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11 Dec 2011

Ride to Dronten (XS & K)

I bought my K with a 70t chainring. 70 is a big number, so big, that I even at 65kph, my cadence would be only just over 90rpm. Indeed, that makes no sense. With 61t, starting is easier, and the whole range would be more 'close ratio'. Velomobiel.nl had a 61 in stock and I rode there to get it.

I left at a quarter past 10, and grabbed a banana after 45km, that I ate whilst riding. A short pause after 58km for the pond across a water. 42 km later I was at my destination.

There was quite a crowd at vm.nl. Velonauts for parts, advice, technical problems, new vm's or just out as a group. Nina had brought something tasty to share. Marjolein's Strada had a small technical issue with an own will. I quickly received my 61. When asked how I'd install the new part, I simply replied: 'just crawl in'. And once I was in, swapping the parts was easy. Most important, I didn't get stuck on my way out. Than there was more time for eating and some velo talk. Clement found out he fit's in my K. Others studied it, up close.

What had caught my eye was the new Quest XS. And hurrah, I was offered a ride. Now, I'd just bought myself a very fine vm, but it's always good to know how such an eagerly awaited machines is in real life. I didn't ride for long, perhaps 10 minutes or so. Talking about how it's build and what specs it has is not that interesting. It's a Quest, so it's it good in just about every aspect. Build with a huge amount of every day experience.

What really makes it different is that the body is lower. Because of that, small people can sit just as low, and have their seat just as reclined as large people can in the big Q. And whereas I (short featherweight velonaut) always found the big Q very unstable, the XS is alright, a bit like a Mango perhaps. Compared to my K it's very comfortable, but it weights more and isn't such a dream when it comes down to handling and raw speed. But it's a good vm, absolutely. And, when you stand next to it, it looks better than on a photo. Even the rather large head fairing is well proportioned. The XS was designed with a rider up to 1.75m tall. I'm right on the limit, particularly with my 110cm ex-seam. And shoe size 43 felt like a maximum with 155mm cranks.

Back in my Ksynonica J. for  the ride home, I felt at home again. The 9t less on the chain ring make it a lot better to ride, much easier and smoother to accelerate. The evening before, I'd swapped the hard chain tube for a softer one, with flared ends. That lowered the sound level a lot. Velomobiles and hard chain tubes are not a good combination.

I rode the final 55km in the dark. A clear sky, a long smooth cycle path ahead and 36kph on the cyclometer. The Philips head light (tweaked to work on the onboard battery) gives a nice beam, wide and far. And when 20Lux isn't enough because of dirt on the road, the high mode of 80Lux certainly will give enough light. Day's total was 180km.

1 comment:

  1. In first i was going to ride to Dronten with Marcel and the crew , and when i had done that i had a change to admire your Velo K.
    But 180 K i found that to much for me at this time and i most work for the hole weekend so i have to whait till the Oliebollen ride. Shame.
    On photo,s she looks great , Peter.

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