In the past couple of weeks around here the winter weather has gone from one extreme to the next. We have an El Niño year and the weather is unpredictable. The temperature goes from the -30s C to +5C overnight, we had large quantities of snow followed by rain then freezing cold again. Snow is piled up over 2m (6ft) on each side of the road and driveways. Secondary roads are covered with snow and ice. I’ve been riding my mountain bike while the DF is parked until the riding conditions improve. A couple of weeks ago, the snow had mostly melted and I was looking forward to riding on the roads by the end of February but I think it will take a few more weeks as we expect more snow, rain and significant temperature fluctuations over the next week to 10 days.
Well because I can’t ride my velomobile, it does not mean things are not happening in the velomobile world. Here are some bits of information I collected.
A new line of inner tubes are available that may make changing a tire on IGH equipped velomobiles much easier. The tubes sold under the name Gaadi is different because it does not require that you remove the wheel to install a new inner tube or repair a hole in the tube. The tube is split and has two ends, coming out of the box, it looks like a snake with a valve coming out the side. Once installed in the rim, the tow ends meet to form a perfect circle.
The Gaadi tubes come in 20, 24, 26 and 28in size and are also available with Schrader and Presta valves. The company does not provide the exact size for the width or ETRO size. I suspect that it is a universal fit and may only be appropriate for 35 to 50mm tires. The tubes are also more expensive than other tubes and I have seen big price differences between vendors. they are €12 on the Gaadi website.
This video explains how the tube works.
The two-seater Milan 4.2 is available for testing. This week one rider wrote about his experience test riding the 4.2 with his little girl. This rider is larger than average (195cm and size 48 shoes) and was unable to ride with the top on. His head was above the roll arch and his feet were touching the shell. In the pictures he posted, his daughter (110cm) in the back appears to be comfortable in the jump seat. As a Milan GT owner was able to compare the two and indicated that the 4.2 is wider than the GT but no mention of the velomobile weight but the tester indicated that the performance was very good.
People interested have been told that production has started so if this is a velomobile that peaks your interest contact the manufacturer to test or purchase the Milan 4.2.
It is unfortunate that the information on the Milan website is not being kept up to date with regular information on their activities. The company spent a lot of time and probably resources to build a new website last year but if the information remains static, it does not meet the needs of both the company and potential customers. For many, a lack of perceived activity on the website is also a reflection, justified or not, on the health of the company.
This week a reader informed me that there was a news update on the Katanga web site. This is welcomed information because it provides insight into the company recent and future activities. The manufacturer has been fairly quiet in recent months but it looks like they have been busy in the background. Last year Katanga sold some 46 WAW, the highest number since it’s introduction since 2002. All the WAW sold last year are the revamped 2014 version but it is important to mote that the WAW is available with many nose and tail configuration changing look and riding properties. The company is also planning to move into new facilities in the next few months. Click here for more info.
CabBike - PIMA
In a recent post I mentioned that PIMA was having a sale where CabBike Hawk velomobiles and trailers were on sale for a few weeks. I went to check the website and it appears that none have been sold. I am somewhat surprised because the price is very attractive. Maybe no-one wants to be first, people may be unsure or potential buyers may not like the design. I’m not sure what it is but it is unfortunate. Maybe it is worth a second look to save 25%. Click here for more info