Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flight of the Eclipse - Part 2

Mission accomplished..
I've set out on a long-distance ride yesterday from USJ 2 in Subang Jaya to Jugra.
Had a few buddies to accompany me on the ride and it was an equal mix.
At least this time round, my cycling buddy Roger Teoh had someone with a Tern to match his Joe D24 26" folding bike.
We rode for 120km (shorter distance for those who started from USJ2) on a round-trip.

Putting the Tern through its paces on the trail
Roger and his trusty Joe D24
Riding on the dirt track
Handling and performance
There's no doubt about it that the Tern Eclipse S11i is one bike that is built solid.
For a pricetag of RM7.7k a pop, it met my expectations as a short and middle distance commuter bike.
The Schwalbe Big Apple tires that came with it yielded plenty of comfort while on the road - taking off the bumps and rattle.
Its also a feature-packed bike with lots of good stuff thrown in.
On the surface, it appears like any other bike, but the genius - is in the details.
I love the Shimano Alfine 11 drivetrain.
After running it in for 100km (three rides from short, middle to long distance), the internal hub gear became much smoother.
On the average, I was doing about 21km/h. This was my 'cruising' speed.
Since its pretty heavy - at 14.7kgs, the bike's top cruising speed was recorded at 32km/h.
One issue I had with this bike was the rear disk brakes.
It was dragging as hydraulic fluid in its reservoir had 'swelled'.
I bled it a bit and it helped for the rear hub to freewheel a bit.
But this got worse with heat. It started to drag again and riding this bike for 100km was a real test of endurance.
I think the Eclipse bikes with mechanical disk brakes would fare better in our hot and humid weather.
As far as handling is concerned, the S11i was superb. 
This is by far, one of the more superior bikes around in the rare 24" market.

Getting there, and back: All good adventures ends up with a pleasant memory...
Total distance clocked-in with the Eclipse S11i

Speaking of the ride, I enjoyed the Eclipse S11i very much.
But when practical issues like cost and basic requirements comes to play, my money is on the more basic Eclipse P9. This would be the 24" bikes that I would invest in for me and my wife - which we will also bring along for our tour of the Peninsula.
Well, I'll keep the rest of my findings for my in-depth review for, so, to you Samoholics out there, stay tuned!
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