26 Oct 2012

26th October 2012 Durano Plus.

26th 27-34F, -3+1C, clear and brightening when the sun finally gets up. Cold, wind and rain promised for later.  Should I change my tyres while it is frosty and still? Or wait until later when I can shelter in the shed? Decision-decisions. Whatever happens, I have to change my wardrobe for the new colder conditions. It's almost 20F cooler than yesterday and slowly creeping up to 0C.

I decided to change the tyres. The three new tyres weighed 2.75lbs altogether. The Gp4000S weighed 1.5lbs.  It took me an hour and a quarter to do all three. What a struggle! The Schwalbe tyres come out of the box as flat bands. Literally like giant rubber bands. Nothing like tyres at all.

Just getting them started on the rim took several attempts and several minutes each. A bit of air in the tube, push the valve up, as usual, and the tyre won't even bend to sit on the rim! At all!

I ended up using three G-cramps to hold the tire walls in enough just to get them to sit in the rim. The Shimano rim was quite difficult. The first Mavic rim was reasonably easy once I had it started.

The second Mavic rim was all but impossible! I must have struggled for nearly half an hour on that one tyre alone! I cheated in the end and used a tyre lever with great care. Otherwise I'd still be out there at bedtime!

God help me if I ever puncture! I shall never get the damned things back on without a workshop full of tools. The Durano Plus in 700x25mm measured exactly 23mm wide when inflated to 80psi with the floor pump. I used a large-jawed vernier calliper to ensure the tyres weren't pushed in by my measuring efforts. The GP4000S measured 25.5mm at the same pressure. I'll monitor the Duranos to see if they "grow" on me over time. I double checked I had tightened the wheel nuts after the last scare. 80psi is the same pressure I had been using in the 25mm GP4000S.

It was too late to go out before coffee. It has turned into the first sunny day for what seems like ages. As I write this, mid afternoon, it is snowing steadily!

The Nidd has gone back on to give it a few more miles of breaking-in. Loosening the lace helped to give it a tiny hint of flexibility. Though I have no illusions it will break in within any reasonable period. I'll just use it for shorter rides until I get sick of it and give up. It may yet surprise me and become civilised. Though I see absolutely no point in suffering unduly just to improve it by a fraction. With the Nidd fully forwards I have found my ideal riding position at last.

I had forgotten to drop the saddle pin by 12mm to match the Nidd's greater height. So I had to stop and find a spanner. I also found some steps to sit on. So I could put on my GripGrab overshoes as my feet were getting cold.

The Durano Plus tyres were an immediate surprise. I thought they would drag and feel slow. Instead, they felt harder but much quicker than the Continental GP4000S. They had a completely different feel too. As if they skimmed over most of the road texture. At exactly the same pressure the 25mm GP4000s told you about every stone, twig and hole in the road. At first the Duranos felt strangely isolated from the road surface. As if they offered an extra degree of suspension. Only when I found really rough surfaces did the Durnaos feel a bit harsh to the bigger GP's more rubbery feel. Being much narrower, despite the 25mm label, the Duranos were more like the 23mm GPs when I had them at higher pressures.

It was the Duranos sense of free rolling/low rolling resistance which stood out most clearly. Unfortunately the Nidd felt so hard this morning that I did not enjoy my ride remotely as much I might have done. I just could not get comfortable.

It was cold but bright sunshine. Only towards the end did the wind pick up a bit. The GripGrab hat and Polaris gloves were absolutely perfect. Warmth without the least sign of damp. My (charity shop) Aesse jacket also proved to be ideal for today's conditions. Totally wind proof but breathable enough not to sweat. It fits me like a glove. I've had it for a couple of years now and it has done well. Not ideal for warmer conditions though as I quickly overheat. But that's all right because I have plenty of (recycled) jackets for when it is warmer. This morning's ride was a surprising success despite the saddle. 25 miles.

27th 26-42F, -3-6C, still, everything is white from an overnight frost. Brightening nicely to a sunny day. Back on with the Brooks 'Select.' I'll have to go and get another matching bike computer in Bauhaus. I hate not being able to monitor my distance during a ride. How else will I know when the saddle began to bite? If I puncture I'm calling car rescue! What I should have used to get the tyres on are those clamps which market stall holders use to hold their awnings in place. There's just about room for half a dozen clamps in the Carradice Micro-camper in case I puncture. I can carry everything else in supermarket carrier bags swinging from the handlebars.

No problem reaching Bauhaus, despite the blinding sun. I bought another of their Proflex Fitness £10 bike computers. I was fine in the cold except for the right hand Polaris glove. For some reason it felt much colder than the other hand. I think -5C is certainly the limit for these gloves on a trike or bike. They were comfortable enough after the first half hour and stayed that way all day. The Select saddle had its moments on the way back. The floppy left side is sagging. Causing the rear to stick into my buttock. I have put a small bit of tension on the adjusting nut to see if it helps. I have to do something before it turns into a butt hammock on one side only.

The Durano Plus tyres seem okay. More comfortable than the GP4000S 25mm at the same pressure. (80-85psi) I used to avoid sunken manhole covers like the plague with the Continentals. There are thousands of these dropped drains on my travels. Now I just ride over them with hardly any problem. The GPs used to jar me badly and throw the trike all over the place.

