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pinholecam 07-10-19 10:49 PM

Change Bike 650B

So its finally ready (sort of... )

Its been quite a wait for the release of the frame in May'19 and then another long wait for the various parts to come in.

650b for the versatility of road riding locally+ trails when I go on tours.
Drop bars for some speed riding with road bikers or just for relief from headwinds.
650b+42mm tires to better go over trail bumps.

Fork - KINESIS Crosslight Pro6
Handlebar - PRO LT Compact Ergo
Stem - Ritchey WCS Trail Stem
Brakes - TRP Spyre
Crank - Shimano XT with Dekas 38T chainring
Chain - KMC 11s X11EL Black
Cassette - Sram Cassette XG-1150 10-42
RD - Sram Rival 1
STI levers - Sram Rival
Seatpost - 3T Inline Team Seatpost
Saddle - Ritchey Classic Saddle
Wheels - AM Classic MTB Race
Pedals - Shimano XT PD-T8000 Deore XT
Tires - Panaracer Pari-Moto 42mm

changebike ; review ; folding bike ; 27.5" ; change+bike ;

tcs 07-11-19 06:28 AM

Nice job on the build.

What's it look like folded?

dahoneezz 07-11-19 06:54 PM

For touring, will this be going on planes? (Looks big.) Can you put racks on this bike?

pinholecam 07-11-19 11:22 PM

Originally Posted by tcs (Post 21021620)
Nice job on the build.

What's it look like folded?

Now, this is the bad part....
I forgot to specifically mention to the mechanic that the bike folds, so the cabling has too little slack for the fold.. :D
They can rework it, but since I have no trip planned for the coming month or 2, I will delay sending in the bike until then.

That said, I played with the folding and its really quite simple.
Keep the front wheel and remove the non-drive side pedal. Then just unlatch the 2 securing mechanisms and the bike will fold.

I'll update again when I get this part sorted.

Originally Posted by dahoneezz (Post 21022708)
For touring, will this be going on planes? (Looks big.) Can you put racks on this bike?

Yes, it will be going up planes.
There's no running away from size when the wheels get bigger.
I'll have to do a proper measure once I sort out the short cables.

Still figuring out how the rack will mount.

pinholecam 07-15-19 08:59 PM

Build quality for the frame is really good.
The paint job looks good and is not some budget one coat powder coat.
Build is on par with any major brand mtb of the same price range, in terms of how the frame is welded, painted, folding mechanism and internal routing points.

There are mounting points on the down tube underside as well as the usual 2 for the bottle cages.

pinholecam 07-29-19 12:18 AM

I usually do not want to comment too much on the bikes until I have some mileage in them.
It takes some time to get over the euphoria of a new bike as well as enough mileage in real use to get a firmer impression.

So a recent 180km ride into neighboring Desaru, Malaysia was a good chance to check out the bike.
This is a road ride with a large 45pax group of various capabilities though everyone else were on road bikes.
Roads vary from very good to beaten up, with a nice mix of climbs, headwind and heat.
So this ride represents the multi functional aspect I have gotten this bike for. (ie. road riding as a 'make do road bike', while not getting dropped)

A short boat ride over to Malaysia.

Welcome to Pengarang, Malaysia. Sun and headwinds galore.

pinholecam 07-29-19 12:36 AM

I had changed the chainring from a 3rd party 38T to a 44T as I found the former gearing for faster unloaded road riding to be too low.
With 44T front, 10-42t rear, it really allows the bike to perform in the range that most road bikes will, at least with respect to age grouper type riding.

Tire clearance is massive since its really a mtb at heart.
I have 42mm Panaracer Pari Moto tires and there is still plenty of clearance left.

The Change Bike 650B rides like a road bike with diamond geometry.
Of course, it does, since it IS a full sized bike with said geometry.
No if's no but's
Really stiff with no hint to the folding joints at all.

