Winter commuter by Jirka Hebeda

27 03 2009

I use recumbents for everyday commute to work, about 150km per week in average. I go in every weather and in winter I need bike that can not only survived that, but let me survive too. It has to stay controlable on snow and ice, go over obstacles ect. Azub bikes are ideal for that task.
For a long time I considered Azub 4 to be the best of Azub ever. Even after they replaced it by “5” and the whole new range of new models with sophisticated CNC details. When they released Apus I saw it as the new version of the “4”. All the good bits are still there but with all the minor bugs solved. It has a stiffer rear fork with more room for big tyres, bigger headset, tougher luggage carrier and so on. The new bike can cary anyone for general riding but with just 63kg I can do pretty much anything to it and it asks for more.
I chose Meks Carbon fork for lightness and adjustibilithy. Avid mechanical disc brakes ensure unchanged performance in deep snow or mud, 8-speed chain got chosen over 9-speed for higher durability. SON hub dynamo provides reliable power supply for the homebuilt high-power LED lights – 2x Cree Q5 throwing about 300 lumens in a narrow beam.
Last customized part is the cranks. I bought some flat robust 175mm long ones, drilled new holes and threads. I’m using the resulting 153mm cranks for testing the influence of short cranks on comfort and power. After 1700km it looks like I adapted to them and the speed is back where it used to be with 170mm cranks. I’m still uncertain about having sufficient torque to lift the front wheel in heavy terrain or over city curbs but overall I like the short cranks.
Now I swith from tyres with steel spikes to a regular offroad setting. I make a detour on the way home every day to enjoy and practice offroad riding. I’m running out of unexplored single tracks in the area but it is still huge fun.






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