If there is any difference in speed between these tyres it's hardly noticeable. Nor anything worth going back to. It would be nice to have some coloured treads. I like a bit of bling after decades of watching boring old black going round. I was overtaken by a chap going well on his racing bike but had nothing in the tank to try and stay with him. 44 miles and none the wiser. Saw Gold finches and Kestrels on the way back.

Pm: Fitted the new computer, tidied up the sensor cables. Snipped off the coiled brake cables and fitted end caps. I don't have an English name for these things. I also recorded an HD video of my Shimergo gears in action: It is best seen full screen:


A couple of sloppy gear changes were due to my stretching between the cranks and the levers. You can tell it is cold again because I have my scruffiest (workshop) duvet jacket on again. It leaks down and small feathers like a sieve but keeps me warm and I needn't worry about appearances.

28th 26-43F, -3+6C, light winds, sunny. A cold start but a superb day for a ride. The Durano Plus tyres offer a remarkable level of comfort. Even the cobbles weren't the usual teeth chattering torture.

I was a little tired from recent exertions but still mastered the countless hills. I take them as they come. They take me as I am.  Today's ride was without positive direction. I took turnings at a whim to discover and rediscover lanes softened by autumnal beauty. Without for a moment disturbing its long peace. Only some cats fear me. As in the case of the one above. It ran to its rustic refuge, but stopped to watch me. Remaining curious as I took its photograph. I wonder if it knew it was miles from nowhere?

I could have taken a hundred pictures of the countryside. Though none would have done justice to the views of a rolling landscape seen through appreciative eyes. The reds, golds and greens of autumn are reward enough for tolerating the long Danish winter. I am indeed fortunate to be still able to enjoy it and have the strength to take myself there. All without the hideous intrusion, sensory deprivation and isolating deafness of using a vehicle.

Padesø Kirke across the gulf of time and untrodden fields. Mr Higgins muses on the meaning of a life of servitude. The rock wishes it could go with us on our journey together. It had rested long enough in that empty place. Grown tired of watching its own shadow dragging its heels. 

The curious merely notice my passing through their own 'middle of nowhere.' I smile, usually to myself. Or nod gently at human reaction. Do they see the clown, the athlete or the poser in cycling gear? Riding silently along. On a machine they automatically associate with handicap. But which I wear with pride as a badge of unseen courage and skill.

I was asked by a chap in a cycling shop why I rode three wheels. I tried to explain (in Danish) that I like the challenge and the eccentricity of not following the herd. He asked, as most do, if I had anything wrong with me? I replied; "Only in the head." That always makes them smile. Dissolves the fear of potential embarrassment. I explained there were hundreds of others like myself back at home. All of whom choose to ride trikes for the fun and the challenge. He seemed surprised and probably saw the British in quite another light. There is no undoing discovery once the cat is out of the bag.

I passed a chap walking his dog in the grounds of a stately home. He waved and I blurted out; "Good morning! without a second thought. He didn't flinch. Just lifted his walking stick in acknowledgement and strode on. His dog eyed me briefly but saw no merit in misbehaviour. 39 miles.

29th 37F, 3C, 45mph gales and heavy rain forecast until midnight. A rest day. (Tidying the shed!) NOT!


I have added a link to a Longstaff  Adobe.pdf document on servicing their 2WD including a drawing on the March 2010 post on Longstaff Axle Removal: Scroll down to the bottom of the post.

The link was originally posted at the on3wheels post triking forum.

And, to save you searching: The Longstaff Adobe.pdf link itself:


30th 32-42F, 0-5C. After yesterday's gales and rain the grass is now white and it is quite still and frosty with clear skies. It is promised to be be sunny and dry until later this afternoon. I seem to have found the right set of clothing to be comfortable in winter now. Even the SealSkinz gloves were warm and comfortable today. They just don't seem to like the wet.(at all) Adding the gel strips to the bars has made them comfortable enough not to need padding in the gloves over a reasonable distance.

Shame I wasn't feeling stronger after my rest day. My legs were rather achy and tired.  The weather wasn't even up to a ride around the block yesterday. Even a short ride on a rest day seems to keep the aches and pains away.

There was just a gentle headwind on the last leg, today, but otherwise a perfect day for a ride. I tipped the nose of the B17 'Select' up by a tiny amount to avoid the very slight, sliding forwards sensation of Sunday's ride. It reduced the perceived load on my wrists and hands too. It is surprising how such small changes can alter comfort levels. The Campag Ergo levers are still very pleasing. I have been deliberately changing gear while climbing hills out of the saddle. The gear changes still work remarkably well (going both up and down the gears) but it needs good timing not to lose momentum. It probably needs more practice or just greater skill. It has never been possible to change gear while honking before now. 30 miles.

31st 41-45F, 5-7C, rather cloudy with gales. Gusty too, but fortunately it was mostly sideways on. Several common items not on the shelves again. Wore the Nidd saddle for another trial. Still not happy. It is so hard that it is difficult to ignore. I spend a lot of time getting up and sitting down again. Or sliding back and forth. I had a crazy idea to treat it to some carefully spaced weights which are lifted and lowered by a rocking tree. The idea was to simulate sit bones rocking from side to side. 20 more miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement. 

No comments:

Post a Comment