For my first ride on the Halfbike 3 I decided to more or less repeat my Halfbike 2 ride from 3 days ago. I extended it slightly to include the hill out of the park and back in again so I could comment on the gearing for hills.
This is the first time I’ve ridden a hill on a halfbike since a crash last August. That crash was caused by a rear wheel oscillation that turned out to be impossible to control in that particular scenario – I was riding too fast (crash happened at 17.6mph), down a hill, and on a bend. I’d had that oscillation before but had always been able to get it under control. I lost some of my confidence with the halfbike but it hasn’t stopped me from riding it, I’m just more cautious now particularly with speed. I don’t know why I ended up riding that fast that day but I had typically kept the speed below about 13mph and I make sure I do now just to be sure.
It might be the case that the new geometry on the Halfbike 3 eliminates the oscillation issue so we’ll see as my confidence builds.
As for today’s ride initially it felt like it was more twitchy, but it didn’t take long for me to get used to it.
Halfbike had asked me what sort of gearing I wanted and I had chosen the 17T option which is better for hilly riding.
However, with 4 gears now i found that even on the flat I was mostly in 3rd gear. When I did try 4th gear I found that when I slowed (there are some rough paving spots on the ride that I would rather slow for) I would shift back to 3rd to get back up to speed.
As for riding over the rough surfaces I actually felt more stable on the Halfbike 3 than on the Halfbike 2 so once I had built some confidence I was riding over them faster.
One thing to be sure of before you ride is to tighten the quick release levers enough. I thought I had but part way through the ride I heard a rattling noise so stopped immediately. One of the bottom ones had dropped out of position, but once I had put it back in tight enough I had no further problems and it was still tight at the end of the ride.
On the hill I found that second gear was a bit too much so I dropped down to first which felt good (I think I just need to get fitter). Given my lack of downhill confidence I used the brake which controlled the descent very well. The brake definitely seems like an improvement (although part of that could be due to how old the Halfbike 2 brake pads are).
My average speed for the ride was faster and my heart rate was similar (132 vs 135) even though a hill was added to this ride.
Here is the Garmin data from my Halfbike 2 ride, followed by the data from today’s Halfbike 3 ride:
Note: I am a Halfbike ambassador but I like to make sure people know what they are getting into when they are considering buying one so I will always be honest (see my previous posts). If anyone in central NJ would like to test one out I am always happy to help.
The following code is good for $50 off a Halfbike 3 until April 2020: KHPCPXFG
This link should work for a discount on the Halfbike 2 and will always give the best available discount at the time of use: https://halfbikes.com/?a=XHJVQ