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Ice Crawling

Submitted by on December 9, 2013 – 7:30 amNo Comment

2013-12-07 13.58.14


With the trails and bridges covered in ice, an afternoon adventure was calling.

Stewart Ball and I swung by Dallas Bike Works and rented an Origin-8 Crawler fat tire bike–the perfect bike for snow, slush, and ice! Off to Flag Pole Hill for some runs…

Riding the Crawler fat tire on the icy snow was a blast. Several folks stopped and asked us what it was. You feel like you could conquer anything with that thing. Besides the fat tires, the Origin-8 comes standard with a continuously variable drivetrain. I was really impressed with this shifter replacement. It’s very intuitive and is a fantastic experience. I love how it works well even you’ve got a lot of torque; something that traditional shifting doesn’t handle well. Here’s Stewart’s impressions after just 24 hours with it:

Heck of a good ride, if you don’t care about fast. It rails corners well, eats up rough terrain and the NuVinci CVP drivetrain is a superb piece of equipment, which allows the rider to dial in the exact amount of effort desired. The disk brakes are huge, however the tire create so much friction that it takes very little braking to control the bike. The front disc feels too aggressive at first because the bike slows down so rapidly. If you plan on riding rough terrain and really care about getting there, perhaps even with a load on board, but speed is not of the utmost importance, this bike is the answer.

The NuVinci N360 is neither a derailleur system nor an internally-geared drivetrain. Rather it offers an infinite amount of seamless, gear-free shifting within its ratio range and an easy-to-use interface. Unlike conventional “geared” drivetrains, the N360 continuously variable planetary drivetrain (CVP) uses a set of rotating and tilting balls positioned between the input component (coming from the chain) and the output component (going to the wheel) of the transmission. Tilting the balls by twisting the shifter on the handlebar changes their contact diameters and varies the speed ratio of the drivetrain resulting in a seamless and continuous transition to any ratio within its range. Any rider who can adjust the volume knob on a radio can easily and confidently shift a bicycle or e-Bike equipped with the N360 CVP.

For the nerdy (like me), here’s a great video on how the drivetrain works.


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Eliot Landrum has been riding bicycles of all shapes and sizes since he was a kid, and has found a new love of cycling in Dallas as an adult. Eliot shares the joy of safe cycling with others through the CyclingSavvy DFW bicycle traffic safety workshops and leading small social rides in East Dallas. You can find his photos and various geeky writings on his personal blog.

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