Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hump-Day

I absolutely felt like $h!+ today on the way to work. I’m really hoping that it is just one of those days. I was up late last night making changes to the Quickbeam in further preparation for winter in MN. I really hope that the changes I made last night are not the cause for my miserable ride in!

I ducked out of work early yesterday to make the trek across town to Hiawatha Cyclery to pick up a pair of Nokian studded winter tires. With the exception of bodies of water, there’s not really any ice to be found, so my preparations are premature.

My ride turned into a bit of an adventure as I decided last minute to wind my way around the lakes that seem to be in the heart of Minneapolis. I did not really have any real directions or map, just a general sense of which way I had to go. I eventually made it to Hiawatha.

Before mounting up the new tires, I took an old pair of Avocet 700x20 wire bead tires that were sitting in the closet-o-esoteric bike parts and removed the metal wire bead from both sides of the Avocet tire. I then used the remaining casing as a tire-liner inside the Nokians when I mounted them. Overkill- you betcha. Yesterday’s 4 degrees put the fear of God in my head about getting a flat. So, mounting the Nokians was more of an attempt at flat protection than anything else.

So how does it ride? Quite frankly, it sucked. The tires are rock-hard, narrower than what I was running, noisy, and heavy. Something about the size or tread pattern substantially changes the handling of the bike as well. Throw in some carbide-tipped studs that drastically reduce traction on pavement and I get some uninspired handling.

In hindsight, I am glad that I took the rear cog up a notch last night. Pedaling this morning was a struggle. I hope it is entirely fatigue related. I suspect that it is not. I’m sorry, but for me, riding in the cold is not enjoyable. Having ridden is satisfying, but while doing it… I find myself wishing it were over. Perhaps an attitude adjustment is in order?

4 comments:

Me said...

Nokians are a learning curve for sure...

but not that big of one.

Worried about flats? Pour concrete in the Nokians and mount 'em real quick like, then let them set up for a few hours... they may ride a touch better than your current setup.

Seriously though... pull the ^%$@%#!! Avocets out of your Nokians and start enjoying life again.

-Me

Reflector Collector said...

Ouch
Here I thought I was being resourceful in an attempt to use the casing of the old tire as a tire-liner.

I will get used to the Nokians, but the change from a nice wide, plump Pasela Tourguards to the MUCH heavier is EXTREMELY noticable.

Me said...

...yeah, but you gotta love the vibration from all those carbide studs in your Fuzzy Parts. I know I do!

PS... I wasn't being snarky in my first response: just trying to point out that there is being resourceful and then there is just outright "Overkill". To me, a tire-any tire-inside an already beefy, studded Nokian... is overkill.

-Me

Pete said...

The studded tires will prove their worth the first time you happen upon an unexpected patch of ice. Patience, grasshopper. :)

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