Handle came yesterday, here’s my first impressions.
Firstly, some thanks are due to Roger- I’d previously ordered a KH handle some time ago, listed as ‘in stock’ on the site, but which wasn’t actually there, so, Roger promised me a good deal on the new Nimbus handle when it came out- thanks Roger
Due to me having a KH 29-er, a shim was necessary in addition to the handle and seat post.
Putting it together was actually quite straigthtforward- one minor niggle was that the quick releases for the bar ends required a different size allen key to the 2 I already need for the KH (bearing holders and seat clamp).
Luckily, being a unicyclist, I’m accustomed to collecting large numbers of different sized tools to tackle the huge variety of different bolt/nut sizes that seem to multiply with each new model
First ride was with the handle uncut, so it stuck out quite a distance.
I’m not used to riding with handles of this length- previously I’ve had a Reeder(short muni handle) then the old nimbus handle, which I stopped using cos it felt overly heavy and cumbersome.
The new nimbus shadow handle is much lighter and also has the option of just using the front handle part- this is what I did as I felt no need at this point for the rear facing handle.
I used the upward curved bar with the curve pointing up.
Unfortunately, i now experienced a thing which I thought was down to the handle, but which, after spending almost 2 hours trying to sort it out, turned out to be nothing to do with the handle.
It was a creaking noise- as the only change I’d made was to install the new handle, I (wrongly) assumed that the creaking was coming from there.
I’m very sensitive when it comes to unnecessary noise- for me unicycling rides are about enjoyment, simplicity and peace- this creaking that was happening with every pedal push was annoying even on the noisey roads- when I went off-road it was intolerable.
Getting home I decided to approach the problem scientifically cos I really liked the handle and was desperate to try and get rid of the noise, cos, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to actually use it on rides.
After two hours of taking the handle off, adjusting/tightening various bolts, by the end of which I’d actually dissected the entire saddle and stripped out the steel strenghening plates which KH handles have inside (Roger had said on the phone that this was an option as the shadow handle attaches to the out handle bolts- not the four seat post bolts).
I wouldn’t otherwise have stripped out the steel plate, but did so to see if it was causing the noise.
Having tried everything possible with the handle and finding the noise still was there when riding, I gave up, and prepared to switch over to the old (non-handle) set-up cos I was stressed and needed a ride to chill out
As a last resort I again tightened up the bearing holder bolts (I’d done this at the start but perhaps not tight enough) and the noise promptly dissapeared!
The noise was nothing to do with the handle- I felt pretty stupid having spent 2 hours messing around with the seat: I guess that I just assumed it couldn’t really be the bearing holders as the noise only happened when I put the seat on, I’m always relectant to over-tighten the bearing holders as it could damge the bearings, and I just assumed it must be the new handle.
Still, it meant that I’d lightened the seat a bit by taking out the (now unnecessary) steel plate.
To celebrate I decided to go for another ride- this time I cut just under 3" off the handle.
That gave me a handle length that I felt more comfortable and the scope to adjust it a bit longer if I later decide I’ve cut it too short.
Being so unused to handles, there’s perhaps a limit to how much I can say on it- I’m okay riding with one-hand on the handle- putting both hands on at the same time tends to result in me swerving and having to remove one.
Except, for some reason, on uphill bits, where, towards the end of the ride, I started to feel comfortable with both hands on.
I think it’ll be a few more rides before I start to be really able to use the handle for anything useful, like leverage etc.
I do recall that when I did use the old nimbus handle, i felt the most useful thing was that it gave a real sense of extra security when riding on roads, as having a hand on the handle gave both extra sensitivity to ‘feeling’ road bumps etc, but also some extra leeway when it came to making emergency corrections.
So I’ll assume that those same positives will also manifest with the shadow handle after a few more rides with it.
As Ive recently not been doing loads of riding, today’s rides were with 150 cranks (on a 29-er) and I’m pretty sure the handle will be of more relevance when I switch back to 125’s.
I much prefer the shadow to the old nimbus, but can’t offer opinions on comaparisons with other handles, as I’ve not used them.
It’s interesting that adjustment is by having two handle bars, one straight, one curved (can be used upwards or downwards), rather than having some kind of continuous adjustment device- I guess it does have the advantage of strength as there’s no extra device to go wrong/break.
One minor negative might be that (unless I’ve missed something), that unlike the KH seat post where the seat angle can be easily adjusted for tilt, the Shadow has a bolt which can only be accessed by unbolting the seat?
However, in all the time I’ve had the KH, once I’d selected the seat tilt angle, I’ve never altered it since.
The big positive for me is that the Shadow is very light, especially if you just use the front bar, plus the way it attaches means the KH saddle steel seat plate can be shed making it even lighter.
Lightness is important for me cos I’m so at ease riding without a seat- it always seems a shame to have a big heavy handle.
I can’t comment on durability, having only had it one day, however Roger seems very confident from the tests he’s done, and, just looking at the design, it certainly seems like it should be very durable.
All in all, after the first two rides, i think the handle is very good.