My SUV is a bicycle
Got my Schwalbe Kojaks mounted:
My initial impression:
1.) The tires look badass. I would've bought these on looks alone.
2.) This is my first pair of Schwalbe tires. Quality is impeccable.
3.) The casing is definitely more robust than the Panaracer Minits.
4.) Even at their max pressure of 95psi, the tires are able to smooth out pretty much all of the moderate rough stuff I encounter on my urban commute. I can once again bomb over rail car tracks at speed. The tires effortlessly smooth-out the section of brick cobblestone road that I commute on every morning. It's amazing.
5.) Cornering grip is excellent.
1.) Rolling resistance is pretty high for slick tires.
2.) Acceleration is disappointing. I feel like I now need to gear-down my single-speed drivetrain to compensate.
3.) More effort required to maintain high speeds, unlike the Panaracer Minits.
For comparison, I have been riding Primo Comets for the last 2 weeks, which are the same size (406-32), same bead (wire), similar pressure (100psi Comet, 95psi Kojak), and similar weight (280gm Comet, 285gm Kojak).
I can tell you straight away that the Primo Comet is a faster tire than the Kojak. While the Comet rides like a concrete donut, the Kojak rides buttery smooth.
Next up is the torture test. I'm hoping to get through 2 weeks of commuting without a puncture.
They look great. These bikes are a lot of fun and I get a lot of comments.
Dawes Kingpin 2speed
Didnt you ditch the tensioner ?
Bend the knees, watch the trees ... 5 $ please .
The Doo Dah parade is over ... so, it was time to tone it down a bit.
Bend the knees, watch the trees ... 5 $ please .
Anybody had any issues with their rear wheel? Mine was creaking a bit after a ride the other day, so i pulled it off and threw it in the truing stand. It was pretty true but tension, mostly on the non-drive side, was all over the place from way tight to barley any resistance. I was able to even out the tension and get the wheel a little truer than it was when I started in about 5 minutes. I also switched over the crankset for one I had laying around with a 53 on it that looked little nicer. I'm hoping to move that 53 to the inside of the spider shortly and put a REAL big ring on the outside!
I think I might be the biggest person to buy one of these. I'm about 6' 1", with a 34 pants inseam and a 37 pubic bone height. My wingspan is 6' 6". My usual road bike size is about a 62; here is my last build prior to the Nano, a 1989 Serotta Track bike:
As you can see, I am not small.
I bought the Nano on a bit of whim; I had nothing remotely like it in my stable and thought it might fit. If not I would fix it up and sell it. Much to my surprise, it actually fits with everything at the minimum insertion point. I will probably still play with the fit a bit at this point, but it is pretty close (the Nano is a bit different than the road bikes I am used to working on; I've already made minor tweaks in the fit). I rode it on my commute today; four miles each way, no problems.
A few comments: after ordering this bike, I don't know if I would recommend bikes direct to someone without decent bicycle mechanical knowledge. My Nano was okay and lacked the fork problems mentioned in earlier threads, and the build quality was reasonable, about as I expected (keep in mind the last two bikes I built were the above Serotta and a Waterford). In general I was satisfied, and quite prepared. However, the headset on my Nano was so tight the fork could hardly turn. I didn't just loosen it but dissembled the headset. There was next to no grease on the bearings; I re-greased it with Phil Wood grease and adjusted the headset proper-like. Had I not done that, the headset might have had a short life. I likewise dissembled the front hub; it was tight as well, though not so tight as the headset, and likewise needed grease. This weekend I'll overhaul the rear hub and undo the bottom bracket, if only to grease the threads.
Thanks to warnings here, the very first thing I did was replace the rim strips with cloth ones; I figured why bother to chance it, enough problems were reported here.
I likewise applied grease to the bolts in the stem, the stem, and the seatpost. Anyone buying a BD bike, I recommend buying a tube or tub of grease; there's not a lot in the bike, even where it should be.
I will say in my years of wrenching, I've seen bikes from well regarded bike shops with equal amounts of grease on key parts.
As many here have already noted, this a bike in search of upgrades. A few things on the bike are Roadmaster Mt. Fury quality, notably the headset, seat and pedals. The first is servicable, though I'll likely replace mine. I am worried it is an odd sizing; anyone out there replaced one on a Nano yet? Did it have a standard 26.4 crown race, etc? I think a Velo Orange needle bearing headset would be perfect for this bike. The seat lasted one ride around the block before I replaced it with a garishly coloured Soma saddle, perfect on the black and a lot more comfortable, and the pedals on mine won't last the week. I am also changing out the seatpost and the quick release skewers, both of which are of minimal quality. And the brake levers have got to go; I've a line on a pair of Sora eight speed brifters. I'm fine with the shifters and their location; I'm used to downtube shifters.
