Monday, November 5, 2012

20 miles, 60lbs

Barring racks and luggage to really test the "camping" abilities of the Campeur, I attached the trailer, put in a 35lb kid, a U-lock, some tools, some water, and hit the road. 10 miles later, we took a break in the beachside town of Yachats, OR where we refueled with a blueberry-lemon muffin at Bread and Roses. The park was just across the street, so we spent a few minutes on the slide. Wanting to further test the weight-bearing abilities of the frame, I added a 6-pack of cider in glass bottles and a medium fuji apple. This brings the estimated cargo weight to 60.1 lbs, not counting the mini pump, multitool, spare tube, sippy cup of water, etc. Lets call it 60 to be certainly underweight/conservative.

35lb kid/clothes/boots
7.8lb hard cider
2.7lb u-lock
17lb trailer

The ride was great! I am not all that impressed with the Nashbar trailer in general, but the price was right (free from a friend). I do have experience with it on two other bikes, however, so I think I can quantify "the Nashbar experience" and how it changes a ride. This definitely felt better/smoother than pulling the trailer on the Shogun. The gearing is great; there are moments on the Shogun where I have to wonder about stopping to walk, but I was able to spin (albeit slowly) up all the hills without much complaint or ill-will towards the universe. I can't imagine I would personally pack 60lbs of camping gear so this is encouraging.

I know 20 miles is no great distance, but it is long enough to give a firm idea of how the bike handles. It is also about right for a S24O camping trip, which is more along the lines of what I selected this bike for than for months-long touring.

The saddle is taking a bit of time to break in. It is generally comfortable for ten miles and then I start to notice its firmness. I know these saddles take a while to get used to, and according to others, VO saddles take even longer than a Brooks. The fun part is that I had just spent several miles working on a different saddle (on the Shogun) before switching to this one. I do not love the textured surface on the top, as I think I prefer the smooth, but I am still glad to have bought the complete bike and enjoying the savings that the bundle provided. That said, I still think about a day when I will replace the saddle with a Flyer.

I'm also starting to miss the bar tape. It should be here (along with a front rack) in a day or two. I am through experimenting with hood position and ready to tape. I am starting to disenjoy the feel of the bare metal bars, even with leather cycling gloves. Nonetheless, I continue to be very impressed with this bike.

Here's today's setup:

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