For background behind this purchase, please visit the following links:
I must confess at the outset, the big wheels (26”) come at a price of limiting our mobility across other transportation modes if not restricting it. It was easy to store both the bikes along with the disengaged front wheels in the back of our mid-size SUV. And I am sure storing them in the trunk / boot space of a Sedan would be equally easy. But the bicycles are relatively heavy for easy handling and manual transportation.
The third problem is related to folding mechanism. You see, if I am cycling with the front shockers unlocked, the shocks from road bumps are absorbed by the shockers. But the moment I lock the shockers, I can feel slight ‘play’ at the locking point at the road bumps. Initially, I thought this to be the case. Later I found out that the ‘play’ is not at the locking point but at the pivot area where the bicycle folds.
The folding mechanism is a breeze. It takes just a few seconds.
Changing gears took us a few attempts before we could understand them and execute a clean shift. Actually, the up-shifting (from smaller to bigger) lever of the chainrings need to be pushed all the way till the end and held there for a second to execute a smooth shift. The downshifting was easier as the lever had a small travel anyway. On the other hand, both the up- and down-shifting levers for changing gears in the rear cassette were easy and smooth by default. As far as gear ratios are concerned, I must say they are well-spaced. I didn’t experience a drastic change in the effort with a single-shift. Front crankrings however are far apart in their number of teeth and significantly change the effort level with every change. But that is something usual in most of the bikes having crankset with three rings. The 30 combinations that we can make with 10-rear and 3-front gears is so satisfying while riding. It became more obvious to us when we attempted 40 to 45 degree ascents with remarkable ease. In a touring scenario however, we will have 30 kgs of gear loaded on the bike. But after experiencing the bike, I am sure we will be able to ford the ascents comfortably.
We need upgrades here. The saddle needs to be more comfortable. We are relatively new to bicycle riding and so the butt is not accustomed to such a sleek saddle. We will definitely need more cushioning at least for a few initial months of riding. The padded lower-wear (read Lycra / Spandex) has brought temporary relief though.
The wheels are light overall and #Kenda Kozmik L3R Pro tyres are good for both road and trails. However, we felt that having smoother tyre would definitely increase our comfort level, especially on roads. And tarmac will comprise most of our riding routes planned so far. Therefore, an additional purchase (of tyres) would be needed to add comfort in riding.
Coloring and Aesthetics
The bikes are so pleasing to look at. The color combination is fantastic. Black colored accessories suit well to the bike and are rather easy to find in cycling nations but in Riyadh, unfortunately, the options are limited so we are not bothering with the color at the moment.
OVERALL RATING: 4/5