Talk about a roller coaster ride.
After finding that my crafty wheel experiment was not going the way I planned, bummed, I decided that I’d just suck it up and go on with the show. Tuesday afternoon was about as gorgeous of a winter day one could possibly ask for. 32°, bluebird skies, minimal wind, and best of all, clear roads. Time for a ride.
I spent the morning putting the new wheels on Kermit. I had to re-space the rear brake, and then found that the axle ends of the front hub were too big to fit the Niner carbon fork. I have a phone call in to I9 to see if there are other ends that will work, the ones on my Jet are smaller and clear the dropout. It would be a shame not to have this compatibility.
In order to ride both of the wheels, I had to remove the carbon fork, and use the “old” painted to match steel fork. Such hardships I endure…
So after getting everything in good working order, I finally got on the road around 3. My route, Loomis Hill. Locals and regulars to this blog know that this is one doozie of a climb. It goes up for a while, then kinda fakes you out in the middle, before resuming its merciless upwardness. I was able to climb fairly aggressively today, a far cry from Sunday’s feeble attempt up the lesser Barnes Hill.
I managed to stand and crank almost 70% of the time, I was looking for any lateral movement in the rear wheel, and was surprised to find there was none. The other 30% was spent in a seated low RPM pain room. I will say, it went faster that I thought possible. Upon cresting the big hill, there was a slight roll up, where I found myself at the max cadence 35-21 will allow without bouncing around on the seat. I was hauling ass!
Upon that crest was a long descent, through a couple of dips that sometimes require effort to get to the other side of. It totally depends on how the road condition is, the surface is paved in one spot, but dirt everywhere else, and can be quite treacherous if you don’t ride the conditions. Basically, that means you can fly off the road if you are going too fast (especially when using Nanoraptors for tires).
Well, these wheels spun right up! I don’t know if it was the aero spokes, but the wheels felt noticeably faster. As yesterday’s build results proved, they certainly aren’t lighter, but the difference in velocity was palpable.
Could it have been the difference in rolling resistance between the Nano and WW LT? Both tires are pretty darn fast if you ask me… I guess I’ll have to play around a little more, but I was definitely gobsmacked.
I also hit every pot hole and rut I could safely ride through at speed. It was actually quite fun being this naughty, but really, my wheels have to work, so I tried my hardest to be rough with them.
I finished my ride in a little under an hour. Quite a bit faster than the last time which I remember being close to 1:15. Is it the wheels? Dunno.
I will say that the Aerolites are worthy of another experiment. I’ll be trying a set of King SS hubs next…
I’ll also say that the engagement of the I9 hub left nothing to be desired. Stand and pedal, you go. And they are purple.
And Mandy was coming home as I was headed out, and she said “Your bike looks HOT!”
And it does. The wheels stay.