Chainstays are a bit long and I do feel its not the most reactive of bikes due to this.
However, its kinda made up by the very short short stem I need to run for my sizing needs.
So very nimble on the steering, while a bit trailing on the rear.
The plus side is that it does take bumps a bit easier.
This, coupled with the wider tires does take away a lot of the edge off the very stiff bike.

pinholecam 07-29-19 01:05 AM

So how does a folding mtb, converted to all-road bike with 42mm tires ride vs guys on niffy (and often much pricier) road bikes?

42mm tires certainly add to the pedaling weight.
Of course the flexibility of the bike does mean that I can change to more narrow 32mm or 38mm tires, but its my first time with such wide tires and we never know if we never try.
I find that once pumped up to 55psi, the contact width of the tires is not much bigger than 700c 25mm tires.
Road feel is different from road tires since it more damping, and as such, it will feel more like an MTB than a road bike due to this lack of high frequency buzzing.

AM Classic MTB Race wheels with Panaracer Pari Moto 42mm for all that gravel bike goodness

The advantage of the wide tires is the damping and its ability to roll better when the road gets bad/uneven.
When roads get bad, there is often that loss of power and traction, especially going up hill.
Add to this fatigue, headwind and heat, and morale drops pretty quickly.
But with these 42mm tires, there is a very noticeable removal of this effect.
I found myself climbing very consistently when many of the folks on road bikes started to lag with the above road conditions.
Very positive effect not only on actual handing up such situations, but also on rider morale.

pinholecam 08-04-19 08:28 PM

SRAM Rival 1x11

At least with respect to using the Change Bike as a stand in road bike, I do think its quite capable.
I did feel that the heavier wheels (disc brakes + 42mm tires + tubes )meant that I took a hit with top end speed wrt my TT bike. But thats why its a stand in rather than the best tool for the job.
Conversely, when the fold is needed for transportation or when the roads give way to a unpaved track, no 'best tool for the road' road bike will make it.

For the Desaru ride, I was always in the front few of the pack, being one of the 3-4 folks taking the pulls, so I guess that does count as a sort of practical proof that its going ok for the bike and setup.

I also got 28mm tires as well as a rear rack coming in soon, so I'll write about them in future posts.
(as well as on more ride reports)

dahoneezz 08-05-19 11:05 PM

Is this a day trip? Reason I asked is that I don't see rack or bags. Also, how does this bike compare to your previous Tyrell IVE? Is the IVE slower?

pinholecam 08-06-19 12:12 AM

Originally Posted by dahoneezz (Post 21062016)
Is this a day trip? Reason I asked is that I don't see rack or bags. Also, how does this bike compare to your previous Tyrell IVE? Is the IVE slower?

Yes, its a day trip.
This was more of a test out of the bike on how it would ride with other riders on road bikes.
In that context, I'm sorta happy enough with the bike in that I was in the front of the pack taking my turns for pulling, whereas with even my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Super Pro, I'd not be able to hit those top end speeds to hang in when the pack surged or pull as much.
I could do with a lighter feel on the amount of leg work needed to pedal the 42mm tires though, so I'm ordering some 28mm's to see if these change this aspect of the ride quality.

A rear rack is on its way.
I have a short 2 day trip to neighbouring Bintan (Riau Islands, Indonesia) over this week.
For that, I have a Carradice Bagman rack which mounts on the saddle rails and a Carradice Pendel bag (about 7 liters).

I'll do a write up on that (and some picts ) when thats done.

On this bike vs the IVE.
Totally different beasts.
The IVE is very compact after fold and easier to handle after folding.
The ChangeBike is much larger a bike and very wide after folding.
In that sense, if folding is often needed, then the IVE is already the better choice.
If the fold is only for transportation to/back from destination and the rest of it needs a faster/better ride, then its the ChangeBike (also better for gravel for sure).
Speed as a factor is no comparison.
The ChangeBike got the faster top end gearing of 127 gear inches and I often cruise at 91 GI.
The IVE only goes up to 87 gear inches
Also add in some efficiency/rolling losses of small wheels vs larger wheels and the ChangeBike is certainly the faster bike.
(at the trade-off of size)

dahoneezz 08-06-19 09:25 AM

Thanks for the reply. As usual, the pics you post are really nice.

pinholecam 08-06-19 11:28 PM

Originally Posted by dahoneezz (Post 21062512)
Thanks for the reply. As usual, the pics you post are really nice.

