Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New World Test Rides

I finally got a chance to do an earnest set of test rides on the New World today. The pedals and saddle are not in their final configuration, but I have enough here to ride. I took a couple rides about 30 minutes in length, adjusting the brakes along the way. I broke in the new brake pads too, which helped stopping power quite a bit.

The ride is unique- not quite a balloon tire and not quite a lightweight. The single speed skip tooth set up with a pretty high gear ration has the feel of a balloon tire, but it's a free wheel with less friction than a coaster brake. The calipers are pretty primitive feeling and a lot less refined than even the stock Raleigh Sports brakes from later eras. The bicycle starts a bit hard to pedal due to the high gear ratio but accelerates rather quickly. The bicycle is MUCH lighter than it looks. It weighs substantially less than my 23 inch framed Raleigh Sports. It has overall pleasant riding qualities. It turns and takes off pretty quickly. The brakes are questionable in power, but that's pretty par for a 65 year old bike. They do slow and stop the bike well enough to use, I believe.

Note: the pinch bolts on these are REALLY weak. I actually snapped one while doing an adjustment today. Luckily, I had a spare in my parts bin. If you encounter a set of these brakes make sure you GO GENTLY with the pinch bolts.

Here are a few improved shots in the sunlight. It was pretty cold today.

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