario, Los Amigos Invisibles.
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