Road Tests on the Horizon

Over the Horizon
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We have a handful of road tests lined up for early this spring:

  • We currently have a Raleigh Detour Deluxe in-house. The review is in the works and scheduled for publication in February.
  • As we speak, Norco is sending us a Ceres to try out. I’m very curious about this well-appointed, belt-drive Canadian commuter.
  • Breezer is working on getting us a NuVinci-equipped Uptown Infinity which we should have in-house within the next few weeks.
  • We’re taking possession of a Bike Friday Tikit this week. I’m looking forward to comparing and contrasting this bike with our Bromptons.
  • And finally, we’ll have a Public roadster for review a little later this spring. I’m not 100% sure which model, but it will probably be a D3.

We’re going to have a busy spring riding and writing! While you’re waiting for the articles, you might want to check out our road test archives.

20 Responses to “Road Tests on the Horizon”

  • 300 Pound Gorilla says:

    Do you do custom work? :-) I’d like to know how much drag is in the NuVinci hub. I notice a huge difference between Phil Wood hubs and anything else. Phil’s let me maintain my momentum for ever. They’re almost supernatural. How does the NuVinci compare? or is it more like a Shimano hub? I hope it’s not any worse than that. Inquiring minds want to know.

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  • David says:

    Looking forward to that Ceres review. Will it have the Alfine 11 IGH?

  • Alan says:

    @300 Pound Gorilla

    Being an IGH, the NuVinci undoubtedly has more drag than a Phil hub. I’ll keep your question in mind when I’m riding the bike.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @David

    I was hoping for that, but it looks as if it’s going to be an 8-speed.

    Alan

  • Sharper says:

    This is wildly off-topic, but the photo and caption speak to a thought I’ve been mulling over lately — that one of the things that makes bike trails so enjoyable is that they’re so rarely straight. Instead of a laser focus on a horizon miles ahead like on freeways, the trail meanders forward and disappears every few hundred feet, feeding an eternally renewing sense of exploration.

  • Warren says:

    At one point I seem to remember that you were going to road test the Soma Double Cross. Any plans to formally check out that semi-local Northern California frame?

  • ahmad says:

    An interesting note on the Ceres. In 2010 Norco also carried a drop-bar sister bike to the Ceres, the Vesta – same belt, IGH and disc brakes, but with nice white-hooded drops. See it here: http://www.norco.com/archives/2010/?id=vesta
    Considering EcoVelo’s recent handlebar survey, where drop bars came out on top, I’m surprised Norco removed the Vesta from their line up.

  • EcoVelo to review Bike Friday tikit | 16incheswestofpeoria says:

    [...] of some of the most beautiful bicycle pictures on the Internet, EcoVelo is “taking possession of a Bike Friday Tikit this week. I’m looking forward to comparing [...]

  • CedarWood says:

    @ 300 Pound Gorilla

    Yeah, that’s the million dollar question. NuVinci has already stated they won’t talk about efficiency, which puts some people off immediately. It’ll be interesting to see what Alan’s opinion is.

  • Alan says:

    @Warren

    The Double Cross we had was the wrong size and I only had it a week, so I wasn’t able to evaluate it properly. I’ve discussed reviewing bikes with Soma and that may yet happen this year.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @CedarWood

    All internal gear hubs lose against derailleur drivetrains when it comes to efficiency. The first generation NuVinci I tried out a couple of years ago felt similar to the Shimano and SRAM hubs I’ve been riding, though it was heavy to a fault (the weight actually affected the bike’s handling). This new hub should be more competitive.

    I’ll have a SRAM iMotion 9, a Shimano Nexus Red Band, and a Shimano Alfine all here at the same time I have the NuVinci. I’m no scientist, but it’ll be an interesting exercise to try them out side-by-side.

    Alan

  • CedarWood says:

    @ Alan

    Wow, what a lineup! We IGH fans are really looking forward to your comparison.

    I recently installed a NuVinci N360 on the Cargo-T, but it’s difficult to correlate my experience with lighter bikes. Oddly, adding a 5.4 lb. hub to a 45 lb. bike did improve the uphill slog, but it’s geared lower than the recommended ratio.

  • David says:

    Too bad about the Ceres sticking with the 8, though their current price point probably doesn’t allow the $300 (retail anyway) cost increase with decent profit margins.

    Regarding the efficiency of the NuVinci, the coupling of the internals to the shell is via a shear-sensitive fluid. Though the mechanism by which it changes gear ratios is unique, the physics of fluid coupling of the input to the output is gonna be the same as any other fluid coupling assembly and probably maxes out in the 95% efficiency range. In fact, it might be significantly lower since conventional fluid couplings use the blade geometry of the input and output turbines to maximize efficiency whereas the NuVinci must depend on its smooth, tilting ball bearings shearing against an outer ring to transmit torque.

  • Roland Smith says:

    @Alan

    While a hub migh be somewhat less efficient than a derailer gear, it doesn’t tell the story of the entire drivetrain.

    The Summer 2001 issue of the technical journal of the IHPVA there was an article comparing hub gears with derailer gears.

    The differences weren’t that big. I would suspect that variations in tire pressure and state of maintenance of the chain would make more of a difference that what kind of gearing system you use.

    A Nuvinci hub is not a gear hub. Unlike a gear hub which uses the form of the teeth on the gears to transmit force, it relies on the friction between two cone-like discs and a couple of spheres. To generate enough friction without slipping the parts have to be pressed together with significant force. This is where you loose energy by e.g. local elastic deformation of the metal.

  • 300 Pound Gorilla says:

    CedarWood,

    Most of the conversation about NuVinci efficiency has to do with efficiency of power transfer. I’m not worried about that. I don’t think you can compare cvt with gears in any meaningful way as far as that’s concerned. What I want to know is how quickly it slows down once it’s spinning. I haven’t seen anyone talk about that, hence my question here.

  • Xtra says:

    Can’t wait to here your impressions of the Tikit compared to your beloved Brompton.

  • CedarWood says:

    @ 300 Pound Gorilla,

    With our Alfine-equipped Breezer, I spun the pedals as fast as I could, then let go of the pedal and watched the wheel. Did the same with the NuVinci in approx. the same gear. The NuVinci stopped turning rather quickly, with the Alfine not far behind. Not a scientific test, but my derailleur-equipped city bike (loose-ball hub) took a lot longer to slow down.

  • Jim Alexander says:

    Any update on when the NuVinci-equipped Breezer Uptown review might happen?

  • Alan says:

    Hi Jim,

    Breezer has been promising a bike for a while now, but so far they haven’t had any demos available for us.

    Alan

 
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