Location: Winnipeg MB Canada
- Full series each year 2004 to 2007 (and beyond if the creek don’t rise)
- 1000K: 2004 & 2006 Manitoba 1000
- 1200K: 2005 Last Chance 1200, 2006 Van Isle 1200, 2007 PBP
- Bachetta Corsa 2004-2005
- PeterBuilt GTRS dual 26 Hi Racer 2005-present
- Reynolds Zbone dual 26 2006-present
Why did you start riding bents? Mostly because they were different, comfort was a factor.
Why did you pick this model?
Started into bents with BikeE, then Rans Vrex, then a Bachetta Corsa. The hi racer was most comfortable for me doing long rides. I think the Vrex could work with different seat however I still prefer a higher bottom bracket.
The Bachetta was good however I am 5’ 7” and it had too tall a seat height for me to be comfortable starting and stopping especially when tired, I used it for 1 and ½ seasons then switched.
The Peterbuilt is custom built by a local builder (sort of a steel version of a TBone. It uses the Bachetta Euromesh seat which I feel is the most comfortable seat available, well worth any extra weight. It has a longer wheelbase and lower seat height than the Corsa. It is extremely comfortable and durable making it an excellent Rando bike. It’s only drawback is that it is heavier than other bikes that are out there (however they use exotic materials and cost way more). I have done 2 1200’s and 2 1000’s on this bike, I will always keep this bike, it is the gold standard that I will measure everything else by.
Zbone (no longer in production) is a lightweight front wheel drive titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber creation. In its original configuration it had rear suspension, this also allowed the rear end to come apart and essentially the frame would fold in half making a very small package for travel. The rear suspension created a lot of flex in the bike (the rear wheel was bopping around side to side) so I replaced the rear shock with a solid piece and tightened up the rear swingarm pivot point. This made it less flexy and I didn’t miss the suspension. The Astroturf seat covering was replaced with a foam pad. This bike works OK for long rides, I used it for PBP and found that I had some wheel slip on some of the uphill sections where the pavement was wet, or there was loose stones, or cobblestones. Adding weight to the front boom (water bottle) helped some with this. For flat out speed it is faster than my Peterbuilt, however not as comfortable.
Modifications from stock:
I experimented with a Mueller windwrap fairing on the Corsa. This worked well for rides early and late in the year as it kept my feet warmer, and drier. The downsides were that it interfered with my forward vision (not everyone would have this problem depending on your size and the bikes size), it was noisy as it seemed to reflect drivetrain sound back at me, and it was awkward when transporting, or just moving the bike around. I didn’t do any roll down tests to get any real measurements however I didn’t feel that it made the bike any more aerodynamic. For me the cons outweighed the pros.
SON dyno hub and an E6 light. I use a Cateye EL530 as a backup and it works as a standlight if I think it is necessary.
For light mounting I use the Minoura Besso Fork Mount Holder to mount lights on the fork, and I have used the Volae T-Bar Light Mount although I have found it interfered wuth forward vision. I use a custom made mount similar to a teracycle accessory mount that works very well.
Rear lights are 2 Cateye LD600’s (use rechargeable AAA batteries)
If I were to invest in new lighting right now I would defer as long as I could and check out LED battery operated lights rather than investing in a dyno hub. The LED area is improving so rapidly and especially the battery run times. Its is not going to be long before a run all night with lots of illumination LED light will be available for a reasonable price. I have done an entire 1200 event using only an EL500 (a user malfunction kept the E6 from working), it was manageable however I was lucky there was no rain.
Fenders: Plastic fenders on the rear only.
Love the Hostel Shoppe Euro Large Seat Bag, the mesh bottle pockets on either side are super handy for cloths, gloves, bananas, you name it.
For extra storage I have used the Radical lowracer bags although I find them too big and floppy, so I have also made a set of small bags out of backpack side pockets which I found at MEC. Mine are nearly worn out and I have not been able to find a replacement. Essentially I used them to make a mini version of the Radical lowracer bags.
Cue sheets in a waterproof holder, and a Cateye Astrale 8 bike computer. I use cadence more than anything and I have found this computer works well in all conditions and is easy to read (I have 5 of them)
Bent specific riding techniques:
Rubber side down. Bring lots of gears if there is climbing and train, train, train.
I have taught myself high cadence (90-110) and I have never had a knee problem.
Riding with other bents & DF bikes:
On a high racer you can provide a draft, and DF riders in my Rando group will draft off me, shorter riders or people using the drops get the most benefit. I don’t draft off others as I am not comfortable following close to someone when the furthest front part of my bike is a sawblade, plus not drafting makes me a stronger rider.
Eating on a bent:
I find it hard to carry food in a place where I can access it easily on the bent, still working on this. It would be nice to eat some while I am moving however I don’t count on that. I try to stop every 50-80K for some sort of snack/sandwich (usually convenience store food as that is where our controls are) and usually every 2nd one of those is a larger meal either at a fastfood place or local restaurant. Real food works best for me. On longer rides that go through the night here we can end up facing 200K with no services, so I plan an evening meal stop where I get them to make some sandwiches I can take along, and I make sure I have coins in order to use the outdoor drink machines. I tried Powerbar/Cliff bar type energy bars, I can eat them but to me they taste like sh*t, so I use Payday bars, and Nature Valley sweet and salty type granola bars, plus bananas are a great carry along food.
I use a 70oz bladder in the hostel shopper seat bag. In it I use a simple maltodextrin (purchased at a local nutrition store) and water mix to which I add a little bit of Crystal Light powder for flavor, this gives me about 300 calories per bladder. Depending on the ride length I will carry little baggies with pre-measured amounts maltodextrin/crystallight. I also carry a water bottle with plain water in it.
If you were to start again what bent/setup would you get?
As you can guess I am extremely happy with my PeterBuilt dual 26 hi-racer format bike. While riding PBP I rode with a couple of lowracers bikes and was blown away by how fast they were on descents (it had to be aerodynamics because they weighed the same or less than me) so I am going to give that style a try as well.