UDC Max Traction: first experience

Cool! When arriving home from work today, my UDC Max Traction had been
delivered! I wasn’t aware of it, my wife hadn’t called me about the
great news and Roger had pulled my leg by e-mailing this morning about
a modification and adding that he was just writing my name on the
envelope. 1.5 hour later the machine arrived - or, wait… could this
mean monster (the UDC I mean) be just that fast?!?! Thanks Roger for
the quick surprise.

I spent some time unwrapping and assembling everything,as well as
trying out/on the 661 and Harbinger protection stuff that I ordered
with it. For fun, I placed the UDC next to my Semcycle 24 x 1.75. The
UDC is a mean macho, the Sem is a civilised gentleman in comparison.
I discovered that the VP566 pedals (described as DX style) had both
permanent mild studs AND replaceable more aggressive pins (5 per
side). I removed the latter for the time being because I expected some
problems with foot placement correction.

After having dealt with family matters that took priority even over
trying the UDC, it was already twilight when I set out to the trail. I
have 170 mm cranks, longer than I ever rode but I nailed my first
freemount easily. The first 500 metres is a ride on pavement (surfaced
surface if you know what I mean), on which I noticed that turning and
steering requires more effort. I required significantly more
arm-waving to keep balance. I may have the tyre pressure somewhat low
(Roger did not ship a liberal amount of British air in it and I left
it that way) or it may have been just right for the trail and my
weight. But on unpaved surface the turning went better.

A definite improvement over my Semcycle is the absorbing of rocks and
bumps that the 24 x 3 Contra tyre does. I float on a balloon! I have
the impression that I pay for that in having to exert more pedal
power. I could not do as steep ascents as on the Sem, which may have
to do with (1) tyre rolling resistance (2) larger weight of wheel/tyre
(3) larger diameter wheel (but I have 170 mm cranks vs 150 on the
Sem.) On descents it worked better than the Sem, mostly because I
didn’t have to bother about bumpiness. Hopping was also quite a bit
easier, I now know what springiness in a tyre can do. By the time I
went home it was almost completely dark and all the trail
irregularities were invisible - but hey, who cares with a 3" balloon?
I love this beast!!

Klaas Bil