Re: fury roadmaster test report

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by [email protected], Apr 30, 2004.

  1. On 8 Mar 2004 16:33:15 -0800, [email protected] (Carl Fogel)

    >After the first five rides, it seems as if the Fury
    >Roadmaster ($53.71 at LawTram, plus tax) deserves its
    >own thread. (If nothing else, this will keep this
    >bicycle-shaped object from soiling other threads in
    >Previous and overly detailed posts regarding this triumph
    >of the bicycle-industry's art may be seen at:
    >[email protected]
    >(which is where Dave Van Tol started it all)
    >and at:
    >[email protected]
    >(which is where Tom Sherman should have let sleeping dogs
    >lie). Both posts are part of long and foolish exchanges.)
    >As gloomily predicted, my expensive new bicycle suffered
    >a potentially serious mechanical problem that can only be
    >blamed upon inadequate setup by the overpaid slackers who
    >took my money!
    >Pedalling furiously around my four-mile route through the
    >city park like Benny Hill, I noticed that my left thumb
    >shifter did not seem as fixed and reliable as Julius Caesar,
    >who likened himself to the North Star.
    >Several times, either vibration or my clumsy paw moved the
    >lever from "H" toward "L," whereupon the front derailleur
    >began to make a faint noise, as if thinking about putting
    >its hand on the chain's knee--curses!
    >I considered posting a plea for advice, but feared that
    >Sheldon Brown, famed for his short tempered unwillingness
    >to suffer fools gladly, might lecture me severely.
    >(Besides, Sheldon is a fixed-gear fanatic and may know nothing
    >about sophisticated thumb-shifters. Why do so many dealers
    >become fixed-gear freaks? Is it a reaction to the endless
    >shifting problems that they see, somewhat like bouncers in
    >a topless bar losing interest in--well you get the idea.)
    >Luckily, I have a pre-publication copy of Jobst Brandt's
    >"The Left-Hand Thumb Shifter" (Huffy Press, 12th edition,
    >2005, $49.95). It counseled pre-tensioning the triple-ring
    >shifter by rotating its honkin' big cross-head screw clockwise
    >"until the handlebar begins to yield locally."
    >The shifter now seems much improved, but woe to those who
    >forgo the services of the local bike shop!
    >Carl Fogel

    As usual in Pueblo, last week's heavy spring snowstorm led the city to
    close the last part of my daily ride through the park. The long back
    stretch behind the zoo is not quite perfectly level, so a foot-deep
    puddle a hundred feet long appears near its end, preceded by "Road
    Closed" signs erected to prevent cars from drowning their engines and
    leaving their drivers marooned.

    With 700c x 25 tires, my touring bike negotiates the puddle nicely,
    but the Fury Roadmaster has less freeboard and broader paddles, so
    both of its laps through the park that day required dropping a gear.

    Apart from the sheer breadth of the 26 x 1.95 mountain bike tires, the
    Fury RoadMaster's mighty knobs may act like paddle-wheels and churn up
    extra water. The deceleration is impressive. Luckily, the tires are
    not large enough to float--at least in such shallow water.

    After its icy bath, the chain was crudely cleaned and oiled in hopes
    of staving off rust and perhaps even reducing friction, since my times
    had been slowly lengthening for the daily four-mile ride.

    No speed improvement was noticeable after oiling, but pondering my
    decline led to an examination of the long seat-post that replaced the
    original short piece of pipe more suitable for children aged 10 to 17.

    Although tightened (or so I fondly believed), the well-greased
    seat-post had slowly inched down into the Fury RoadMaster's frame,
    like a timid turtle. Under my stately bulk, so much exposed seat-post
    may have provided a long enough lever to rock and wiggle deeper into
    the frame. Two daily laps up and down over four speed humps could only
    have made things worse.

    The improved leg angle of the re-raised seat-post more than made up
    for the extra wind drag of the more upright position, leading to my
    best time yet, 12:15. A piece of yellow duct tape wrapped around the
    post just above the frame will warn me if the seat-post descends

    So far, after 58 rides and over 230 miles, the Fury RoadMaster has
    suffered no flats, broken spokes, or rear derailleur cables frayed
    into two pieces, unlike my more heavily abused touring bike.

    Now for a technical question. Slick mountain bike tires are sold and
    claim to roll more easily. If they do, how much of the improvement is
    due to the smoothness (less squirm into tread pattern voids), how
    much is due to the reduction in material (less rubber to squirm), and
    how much is due to improved aerodynamics (those knobs must churn up
    considerable turbulence)?

    Someone with both slick and knobby tires of this kind might try
    spinning each kind up to speed the bike in a workstand, watching the
    speedometer, and timing how long the same wheel takes to stop. If
    weights are added to the slick until it matches the knobby, the
    accuracy would be improved. A lovely assistant wielding a
    turbo-charged hair-dryer to simulate the wind would make the
    experiment more interesting.

    Of course, pure theory unencumbered by data is welcome, as always.

    Carl Fogel

  2. Ron Hardin

    Ron Hardin Guest

    Tire changes make a huge difference. Cheng Shin makes the slowest ones,
    if you want to experiment the other direction. On the other hand they
    last forever. They're not even particularly knobby.

    I don't know if there are steel studded Cheng Shins, but that might be
    worth trying for heights of slowness.

    I gained a free 3mph just changing to discount store tires.
    Ron Hardin
    [email protected]

    On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.