The Chorlton Wanderers are a local social cycling group riding out of Chorlton Water Park, who do a social ride once a month. Given that the August 2019 ride was relatively flat and short (~60km), I decided to attempt it on the Pacific CarryMe to see what riding it for more than 10km was like in terms of pacing, fit, and to generally gauge the fun level.

It was the first shakedown cruise of the Pacific CarryMe. I set out with a single spare inner tube, a pump, a wrench set, and the bike itself.

strava

Impressions

I quickly discovered some things about the riding profile I’ll either need to adapt to or change:

  • Seatpost was too short: I extended it past the minimum insertion point and it still felt like my legs weren’t able to properly extend in the pedal cycle

  • Rattling noise in the frame on cobbled sections: unclear the source of the rattling, but it definitely does not sound very good when amplified by the CarryMe’s aluminum frame

  • Tendency to wheelie: the geometry and rider position means most of the weight is distributed over or very close to the rear wheel. The front wheel lifted off the ground during several fast and tight turns. Didn’t lose control at any point but will need to keep in mind how I shift my weight on future outings

  • Improvised light mount came a little loose: I had to take this off during the ride as it became more apparent the mount was not properly secured; will have to look into a more permanent fixture for this purpose

  • Bike handles just fine in wet weather

  • Hills felt like they took less effort vs the Moulton and Brompton, owing to the ultra-high gear ratio plus small wheels combination

  • Small 8” wheels do not have as much inertia as larger wheels with more mass, so they accelerate very quickly – and decelerate just as quickly. I could not coast for very long on this ride, which unfortunately, means the bike would not be very conducive to longer riding: e.g. 100 - 200km rides, even if going at a good pace.

  • Side-pull front brake calipers work fine and are all the bike ever needs considering its average speed with the 92 tooth chain ring

Overall the ride was exceptionally fun! I absolutely loved every minute of it.

Photos

Amazingly, there was a progression of small wheelers out on this ride and we were able to get some great photos together. From the bottom up:

  • Pacific CarryMe - 8” wheels
  • Brompton S6L - 16” wheels
  • Moulton AM7 - 20” wheels
  • Giant TCR - 28” wheels

We stopped at 3 different points during the ride: - Dunham Massey - Arley Hall - Tatton Park Cafe

With all sorts of surface conditions, ranging from smoothly paved private roads to muddy connecting footpaths to cobbled lanes turning abruptly into gravel pits.