With the racing season hotting up I have a dilema. Rage – The Ragley TD-1 has a big Race proven sticker on its top tube. It’s racey and agressive low front end should be faster, but can I cope with a rigid ride over the Smooth Pegasus.
So with the weather settled I did my full off road technical commute on both bikes. Same wheels and tyres which I swapped between and same rider, same weather lets go. Here’s the raw numbers.
Day 1: TD-1 – Inward 57:42 – Outward 60:35
Day 2: Pegasus – Inward 56.03 – Outward 59.51
Well thats pretty conclusive. I have to say I really wanted the TD-1 to win, it was gleaming with 2×9 gearing for speed on the flat and the H bars to tuck down on to. The Pegasus was muddy tired and suspended up front, both bikes had the King wheels with Crests fitted at 24psi.
My 16.5 mile route starts with a very bumpy farm road onto an old gravel railway line for 3 miles, touch of road then a rough wooded bridleway for 6 miles. A tight twisty wood section for 2 miles, a cycle path for another 2 then a super tight singletrack uphill for a mile before finishing off in town.
Day 1 the Ragley felt fast, I was down on the front parts of the H bars pushing as high a gear as possible. The front end felt unobtrusive on the rough bits but there was no doubt that when it came to any jumps or log hops that rigid has its limits. The ride in was a record for this route, as it proved was the ride back, this i put down to the best ever rock hard conditions. On the ride back the singletrack section is downhill and very fast, here I could sense being slower than normal. The feedback from the front was superb but I think the bars just hindered close control, must try again with flat bars sometime. There was no doubting that the speed into the headwind was great.
Day2 I used the Garmin race function to track progress. I expected to be chasing my tail, but as it turned out the on ride I was always up and finished over a minute faster. More so my avg heartrate was 6 beats lower. Must be a change in wind I thought, our full metrological spec weather station at work said not, same as yesterday. Now I can suspect it’s only human to try harder when chasing a carrot but the lower heartrate tells no lies.
On the return into the wind, sure enough the Ragley started to pull away through town, I felt fresh but as I started the fast singletrack was behind just! The Son of Secret track soon sorted that out; 16.15 to there day 1 and 15.18 on day 2 – a phenomonal difference and one I could sense on the ride. The Pegasus is just so much fun, its precise, you skim every tree with your shoulders, losing less speed than the TD-1 and it jumps and flows just superby. From then on into the wind on the wooded fireroad the Ragley had the edge but the damage was done.
Unless its a flatout field or fireroad race into a headwind I’d be mad to not race the Pegasus. THIS IS THE BEST BIKE I HAVE EVER RIDDEN! have I mentioned that before 😉
Begs the question now then, what do I keep the TD-1 for. I guess it’s the better winter option bike, where the harshness of the ride is not such a factor. It’s easier to change SS gear ratios with those sliding dropouts, it has much better chain and tyre clearance and it’s not going to eat itself with chainsuck……….but I could use a Steel Swift for that 😉 might have to contact Singular Sam.