I'll keep the wheels, drivetrain, stem and bars, and brake calipers and pads. My pads in particular are not as awful as previously reported. I may or may not add fenders and a rack, I dunno and it'll be a bit before I decide anyhoo.
All that said, it is a great little bike. It's not quite as fast as my roadies, but it handles almost as snappy as the above trackie or my Eisentraut (which kicks arse). It seems a bit slower, but I notice I'm using a much higher gear ratio when I pedal, which I suspect has to do with the small wheels (I've never ridden on them before). The bike's obvious metier is in urban situations, it is quick and manuverable, quite comfortable, and well sized to multi-modal transport use. It's really a brilliant little design, and BD deserves a lot of credit for bringing this to market. Overall, I applaud them. I wouldn't recommend it for longish commuting, but in city and few miles, it is great.
I do wish it were slightly better speced, but this is certainly a bike that you can deal with, even as-is, as long as someone competent goes over it. From this thread, it looks like a lot of them have found homes with the tinkering sort of bike owner, which is probably a perfect fit for them.
Last edited by Poguemahone; 07-18-11 at 09:00 PM.
Welcome and let us know what parts you find to upgrade the Nano.
Dawes Kingpin 2speed
That is exactly the kind of report I wanted to read. Being 6'4" but not as long/tall of an inseam, there may still be hope for me on this bike. Any chance of a picture with you riding the bike? Geez, that looks wierd when I typed that. I just want to see how "odd" someone of our size would be on the nano.
Minits Light and QBP super light BMX tubes will be arriving in the mail next week.
Best I can tell, stock tires and tubes are 445grams/tire and 130grams/tube for 1150 grams on the bike. Minits Light at 170grams/tire and QBP super light tubes at 78 grams /tube for a total of 496 grams, total weight savings of 654 grams (1.4 pounds!) of rotating weight.
Of course, I may be creating the ultimate flat tire machine.
Last edited by cedar_lake; 07-19-11 at 11:37 AM. Reason: fixed my numbers
One pleasant surprise is this: I was worried about my trackstand on this bike; I thought the smaller wheels would somehow wreak havoc with it. They don't; it is as easy to trackstand as any of my other bikes.
I really like the thing. To be blunt, if it were available in a slightly larger frame size, I'd buy that instead. But it is a bargain; the Soma mini velo is almost a thousand dollars more, even if it available in 55cm. It's fun to wrench on, tweak, and upgrade, not to mention ride.
It's three hundred bucks. Who knows if they'll make another lot. It's no longer available in the bigger size in orange (I know because I tried; orange was my first choice, but I'm really happy with the black). You can prolly tweak it to fit. I've had to play with the saddle position; my initial though was it should be back, but I've since moved it up some. I also still want to get rid of the post; it looks frail and I'm about 180. It will, however, be gone this weekend, replaced by a (black) Origin 8 post.
The last three bikes I've built-- the Waterford, the Serotta trackie, and the Nano, are all a blast to ride. What could be better?
Last edited by Poguemahone; 07-19-11 at 06:45 PM.
Careful with your tire & tube selections.. the ultra light tube you mention is for 451 tires (not 406 tire size which is stock on the Nano) the Panaracers come in 20x 1.25 (406 tire) and 20 x 1 1/8 (451 tire) .. these are two distinct wheel/tire/tube sizes and easy to confuse the two as both sizes are in the 20" family but incompatible with each other..
Dawes Kingpin 2speed
Good point. I already ordered 'em and will see if they can be stuffed in w/o folding or chafing. Damn itchy trigger finger. Otherwise they go in the pile with the 700X38 tubes i bought a year ago for my cross bike without realizing they were schraeder.
2 weeks of commuting on the Schwalbe Kojaks and I'm very pleased to report that they've held-up admirably. Not a single nick, hole, or cut in the tire casing after rolling through broken glass, sharp rocks, busted up metal and plastic bits strewn in the road from car accidents, and all sorts of unmentionable crap one finds on city streets. I've concluded that they must made of indestructible compound taken from crashed UFOs.
I have to give these tires 4 out of 5 stars for their durability, cornering grip, and ride comfort. However, I'm not completely sold on their touted performance. The rolling resistance is unusually pronounced for completely slick tires. My Primo Comets with their herringbone patterned tread accelerate faster and coast longer without bleeding speed as quickly as the the Kojaks do. I guess you can't have it all.