Just my few cents on the bike...
There is not much info on the internet on it at the moment, so hope the information helps anyone considering one.

pinholecam 08-13-19 12:54 AM

2 Day trip to Bintan

A short 2 day trip to the island of Bintan presented itself as a chance to try out the ChangeBike in "credit card touring" mode.
Roads there are generally in good condition with lots of undulating terrain, heat and headwinds.
Day1 would be a 90km ride to the local hotel and Day2 a ride to the ferry terminal at 60km.

"Credit card" touring mode

The short trip did not need much in terms of luggage, so the bike was setup for its purpose.
A Carradice Pendel (total : 11 liters) would be far more than sufficient for 2 sets of clothes, a sandal and some toiletries (with the assortment of bike spares of course).
A Carradice Bagman saddle rail mounted quick release support provided the support for the large saddlebag.

I needed more real estate on the rails to mount the Bagman as well as keep a forward riding position for my sizing needs, so changed out the saddle to a Selle Italia Mitica.

pinholecam 08-14-19 12:57 AM
Carradice Pendel saddle bag

The Carradice Bagman system is well proven and its no difference on this bike.
Its firmly stable and does not sway at all unlike a strap on bag system that is rather popular nowadays.
Of course its pre-requisite is some space on the saddle rails to mount on the system.
The quick release system is easy to use and makes unloading a breeze.
What I like about a bag like the Carradice Pendel is that there is no need to dig out or pack in sequence the luggage to get to some item that may have been stored deeper into a strap-on bag system.

pinholecam 08-15-19 11:25 PM

The ride was with 3 other riders on roadbikes carrying about the same amount of luggage.
So at the least, maybe a 3-4kg difference in bike weight, the rest considering about the same.

I did find the heavier bike and tires harder on the climbs.
My friends on their lighter road bikes would often surge ahead on the start of a climb.
The relief to this was that the gearing on my setup was lower (44/42T) and I did not have to resort to any mashing at all, which all the other riders had to do.
This did mean being able to eventually catch up on the last 3/4 of a climb as they tired out.
The other good point was that the wide 42mm tires did seem to roll better down slope and especially so if the road surface was less than ideal.
There were many occasions where I was really surprised that I caught up to another rider who had appeared to be so distant or even out of sight just from the rolling.

Overall, on this rolling weight vs better rolling on rougher surfaces trade-off, I am uncertain.
Maybe a 32mm or 28mm might be the better balance.
Lower rolling weight, with some damping and conformance to poorer surface, but I will have to swap out the tires to find out for myself.

An ice cold coffee at the mid way point

pinholecam 08-19-19 07:09 AM

RackTime LightIT Rear Rack

Took a chance with the RackTime LightIT rear rack and got one on sale.
The online info was scarce and I was a bit afraid that it would not mount on a bike with disc brakes.
But it turned out to mount alright with a bit of adjustment on the brake side (DIY standoff needed to keep the rack away from the disc brake mounting ).

LightIT rear rack

Mounted only one of the two seat post supports as a trial

BCATC 09-08-19 08:27 PM

I remember a few months ago you posting about this frame, great to see you finally have one. How much did it cost? Would definitely consider one in their psuedo Bianchi mint color.

pinholecam 09-09-19 11:16 PM

Originally Posted by BCATC (Post 21113854)
I remember a few months ago you posting about this frame, great to see you finally have one. How much did it cost? Would definitely consider one in their psuedo Bianchi mint color.

