18 June, 2013

Pass Hunter Testing

by Scott

I took the opportunity this past weekend to head out and do some more testing of the pass hunter prototype. I knew of some gravel roads that circumnavigated Sugar Loaf mountain west of Gaithersburg MD, that would make a great testing ground.

I was using the set up we'd had on the bike since we built it up- 32mm wide Pasela tires and 45mm smooth fenders. It worked out great. Only in one or two small  rocky sections did I think I could use a slightly knobbier tire. Even on the steep descents, the bike handled great. I think the major limiting factor was my leg strength (or lack thereof)
As you can tell, I tend to ride on the hoods and flats :)

By the way, we have a Polyvalent on special here-
Update- The Polyvalent has been sold


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, that's where I got married! At Strong Mansion. Pretty place.

Isaiah Kramer said...

What Bars on the Pass Hunter for testing?

VeloOrange said...

I was using 44cm wide Course bars

Mark Holm said...

I was using 35mm Paselas, but switched, this season, to 50mm (45 actual) Schwalbe Big Bens. At first, the BB's had a bit more rolling resistance. That went away quickly as the many tiny points in the tread pattern wore down to more realistic small luglets. The BB's are just great on the crushed stone surfaced rail-trails I often ride. A little mud, some gravel, loose stone dust? No problem! They also soften the bumbs a lot better. I'm now convinced, fatter tires are better for a whole lot of situations. 35mm is the bare minimum if you are really light. At my 180lb weight, and on less than perfect surfaces, 45 is much better.

Anonymous said...

Mark, are you using the Big Bens on one of the VO frames? Those tires seem very promising and I'd love to hear what frames they can fit.
- John

Mark Holm said...

No, the 50mm Big Bens are on a 2009, canti brake version, Rivendell Samuel Hillborne. the BB's fit fine, without fenders. I doubt one could get fenders into the gap. I'm thinking the new standard design for general purpose, recreation bikes should have clearance for 50mm tires plus fenders. These tires work so well for me that I think everybody who ever rides on rougher surfaces, and who isn't a flyweight, should have them. Really light folks can probably be happy at 35 or 40 mm.

Mark Holm said...

I should also add the Big Ben's do not have Shcwalbe's bestest, mostest puncture protection. They have the next level down, which is a reinforcing fabric belt of some kind but not the thick layer of rubber under the tread. Rails-to-Trails do not seem to present the degree of puncture hazard that city streets often do. Glass, metal, etc. are rare. If you ride city streets, or are in goathead territory, you might want the ultimate puncture protection of the top end Marathon's.

Mark Holm said...

BTW, Rivendell doesn't/didn't claim, on their web site that the Sam's will fit 45-50mm tires. Mine is a 56cm, in the older, canti brake version. Smaller frames, or newer frames might not have the same clearance. Best to ask. You should ask VO about their frames. I think a lot of frames may fit tires a bit bigger than claimed, especially without fenders, but there is no way to know without either trying or having the drawings. Before I ordered the Big Ben's, I checked with a ruler for the clearance around the 35mm Pasela's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mark, good info! I talked to VO; Campeur: 700 x 40 michelin tire fits with no fenders. Pass Hunter: a 38mm tire would be the biggest one could fit with no fenders. They are free to correct me here...

See the Gypsy By Trade blog post "Second Impressions of the Campeur" for yet another opinion on what tires will fit.

Every tire brand/model is different; I was hoping you'd tried the Big Bens on the VO frames. Rivendell states that a 700x50 Big Ben measures ~45mm on (apparently) a 21mm rim, so it (in theory) shouldn't fit the VO frames?? I'm waiting for someone to try it. Then there's the Schwalbe 700x40 Little Big Ben, said on a blog to measure ~36mm on Alex rims, so they should fit nicely (in theory) in the Campeur or Pass Hunter frames. -John

Anonymous said...

I haven't measured or pushed the envelope on tire clearance for my new Campeur, but for now the 35mm Schwalbe Supremes and 45mm VO hammered aluminum fender fit beautifully. With the 45 fenders you might get away with 38s on the tires, but then you run more risk of getting things stuck between.

Someday I may check out wider tires (w/o fenders).