I finally got my new Bike Friday folding bike! I had been waiting for my recumbent to sell so I could get a new Pocket Companion, which has a triple. I bought this bike solely for hard climbing rides on trips where a full-size bike would be impractical.
The first thing I did was to replace the stock 30t small chainring with a 24t. This gives the bike a 16 inch low gear, which is lower than my mtb.
I put on bar ends for additional hand positions and climbing leverage. Since the bike doesn't come with pedals or a saddle, a guy at the LBS sold me a Terry Gellissima saddle for $20, which is a steal! I heard that these saddles are well over $100 new. It has titanium rails.
I also got a GoPro HD Hero 960 camera for $149.95 on clearance at REI. I saw another camera on clearance there that takes 2 AAA batteries-a Midland XTC-100. Since I don't do impulse purchases, I read the reviews first and decided it would be a good backup camera. That one was only $63.93 on clearance. A 4-pack of Lenmar Ready to Go rechargeable NiMH AAAs was only $7.99 at Fry's Electronics, so I got a couple of those. The camera runs over 2 hours on a set of batteries.
Saturday was the first climbing ride with this bike. I rode all the steepest climbs in the El Dorado Hills area. These range from 15% to 19%.
I was really hoping to use the GoPro footage for the climb video, but an obnoxious creaking noise coming from the handlepost and the shifter cable being too close to the camera lens pretty much ruined all that footage.
Luckily I had two other cameras recording-the ContourHD on my helmet, and the Midland XTC-100 on the handlebars. The Midland was there for testing purposes. That camera did not pick up the creaking noise, since that was coming from where the handlepost connects to the fork.
Here's the helmet-mounted ContourHD climb footage:
Next time I'll mount the GoPro on the handlebars instead of on the lowest point of the handlepost like I did on this ride.
Here's a quick 40 mph descent recorded with the GoPro. You can see the shifter cable slinging around slightly right in front of the lens (oops!).