Managed a quick test ride round the village tonight with the roads mostly ice free and no rain falling for a change. It’s the first time I’ve been out on the Fuego for a couple of months, having been acclimatising to the Cruzbike and riding the Quetzal with my wife at the weekends. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to twin big wheels and the extra gyroscopic stability of a large front wheel, and also how much more quickly your movements turn you on the lowracer with the 20 inch front wheel.
Once I’d got used to that again, my first impression of the aerobars is.. fantastic! The cockpit is much more open, there’s plenty of space for the legs, and visibility over the bars is still excellent. It’s very easy to control the bike and the fact you can sit up unimpeded by tillers is so much nicer, particularly at junctions and so forth. It feels quite different to the same bars on the much bigger and heavier Quetzal with its 26 inch front wheel, it’s a much more lively response from the bike as you’d expect given the bike’s general geometry and handling characteristics. It allows very precise steering and feels much more natural than the tiller.
I never had a problem with the tiller on the Fuego – it worked perfectly and is capable of everything you need to do, but the quality of the feel of the ride is definitely better with the aerobars and the bike feels like a more comfortable place to spend time.
I never got a chance to try and test the turning circle, but it doesn’t seem too bad. The test will be the hard right switchback up the steep hill out of the village, if I can get round that without incident then everything will be perfect.
So, based on a brief ride of about 2 miles, I would say that moving from tiller to aerobars has taken a great bike and made it even better. I think I am done with tillers for good.