Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Karate Monkey Landspeed Record attempt

In my bid to build the fastest Karate Monkey on the planet I have a way to go. My second attempt at wind tunnel testing on the Rimutaka incline proved problematic as a southerly came through. I was in danger of getting hypothermia in the actual tunnel as the wind tried to wrestle the 2nd rain jacket I was trying to put on from my grip.

It's at this time of the year (spring) that the weather is always at its worst. Winter is a doddle in Wellington. It's always mild and mostly dry and most of the time you don't even have to wear gloves. Ok, it snowed this year. But that has never happened before. Spring sucks. I am getting probably 1 dry ride out of 3, and the trails are a mess.

The first speed enhancement I tried was my home brewed aero-bars, followed by a reverse slammed riser stem, the Freeload rack speed-pod, then the wheel covers (disc wheel emulator). A 46 tooth big ring helps too.

Room for an expresso pot, tools and spare shorts. 
Wind tunnel testing is all very well, but its on the race track where you see if all the hours of computer modelling you have been doing pays off. Unfortunately the disc cover caused a slight rubbing on the brake caliper, so I had to eliminate it from the test. I could have run my tri-spoke on the front, but that would have meant putting the v-brakes back on. Too hard.

The race was on what the UK Time Trial testers would call a "sportsmans" course, a winding 22kms in the country with lots of the nasty coarse 3/4 chip that we specialise in here in NZ. You can tell it was slow when the fastest time was a  41kmh on a hi-end TT rig. We got hammered with a rain squall coming through as well.

The best I could manage was 35kmh in 37.25 mins. Pretty pathetic, but with 32 spokes smashing into the wind, Armadillo tires and very wide handlebars I guess I shouldn't have expected too much. I did sit on 54kmh for a bit on the wednesday worlds ride early that week, but then I also went out the back some time shortly afterwards : )

The fat tires are back on now. But if anyone else wants to have a crack, we can start with the Karate Monkey World Landspeed record at 35kmh for 20 kms. All results must be verified.