Mid Summer is already here. Since last week I have been at a business site 14 miles across town in St Paul. In a recent post I described what I saw on the way. Today the Kodo is REV 2 handlebar performance testing during my rides up through this morning.
The Masi prototype handlebar is set up with a downtube shifer on the left bar end. The lack of braze ons on the downtube and my budget last winter necessitated this configuration. It is not ideal altho friction shifting with the Campy shifters is smooth. I am shifting less up hill as I am stronger from piling on a 50 miler in the hills of northern Wisconsin over July 4th weekend.
I am treating this commute as if I am riding a single speed. There are hills and some stop and go but I have selected a 53/23 gear as my go to gear. This works out to a 60.9 gear inch which gives me a nice range for cadence and speed in this slighly hilly terrain. A cadence range from 50 -100 rpm generates a speed range from 9- 18 mph. Time from door to door in the morning is one hour with an average speed of 14 mph. The afternoon ride has more stops as traffic is heavier and time is 70 minutes door to door. Booring numbers stuff that I don’t normally pay attention to but thought it might help explain how gearing and cadence relate to the performance of the REV 2.
The Kodo of the REV 2 is an Urban bike ride that can be navigated in changing road conditions with purpose and a degree of safety that is not experienced with drop or straight handlebars. Here the road conditions of the past 24 hours were approximately 1/3 of the ride other than smooth black top. For around 10 miles the road had parallel ruts, heaving ashphalt, new sticky asphalt patches, various sized pot holes, broken concrete, roadway construction and protective barriers. So how did the REV 2 perform?
Quick steering is inherent with the REV 2 on all three prototypes tested. Comparing hill climing to drops and straights on the Masi, the REV 2 handlebar power grip kills the straight, no competition and it outperforms the drop in a seated positon. From a standing start out of the saddle the REV 2 is balanced. Multiple hand positions give it more power than a straight. Drop bars are an even match. The REV 2 on flat smooth terrain also kills the straight for acceleration. The drop again is about the same type of performance as the REV 2.
Where the REV 2 outperforms both drop and straight are those miles of rough road we all experience in the places we travel through. The Kodo of the REV 2 in a space is the motion attained with micro hand adjustments when navigating around obstacles or over obstructions. The REV 2 variable hand positions naturally manipulate a riders seating posture that adds to the energy flow. With the REV 2 a light grip with a slight pelvic rise off the seat is all that it takes to smooth out bumpy stretches of road or railroad tracks. A straight bar just pounds your wrist even when rising off the seat. A drop bar pitches a rider much farther forward when a tight grip and standing on the peddles is usually one method for avoiding pelvic shock although the wrists still take a beating.
Since the summer of 2010 the REV 2 has been tested through four seasons. Last year a dose of daily organic motion inspired the design. Bike riding in all types of weather. Bike riding all types of bikes in every kind of road conditions is always better when I saddle up the REV 2.