Blue ICE – Wheel swopping

The Sprint with 28-559 Durano’s at the front was handling ok, but gave a bit of a harsh ride at 5 bar. I’m still contemplating lacing wide 26″ Bellacoola Downhill rims to the Sturmy Archer drum brake hubs and using more supple 26″ Big Ben instead.
While having a couple of other front wheel sets on hand, I had to try them out first.

20″ Wheels
First I’ve tried the 20″ wheels with some 47-406 Schwalbe Energizer Plus, since that’s how the Sprint 26 was ment to be and the tyres harmonise quite well with the 27mm wide Rhyno Lite rims.

Blue ICE 20-26

Very nice ride and very agile handling. I actually didn’t miss the front suspension.
While I’ve mounted the seat rather low, it still feels a bit too high for comfort.

Next came a set of 55-406 Big Ben. More cushy ride, still quite agile corner handling. Quite a nice setup if you venture off the road regularly.

Blue ICE 20-26_Big Ben_left

24″ Wheels
Today I’ve mounted the 24″ wheels with 55-507 Big Ben to the Sprint and went for a little tour through the city.

Blue ICE 24-26_Big Ben_rear_right

The ride is positively comfortable, handling still quite nimble and 24″ wheels just roll better over less than perfect tarmac or gravel. Even real dreadful cobblestone roads are bearable up to 10km/h.

Blue ICE 24-26_Big Ben_right

I really like riding with a higher bottom bracket and the laid back seat angle. The small 5 liter bags, mounted under the seat, are just big enough to carry tools and spare tubes, but still offer some space for an ’emergency cat food shopping’ on a Sunday afternoon. 😀

Blue ICE 24-26_Big Ben_left

The Sprint with 24″ front wheels and 26″ rear looks more balanced than a 3×24″ or 3×26″ set-up. At the Black Sprint with 3×24″ wheel setup the front wheels look always somehow bigger than the rear.

Blue ICE 24-26_Big Ben_rear_left

The other ‘new thing’, the Patterson Metropolis 2-speed drive, feels better every day. While it adds a just perceptable drag in 2. gear overdrive mode, switching gears is done in a split second.

Overall weight without tools and water bottle is 22.7 kg/50 lbs now.

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6 Responses to Blue ICE – Wheel swopping

  1. Peter says:

    Nice review. How would you set up for commuting (shopping, work, etc.)?

  2. Tony Grant says:

    I ride both because we don’t have cycle paths like in Germany, the trike is a death trap in town here so I have an upright for local shopping and a trike for the road.

    • Marc says:

      Well, our cycle paths are of variing quality as well. Out of town they are normally of quite good to excellent quality, but in the city they can be be simply unridable with a trike at times.

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