Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hot Feet, maybe not for much longer

Hot Feet, maybe not for much longer
I have ridden about 1500km in the new DF and fit issues are mostly resolved.  In my recent 300km brevet I started suffering from what is commonly known by cyclists as “Hot Foot”, a condition many cyclists encounter where the toes progressively goes numb and a burning sensation under the foot starts to appear and becomes very painful to continue riding.  This problem is much worse when I ride my DF and I have to get up on the pedals when climbing. 

Since I rode the brevet I have tried to be very gentle and not to ride too much or too aggressively to give my foot a chance to get better.  Unfortunately, the numbness still appears after 30 minutes of riding.  I decided that I needed to address the situation if I want to continue riding long distances.  This week I went to see a specialist who makes orthopedic appliances for feet and after looking at my cycling shoes and my feet, he said that it was a condition called metatarsalgia where the metatarsal bones slowly collapse.  For cyclists, this is mostly due to the pressure on the pedals and overuse.  He is designing a new pair of insoles for my cycling shoes that will have a small bump in the middle of my foot in front of instep.  I hope that I will have them before my 400km brevet on June 6th.  In the mean time, I will try to ride shorter distances not to aggravate the problem.

I know many cyclists have this problem so I will report on my progress, hopefully, it will be positive.

European manufacturers are not reporting much lately, they may be busy getting prepared for Cycle Vision and with any luck we’ll have more things to report soon.


Daniel Fenn reported that they have chosen new shock absorbers for the back.  He indicated that contrary to the original DT Swiss shocks, an 80kg person would have to operate with 2.5 Bar (35PSI) of air in the new shock.  He has not yet disclosed the name of the supplier, the model or the weight of the new shock.  The choice of the new shock means that deliveries will return to normal soon.  Will the new shock be compatible with older DF?  Let's hope so.

While we should see several hoods for the DF make their way to DF owners, we have early reports of the hood performance. Riders took the hood for a test ride and reported on one sthe first hood made available by Intercitybike.  First, the hood is similar to the Evo-K hood, it uses the same motorcycle helmet visor and has a large side window but the DF hoof has an extra opening at the rear for venting. From comments made on-line, it seems that Michael Byess did not appreciate the similarities in the design.  Sunny reports good performance and indicates that water droplets are not penetrating inside from the side holes.  He indicates that fogging is an issue at times and must lift the front visor a bit to let enough air penetrate the cockpit but rain drops are also coming in.  Different solutions are being examined to resolve the issue.


Work on the QuatroVelo is continuing at the Romanian factory, pictures showing  workers sanding partially finished parts including  wheel wells, seat.  The seat will be wider and have a depression for the backbone.  The seat will reportedly be fully adjustable.

Sturmey Archer

Fastolfe, a Quest owner has installed a Sturmey Archer XL-SDD hub with 90mm brakes with integrated dynamo in his Quest.  The installation required some engineering and modification of the strut to accommodate the passage of the electric wire.  At the end of the day, the installation was successful and heavy braking has not had an effect on the dynamo performance so far.  He reports that the new hub is noisy probably due to the shell and the noise frequency changes under load.  He also tested the performance of the dynamo and while the test is not scientific, here are his numbers:

Speed mph/kph
Power (W)
(no load)
(9-cell NiMH pack)

The production from just one hub is impressive not the real question is how much power it takes to produce this electricity and how it affects the performance of the velomobile.  While it gives some piece of mind, I’m wondering if it is better to carry an extra battery instead.

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