GLR First Impressions
by Rob Hague
I've just got my new GLR out on the road this weekend... Thought I'd record my first impressions.
Firstly, sat there next to my GTS this is one LONG trike... the 20 degree recline seat looks extremely laid back - more like a bed! With the 16 inch front wheels and a 67t chainring it looks almost like a diamond configuration quad!
On the turbo trainer (checking out the gears, chainline, etc and waiting for the rain to stop...) my first observation was that at the top of the stroke my knees are almost level with the top of my head!!! The seat angle did not feel too extreme.
So, on the road... A fitting test ride seemed to be the 20 mile main road round trip that I use for time trial practice. I've got reliable timings from my other trikes on this route for comparison.
At first I was a little disappointed. The machine cruises well but doesn't feel fast. Then I realised I was riding with the 67t ring and in a mid gear on the rear cassette. The trike was shifting but because it is so laid back the sensation of air movement is much reduced, even compared to a GTS.
Then I noticed how it climbs. On the gentler hills I was dropping from top gear down two gears for the climb and down a third gear to pick up the cadence again and accelerate away at the summit. On my GTS I shift down more, even tho that only has a 52t chainring...
On the return run there is a stiff climb. It isn't long, has a good downhill run at it but it is steep. On the GTS I drop down to the 42t chainring and sometimes need to engage 1st on the 3x7 to crest it. The GLR simply powered up it... I worked my way down to the largest rear sprocket but I didn't need to drop to the smaller (52t) chainring!
As a starting point I thought I'd run the Primo Comets at 100psi, a touch harder than the 85psi marked on the sidewalls. This gave a surprisingly fast and smooth ride. When I've tried my GTS with Tioga Comp Pools at this sort of pressure I've found that I loose speed on rough shake-and-bake surfaces. Why the difference? A narrower track? More complient cross member (as Ian Humphries suggested? Whatever, it seems to do the trick.
This trike is one wild ride!
And my time for the run? Well, I get stuck at traffic lights for 30 seconds or so at the half way point but even including that I recorded a time of 1hr 15mins 00secs compared to a best ever time on my GTS (with tailbox) of over 1hr 18min and over 1hr 20mins without tailbox. That gave me a 3 minutes advantage over 20 miles on my first ride out...
The seat recline feels fine but my legs feel like they're not used to the position yet. I feel like I'm sprinting all the time. Fine for an hour tho. More adjustment and practice and I'm sure there is another 5 minutes to be taken off of this run - and that is before I fit the tailbox...