Thanks, yeah, been a long wait for me for this frame (650b version)

Frame is about $737 (usd).
It comes with the MKS removable pedals and carrier bag)

pinholecam 11-03-19 02:04 AM

Been a while since I swapped to the longer cables to let the bike fold properly (original installation did not cater for it and was to taunt when trying to fold), just no time to take some photos of the fold.

Despite the size of the bike, its really easy to fold.
Certainly easier and faster than my Bike Friday Pocket Rocket (Super Pro)
No dropped chains, no dirty hands.
There are enough Youtube videos out there on the folding which will be clearer than it being in words, please check those out if you are interested.

The only thing is that the folded bike is a bit broad.
Since the original intent of the bike is for straight bars, the road bars do interfere with the compactness of the fold a little.
I think this is expected and really common on any folding bike fitted with road bars.
As such, the solution is often to loosen up the stem-bar screws to place/remove the bar to a convenient position.

BikeLite 11-03-19 02:42 PM

Or get a thinstem?

pinholecam 11-03-19 08:50 PM

Originally Posted by BikeLite (Post 21192885)

Interesting idea.
Thanks for the link.

It won't work in my case because the tip of the road bars (at the drops) will contact the top tube when rotated as shown.
Of couse that will vary based on frame size, stack height and stem angle, but thats how mine ended up with so it will difffer for other users.
So I'd have to remove the bars for the most compact fold.
In most cases so far, I have not found a need to though.
Getting into a car trunk, storing at home, getting on the train are all fine w/o removing the bars.
The occasion that will need bar removal will be when I pack the bike for air travel.

I'll be packing up the bike for air travel soon.
Already making up a custom box, and I'll update it when thats done.

pinholecam 11-21-19 02:52 AM

First trip by air in Penang

This is a family trip to nearby Penang, so I took the chance to test out the packing/travelling with the bike.
Generally, it would involve cycling in the early mornings and cycling to some locations for sunrise photos.
A Carradice Pendel bag on the bagman support did the job caring the camera and spares.

pinholecam 11-21-19 03:01 AM

Box measures 36x24x18".
It can be shorter by about 1"+, though I made it bigger just in case.

pinholecam 11-24-19 11:42 PM

Some thoughts about the bike for air travel and travel in general.

1. No oversized luggage fee for the airline I was flying with. Just need to check it in as odd sized luggage.
2. Got into 6 seater cars w/o a problem (via Uber, or other ride hailing app); the back seat needs to be moved a bit to fit my box
3. Preparing of the bike for boxing and fixing it back up is fast and easy; Just fold the bike up, release air pressure from the tires and dismantle the stem+handlebar.
4. Full sized bike riding capabilities upon reaching destination
5. Plushy 42mm tires are always a bonus when riding at own comfortable pace
6. Disc brakes (not common on folding bikes) are superb for its stopping power, modulation and less need of hand power when facing steep descents.

1. Kind of wide after the fold and my DIY box had too much buffer, so will do a version 2 of the box to make it more narrow and shorter.
2. The verion 1 DIY box is on the large side and it did not get into regular 4 passenger cars/taxis. (just needs 1" slimming on the width and length which I will do in ver2 of the box)
3. Pari-moto tires seem rather weak to puncture protection (got a flat on my 2nd day of riding by a broken glass chip; but maybe such things will happen to any tire)

I spent about 2hrs each day riding and this involved some climbing into the local hills and speedy descents.
The ChangeBike handled really well and the wide gearing never felt used up.
Disc brakes were are big bonus on windy, narrow descents, unknowing if any vehicle would be coming the other way.
They decelerated fast with little need for the hand to squeeze too hard on the brake levers, certainly better than caliper brakes.
The bike really comes into its own once its allowed to be used to its strength and not be trying to fight it out with race oriented road bikes.

Overall, I think my only gripe is the bit too big box that I made.
I catered for too much buffer space, resulting in a bigger box than is possible.
This will certainly be corrected in a version 2 of the box.

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