Post man flu recovery ride – I managed 10 miles up the valley on the Fuego in the dark last night. I always love cycling the narrow country roads in the dark, and 2 days confined to the house had left me with cabin fever. I had a close encounter with a barn owl – they always seem to be a little confused by the bike light and it ended up flying down the road right in front of me, apparently unable to decide which way to go. Horses and owls – always seem to be confused by recumbents!
I got a good chance to try out the aero bars on the Fuego and the ride confirmed what I thought on my shorter test ride last week. It is a very worthwhile upgrade (yes, I do believe it is an upgrade and not just a change). The cockpit is a much more spacious place to sit, and the turning circle doesn’t really seem to be affected in any real terms by the aero bars. I did go for the ‘wide’ version of the bars so I’m not sure what difference that makes. I was able to get round my test corner – a steep, sharp switchback out of the village that defeats me on the Quetzal due to my fear of catching my foot on the front wheel and dumping my wife on the tarmac. No problem on the much more nimble and heel strike free Fuego.
Eyes on the road are slightly further down the road due to the height of the bars but nothing to worry about. I would say it is now similar to the view I get on the Quetzal. Compared to the tiller, getting round sharp uphill bends is much easier with the aero bars, as you can sit up and use some proper body English. I was surprised at how much more comfortable the bike feels doing low speed maneuvers when you have proper bars to hold and can sit up unimpeded, and overall they are much more comfortable to ride with. Perhaps there is a small aero penalty, although I am not convinced that it is that meaningful. Both the Cruzbike V20 and the Schlitter Encore have a lot of ‘bar’ pushing through the wind, and I don’t see it stopping people winning races on those!
I am reacquainting myself with how pleasant it is to ride on Marathon Racer tyres as well. On the skinny tyres you worry about longitudinal cracks on our ‘feature full’ roads causing you to fall off, but on the Racers you can pretty much plough over any surface without worry, and the much bigger air volume is very comfortable. Last night I was going through a lot of sludge, mud and forestry debris. I probably would have taken it slower in daylight but because it was dark I just went straight through it all. The Racers work very well in these conditions.
Jelly legs post man flu so riding very slowly, but it’s always a pleasure to cycle in the pitch black and soak in the atmosphere.