Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Setup Review

Wow, what a difference 18mm makes! I haven't exercised much lately so I can't contribute my health to the increase ease of riding during my test run this evening. With these shorter crank arms my legs/thighs don't come up so high.

My theory on why short crank are easier to use (even up hills):
It mimics our natural daily body movement much better. With shorter crank arms, the rider's legs don't have to come up nearly as far towards the chest. It's much closer to a walking stride than it is an exercise where knees intentionally come up so high. In other words, shorter crank arms create a very natural uneventful stride. Short crank arms enable us to use the same muscles we use to walk.

Since there's less effort needed to pull each leg up/back, all the energy can be reserved for the positive part of the cycling stroke. That's where we get most of our efficiency.

UPDATE: 4/3/11
I had a chance to ride it for 12 miles today and what a wonderful experience it was! Wow, going up the Ocean Beach hill was easy! I popped the chainring into the smallest 22T ring, engaged the underdrive, pushed the cassette to the 30T cog and away I went. It was super duper easy. I could definitely do that for miles on end. This isn't even the best of it. It'll be even easier to pedal when I swap cassettes giving me a 34T low gear cog.

The overdrive is amazing too! I found that I was still able spin out even on the highest gear, but I could definitely feel the IGH kicking in on the downhills. As the elevation evened out, I was still able to keep a good pace. A mountain bike rider comes up behind me and says,

"That's the fastest recumbent I've ever seen!"

Hahah. That was good to hear since fast isn't often associated with the KMX Tornado. It definitely was fast though. I think I was hitting 27mph on one particular stretch. I reached higher speeds down the Cliff House hill. Wow, that was fun! When I had the single chain ring up front previously, the bumps would cause the chain to fall off. This time it fell from the largest ring to the middle ring. It still falls which is disappointing, but at least I can still pedal w/o having to pull over. Installing the derailleur should relieve this problem. It'll hold the chain in place much better.

I'm looking forward to the ALC again. This new drivetrain has worked wonders. I'm loving it so far.


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