Monday, September 24, 2012

Chris' Nordavinden Sportive

Click on the picture to embiggen.

"As for the Rawland Nordavinden, it rode superbly! I started my day with an 11-mile ascent of Montezuma Grade from Borrego Springs to Ranchita, followed by about an hour of 20-30 mph cruising to Lake Henshaw, and then ascended for another 11 miles and 2500 more feet of climbing to the top of Mount Palomar. That was mile 47 and I backtracked from there, meaning I got to enjoy two 11-mile downhills on the way back to the start. The bike rode like a dream. Honestly, I have never been happier on a bike. In fact, the combination of an incredible, low-traffic route and this fantastic bike was so enchanting that I didn't even lose my cool over all the flat tyre issues. I was just so happy to be on a bike that fits perfectly, flows over bumps with aplomb, climbs beautifully, and descends impeccably.

All this talk about low-trail front ends not working right unless they have weight on them is either just that, a bunch of talk, or it just doesn't apply to my size 58 Nordavinden. (For more reference points, I weight 175, my saddle height is 77cm, my stem length is 10cm, bars are 44cm wide, and the tires are Challenge Parigi-Roubaix run at 80lbs rear and 75 lbs front (well, they were those pressures at the start of the day; not sure after all the tube swaps and repairs along the way).

I was nervous about flatting yet again on the 11-mile descent at the end of the day, so I modulated the speed to about 30 most of the time, and only opened it up to 40mph near the bottom. The bike was never in the least bit twitchy, didn't wander, and held whatever line I wanted to take. Really, I don't know how any bike could ride better than this Nordavinden, and I say that with a current stable of nearly 20 bikes and having owned and ridden probably 20 others in the past. (Time to sell off more bikes...).

I am extremely pleased with this bike. It rides so beautifully, almost effortlessly. It's just absolutely smooth and graceful."

Click here for pictures of Chris' Nordavinden and his adventure. 

Thanks, Chris.