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10 Jul 2010

Head support on Yivalté

Until not so long ago, I didn't see the point on having a neck or head support on a 'bent. You either used if you where old, or if you have a racer with a very reclined seat. The change began when Thomas told me about how a neck support would make you go faster. You'd be using less energy to stabilize you head, and a slightly reclined head would have fewer air resistance. So I made a minimalistic neck support that sort of worked. I made a better version just before Cycle Vision this year. It contributed to my 4th place in the un-faired category. My average during the six hour race was 38.8kph, much higher than I could have imagined.

It was also just before CV that I changed the seat angle of my Fuego to something around 20 degrees or so. That meant that, even in the medium low touring set-up, I started using my rack pack as a head support. Far from ideal as it's not that stable at all. I couldn't find that perfect comfortable position anymore.

Yesterday morning, on my way to work, was when I decided to mount a proper support on my Fuego. I had the chance to 'practice' mounting such a thing on a customers bike. So, right after working hours, I mounted a nice carbon neck support from Novosport. It works brilliantly, even on the rough roads around the little int. hq. Now I can tilt my head back in total relaxation. That's more comfortable and faster.

I proved the fast thing right after work on my way home. My previous record on this 41.7km commute was 1:12:20, set in my Mango. My new record is 1:09:28, with an average of 36.02kph. A speed that seemed unreachable a few months ago. Training, attitude, seat angle and neck support where the main ingredients. And yes, there was a little tailwind. With 31 degrees C, it wasn't cold either. A cruising speed around 38kph gave a nice cooling airflow.

Another change, made 2 months ago, was a new rear fork for Yivalté. I swapped the standard fork with mounts for disc brake and kickstand for the version you get on a Gaucho highracer. Officially, this isn't possible. But that doesn't matter when you work at a manufacturer ;-) Besides, it was my boss' idea to mount this rear swingarm. It's looks spare and elegant! (Sorry, not available for costumers. It requires quite some 'hacking' to make it fit for a Fuego. Fuego's always have two disc brakes, except mine)

Click here to visit the Novosport website

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