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24 Aug 2011

Rütenbrock 2011

Friday, right after tea, time to ride to Germany. Not 600km like in April, just under 60 this time. The Radical Cyclone trailer behind my Fuego carries my camping gear, except for the kitchen stuff. Food is supplied by the excellent temporary mini campsite of the Bentlage family. For the 5th year, they host/organize/arrange the races in Rütenbrock. An quick ride, shaking of a roadie included, of only 2:17 hour was enough to get me there. Tailwind still helps. (and on the way back too)

I pitched my tent, said hello and spoke German (well, tried) for the rest of the day. We had the usual recumbent conversations and had a drink. And Daniel had brought his K along :-) It was after 12 when I crawled into my sleeping bag.

Saturday morning started with, what else, breakfast. Brotchen with Nutella and coffee. That followed by some lingering and admiring the K. Well on time I rode to the start/finish area. The track looked the same as last year. I saved my energy for the 1 lap time trial. That came with a downside. Now, that one fast lap was the 1st time I tried to do the corners at speed. And because I had a different front tire, it felt different. But, at 7.5bar the Minits Lite felt sharp enough. At 6.5, there's some sideways roll noticeable. Anyway, I managed to set an acceptable average, 41.2. However, 2 year ago I did 43kp/h.

Through the hour, the corners went better. And on the rougher parts, it all went nicely too. The first straight was fun at 40kph, than the bikes dances over the characteristic road surface. With a very loos grip on the handlebars, the bike kept a perfect straight line. The section through the housing estate was fun every time I passed through. The long back straight was becoming a bit boring though, just too long at 40kph. Pedal harder perhaps? I did that a couple of times, it's more fun that way. But judging by how I felt after I finished, I did try that more than enough. Near the end I got company from a WAW. Excellent, now I had some extra motivation. Nice, because since I'd let Heinz go on his RazzFazz, it all had been a bit lonely on the track. So, I looked around and waved at people I knew when I overtook them. Not in the twisty bits, those demand full attention. And that's what makes this track so good. Everybody who tries to go fast here must of had on of those 'that was close' moments. David had one too. Read his story here.

I finished 9th, with a 37.9kph average. When the fastest group lapped me, I made a big jump from the WAW. After the race, there was a bit of a gap to the podium ceremonies. The waiting, the weather and the race had taken the best of me. I didn't do much for the rest of the day.

That evening I did decide to go for the 70mm brakes on my new VM instead of the 90mm. A featherweight velonaut doesn't need bigger and heavier brakes. And thanks to the short cables and housings, the 70mm are already quite powerful. We talked about the German forum too, and I even made a joke. Tired from the whole day, I went to bed early. The next day, I felt a whole lot better. Still, I took it easy and left just before noon, as one of the latest to leave. The end of yet another weekend devoted to riding and racing. I was lucky to get home a few minutes before rain and thunder started.


  1. I indeed think 70mm drumbrakes will suffice...weighting over 30 Kg more with my Mango then you with your soon too arrive K those brakes do the job for me.
    But then weight isn't a big an factor as speed is in the formule for kineticenergie.

    I think Das k is an verry nice VM having seen it live in Rütenbrock myself.

    But i still wonder why it doesn't have the abbilety too take on some nice fat front-tyres like the Mango+ and the Strada can.

    I personally love the big PM 54mm i have on the back of my Mango and find it a pitty i can only go up too 40mm tyres on the front...and that's the only thing that makes my Vm rattle and shake on bad roads ...skinny fronttyres.

    The Tyres do an much better job then the Mc Pherson smoothing roads for me,so i gues i could live with less travel lenght for the frontwheel suspension if and only if you could mount for example f-lites or go-cycle fronttyres.

    greetings alpieter

  2. Hi Alpieter,

    I saw you sitting beside your Mango, next to the start of the long back straight. I waved a few times.
    With the K, it's all about aerodynamics. The smaller the wheel arches, the better the airflow. And because of the open wheels, the turning radius and track width is very good. The body of the K is stiff, it's rattles a lot less than one would expect. But, nothing is perfect, something a little wider would be more comfortable. Luckily, 95% of my rides will be on relative smooth roads.

  3. well if one would design the wheel arches too take up fatter tyres,you could indeed suffer allot more wind resistance if you mounted skinny tyres.

    I don't think the slightly bigger wheel arches for fatter tyres gives noticebly more wind resistance if you don't increase the size of the gab between tyre and wheel arche.

    But mounting fatter tyres in the same shell would result in having say 3cm less space for your legs too move,the track wide would decrease with half of that ammount meaning you will tip more quickly.

    Or if you thights are big an strong and can't deal with even less space inside then indeed the shell should become wider and then thus making it less aerodynamic.

    When i was sitting and watching the race,i could hear Daniël comming an few turns before i could actually see him,his K made more sound then the other velomobiles racing that track.

    If you say the K does't make that much noise then it could be contrubuted too the skinny tyres and the 10bar hes putting in them according to some blogpost i once read.

    But iám quite sure the extra speed an K can give you especially if your strong will only be an small price.

    I hope i can visit an sunday trip with the huneliggers and admire you soon too arrive K.
    Iám already looking forward too it. :)

  4. Now I am trying to decide... I'm visiting to see the K on Friday and had decided on 90mm brakes because I ride in hilly country so want to be sure of stopping comfortably from 75+km/h. Normally I insist on disc brakes for these hills as I've had standard drums fade on me on solo trikes and it makes for an exciting experience! Keep up the K-news!

  5. Hi Rob,

    Nice to read from you.

    90's do a lot better, with far less fading than 70's, I've been told. The short direct cable route (compared to an Q for instance) makes them more powerful too. That said, Sinner now offers a d.i.y. disc brake conversion kit. So you might keep that in mind.
    There's also a K riding velonaut who has a Schlumpf and a Rohloff.

    I expect more K-news within a few weeks. They've started building mine last Mondag :)