Plataforma Promoció de la Bicicleta a Sant Cugat

S'ha creat la Plataforma per la Promoció de la Bicicleta a Sant Cugat. L'enllaç és:



The lepper saddle

The bike came with a leather Lepper Concorde saddle as an option (around extra 35 euros). I choose it because was aesthetically appropriated to the bicycle, and because I had heard leather saddles were more confortable in the long run.

The first weeks were a real pain in the ass (literally!), but after some time leather began to soften. In fact, I tried to accelerate the process by spreading some hand cream at the bottom side of the leather, and I think it worked. When it broke in definitely it became a real pleasure to ride.

Despite its inherent confort, I ended up substituting the Lepper saddle because the lateral edge of the leather was rather sharp and it wore out some of my trousers (even, making a hole to one of them!). I tried to smooth this edge but I didn't want to try any longer. Also, a leather saddle needs to be covered with a bag if rain is expected, and this is cumbersome (in Spain, it may rain without much warning).

Still, I'm not entirely dissatisfied with the saddle, and I may mount it again if I do some cycle touring.

Lightning system

The lightning system is composed of a Shimano HB-NX60 hub dynamo and the SW-NX30 light sensor switch. The hub dynamo is superb: I cannot feel any rolling resistance, be the light on or off. I can't really tell whether the lights are on or not. Moreover, it is absolutely silent. Definitely, it beats out all my previous "bottle dynamos", which tended to slip when it was raining, to move with time, etc.

Another thing is the SW-NX30 light sensor switch. Its concept is brilliant--automatic switching depending on the light conditions. Moreover, it is expected to protect bulbs from overvoltage. However, I think that there is something in its construction that creates a significant power loss. With a 2.4W in the front I get less light that with my old bottle dynamo, and measuring voltage with a tester I'm afraid that there is a significant drop within the SW-NX30. My measuring method was quite clumsy and I need to repeat it, but if confirmed, it would be a poor design example from Shimano. A positive point is that the switching on threshold (the point at which the light sensor turns bulb on) is very well found.

As a summary, the lightning system is very comfortable (silent, no rolling resistance, no need to switch on lights when it gets dark), but with low lightning levels. For short commuting in well lightened areas it may be OK, but don´t try to go anywhere dark with it.

In the future, I may try to bypass the SW-NX30 to see if light power improves. Please let me know if you have tried it.


About the nexus-7 hub

One of the things I like most is the 7 gear hub from Shimano. It switches instantly, even with the bicycle completely stopped. In urban traffic it allows you to always have the best gear, which ofter results in instant acceleration power when you most need it. For example, no problem if you have to break suddenly at an intersection and then speed-up again: just switch gears at any time and pedal. As gear switching is so fast and convenient, I tend to switch gear much more often than with a derailleur bike.
The spacing between gears is very adequate. For my particular daily journey I would like to have a slightly larger gear ratio, which can be achieved with the newer Shimano-8 hub.
Speeds 1 and 3 are quite "grinding". Although it has improved with usage, it is an area of improvement for this model of gear hub.


More about my bike

This is another picture of the bike.
I live in Sant Cugat, a medium-sized town near Barcelona, Spain. It is quite a hilly place. The Azor frame shape doesn't help you to stand on the pedals (in fact, it is quite difficult because the handlebar handles are very close to your hips). This is definitely a bike designed for a flat country! However, the wide range of the gear set allows me to climb without problems any slope in the village and I'm quite happy with it. I asked the show to substitute the original 19-teeth sprocket by another one of 22 teeth, which I believes makes much more sense in any circumstance.

My new dutch bike

This is the Azor Oklahoma bike I bought on June 06. I'm quite happy with it, particulary because of its radical upright driving position. It is absolutely comfortable and gives you a lot of visibility at the same time.
I also like the shimano nexus-7 gear hub, whose instantaneous switching is ideal for commuting. It is also a studry bike; I carry my 2 1/2 years old son who weights around 15Kg and I can harldy notice him.
This is not precisely a versatile bike-but I knew when I bought it. It is very good for pleasant, not-so-fast city journeys.