Friday, 30 September 2011

Why the Evo-K?

I know, nothing for months and then two posts in one day...

I thought I'd better elaborate on why the K...

Firstly I'm feeling the need for speed. At least for more speed than Whitey Glyde has to offer. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed the Glyde but at times Whitey can be slow and her weight can be telling. At around 40 kilos she is rather a load to haul up hill, even with the mountain drive. The next leg of GAB taking in Devon and Cornwall is focusing my attention in that direction a little. With my options the Evo will be coming in at around 20 kilos. I'm not a weight weeny, but even I can see that dropping 44 pounds from the kerb weight of ride is going to make a big difference.

I am very happy riding a trike with 'tank' steering - with a handlebar by each hip - but I've not felt so confident on any of the trikes I've tried with a freefloating joystick in the centre - this includes various machines I've tried from the Windcheetah/Speedy, a couple of bikes who's names escape me through to the Quest that I owned for a while.

The gearing on the Glyde is fine - a Mountain Drive and 11-34 cassette give a reasonable range and reasonably sized steps tho a little more top end would be useful I have been reluctant to compromise the lowest gears on Glyde. I've ordered the Evo-K also with a Mountain Drive but this time with a monster 11-36 cassette. This is running on a 26in rather than 20in rear wheel and over 10 speeds so should yield around 30% wider gearing hopefully without the step size between the gears becoming a problem.

I've uprated the brakes from the stock 70mm Sturmey drums (which I've had on trikes before) to the new 'oversized' 90mm version. In hilly country I've experienced brake fade from drums on a long descent. The potentially higher speeds from a velo need more stopping power... The drums are customised by the Go-One guys to reduce the weight - less weight to carry is a good thing, I'm not so sure reducing the thermal mass is a benefit but I'll reserve judgement until I've ridden them. As this machine is using the 'Euro-standard' velomobile suspension struts there are after-market DIY options to change to disc brakes if necessary.

The downsides? Luggage space is restricted to a claimed 30litres. I'm hoping there is space around the inside of the velo to cache equipment, eg. ahead of the front wheel boxes. It shouldn't take too much imagination to hide tent, sleeping bag and mat there.

I'm looking forward to the first reviews from Peter Haan who has a glassfibre version of the Evo-K due for collection in the next week or so. I'm not expecting his reports to change the options I have ordered but it could be useful information whilst I'm still able to tune my new ride.

The increasingly inaccurately titled "Glyde Around Britain"

After problems with the hardware delaying this year's leg of Glyde Around Britain I have opted to change my ride. Last weekend I went on a quick trip to Germany to try the new Go-One Evo-K and now have one on order. This is a lightweight carbon-kevlar-honeycombe monocoque velomobile expected to still come in at around 20 kilos even tho I've added rear suspension, a mountain drive and uprated 90mm drum brakes to the specification list. Ok, the styling isn't as dramatic as the Milan we saw on the same weekend but the ride quality, handling and performance of the Evo-K were impressive enough that I put down an order there and then. Expected delivery (ok, I'll probably go over and ride it back) is May 2012 - perhaps in time to grab a quick week dash 2nd leg of GAB around Devon & Cornwall...