Anyway, the Kojaks are superb dry weather tires for commuting (won't speak to their wet weather characteristics yet). They look awesome and ride beautifully (you'd never guess that they were 32mm high pressure slicks), and emit a pleasant humming sound at speed on smooth surfaces. Keep them inflated above 90psi at all times (95psi is their max), otherwise their rolling resistance gets progressively worse.
If you want all-out superfast tires, get Primo Comets or Panaracer Minits, but expect to patch more punctures...a LOT more.
Last edited by james_swift; 07-27-11 at 07:08 PM.
Major upgrades complete. Still contemplating a couple more, like a 55 outer chainring, and the bars will likely get either Origin 8 or Soma barplugs, but the stuff that matters is about done.
Soma Ensho saddle and Origin 8 seatpost:
Shimano Sora eight speed brifters (given to me by Syke over on C&V):
Kalloy Bars and stem. This stem is still made, but only in 100cm extension. This one is a 120. They get the bars about 1" higher than the stock stem:
MKS GR9 pedals with Nashbar shortie toe clips (half clips). Should work well with most any shoe, the fit the multi-modal use of this bike well:
Last but not least, Delta Axelrod skewers. They work with a 5mm Allen, and are great for urban bikes. Plus, the stock QR levers were awful:
Some of the tall guy build attempts I've seen have mystified me. On a bike like this, you not only have to go up but also out. Two I've seen have used bars that place your hands further back (Moustache bars, for example). If you're bigger, you want either drops or bullhorns to place your hands out. I mean, the top tube measures a measly 53. I'm used to a 58/60 TT measurement. The build I've done measures out very close to my Waterford, which is a comfortable long distance rider. The Origin 8 post should be used by anyone looking to upgrade the crapola post that comes with the bike.
In fact, aside from the stem and bars (they're wider and a touch longer than the stock bars), most of my upgrades have little to do with my height. The post got the saddle up the small amount more I needed from the stock post.
I'll report more on the ride in the next couple weeks. One thing I'm noticing is that when you swerve around an obstacle, you do it quickly and the bike corrects so easily it seems automatic. It confirms my belief this bike will excel in city.
Edit: a couple of other things I forgot. First thing I did today was overhaul the rear hub. It had more grease in it than the headset and front hub combined, which is to say not much. In addition to swapping out the rim strips, I'd recommend the first thing any new buyer do is overhaul the darn thing. I haven't yet taken the crank off and pulled out the bottom bracket, but I suspect the threads on it could use some grease. I'll be doing that within the month.
If you're tall, you'll need to swap out the post, stem and bars, as I did. I'd go with wider bars; the stock ones are quite narrow. Mine are wider. If you're short or tall, I'd recommend swapping out the brake levers, seat, and pedals at a minimum. If you buy this thing, expect to spend at least another 40-50$ upgrading it; even fairly basic parts will be an upgrade. Just buy some Tektro levers, a seat you know is comfortable, and some pedals suited to how you plan to ride the bike.
I had the stem, bars, cable stops, pedals, clips, and seat just lying around, so that made this entire process a lot easier, and Syke (thanks!) gave me the brifters.
If any tall folks want to ask questions, you can do so here instead of a PM-- that way, any info will be shared public-like. That is, if the little folk don't mind... and you short folks can ask questions as well.
Last edited by Poguemahone; 07-24-11 at 06:12 PM. Reason: info
Looks good especially with the black seatpost and stem. I like the skewers also. I wonder how many of these have sold?
Dawes Kingpin 2speed
You can't see it, but I put on a new saddle. I'm not pleased with it, and i'll be going back to stock soon.
Put down 20 miles yesterday at an average of 17.8mph . Still feeling the rolling resistance of the stock tires, though I was on a lot of chipseal, which didn't help.... Spending all of my time in the big ring (a 53 I put on). Loving the bike. Got it in the back of the car yesterday, fully assembled, with the Burley solo trailer folded up in there as well. Nice.
I've been lurking on here for awhile and have owened a Nano for a few weeks. I decided I wanted a more upright ride and you can see what I did here:
My first Dahon was a 2003 speed 8; which I bought because it fit in the back of my Mini Cooper without the backseat folded down.That bike got me hooked and now I
own a 2008 Mu 8 and a 2009 Speed TR. Craigslist and internet shopping brought me both these at incredible prices. I now have a small wheel fetish.
Small wheel fetish , that is what this forum should be named. LOL
Dawes Kingpin 2speed