Finally had a bit of good weather today! Ground was still wet but at least it was not raining. Decided to bring out the newly upgraded Vitesse for testing. Major upgrades include Kinetix Comp rims, Kinetix/Avid brake set, Ultegra RD and XT shifters, 9 speed cassette and chain. With so many changes at once, it is important to test out the bike nearby before going on longer journeys.
Went to the nearby Bukit Batok Nature Park for testing, because it has a long straight for me to test out the high gears (and top speed) and also a steep slope for testing the lower gears.
With the newly added fenders, I no longer have to worry about small puddles of water! I used to slow down to a crawl to go through the puddles, so as to avoid splashing the bike with water. However I can now go through at a good pace and the fenders will block everything. Although the fenders means the bike does not look so fast or lightweight, its really practical, especially if wet roads are expected. Saves a lot of cleaning too.
The XT shifters on the Vitesse are quite amazing. On the bike stand there was a bit of hesitation when shifting from gear 5 to 4, but during actual riding there was no problem at all. The chain shifted smoothly up and down through the whole range of 9 gears. Some of the upshifts are so smooth that I'm not sure if it has shifted, the only indication that it has shifted coming from the increased resistance at the pedals. The shifts are really crisp and fast and silent. Fantastic upgrades.
Next it was the Boardwalk's turn to be tested. Rode the Vitesse home and brought out the Boardwalk. However it started to drizzle again when I went downstairs. Thus I just rode circles around the void deck testing the gears. Somehow the shifting of the X9 is not as crisp as the XT, even though it was the other way round on the repair stand. I believe its because I was pedaling very slowly, thus the shifting was hesitant. Have to test it in a proper riding condition before conclusion.
Hope to go for a ride tomorrow (Wed) before the Chinese New Year weekend!