Monday, October 8, 2012

First Ride in Milan

I had the first short ride in the Milan GT yesterday.  Brock from Cambie Cycles rode up from Vancouver and helped set up the drive train.  After this and some lunch, we rode around a bit to compare the Borealis V3 and Milan.  Coasting downhill, they are about similiar speeds until you get above 30-35 kph.  At this point the Milan is much quicker.  I suspect that below 30 kph or so most of the resistance is rolling resistance.  Once over 40 kph, the sleeker shape of the Milan comes to the fore.  We rode a little further than Brock really wanted to just so I could compare speed up a hill which has a nice downhill section just before it.  At the top on the hill I was still in the big ring moving along quite quickly.  The extra speed on the downhill compared to the Borealis accounts for the higher speed at the top of the hill.  I'll have to ride to the store and back to see how much faster the Milan is.  I am a couple minutes quicker on the round trip with the Borealis (around 25 minutes) than with my high racer.  If I could save a minute or two this would be lots.  After this short comparison ride I rode with Brock back to the ferry.  Going up a couple of hills I really noticed that the Milan is very stiff.  I couldn't feel any flex so the bit of reinforcing with carbon fiber makes great sense.  Now I just need a bit lower gearing for my hills around here.  They are pretty short about 6 minutes max but about 7-8% with steeper sections. 
Now that I have had the Milan sitting around I have got quite used to the shape.  Everytime I look at it I see something different.  The nice rounded shapes and bumps are really likeable after you get used to them.  
Now that I have it rideable I can mention the weight as it is no longer just a calculation.  It now weighs 32.3 kgs with 90mm drums.  This is essentially a glass laminate with a small amount of Kevlar and carbon fiber used where it benefits most.  Had I used the lighter tires and wheels with 70mm drums the weight would be just under 30kgs.  I feel it is still a little bit overbuilt as I overdid it in some spots.  In fact to see how stiff it was in front of the door where there is a lot of reinforcement, I was able to stand on it without even any funny noises.  It wouldn't have been good to fall off and damage it before I even had a chance to ride it.  Standing on your velomobile is not a recommended activity!!   


  1. Great report. I want one or maybe the Milan SL. I know I'll just have to wait until you are ready to start building them.

  2. well done, Steve - have fun !



  3. Wow! Congrats on the maiden voyage of the Milan. Can we see the inside :)?


  4. Wonderful News!!

    I could get used to the humps...

  5. Congratulations Steve. Lots of succes with your business!

  6. Congratulations, Steve! Great project and it will be a treat seeing these on the roads over here.

    Craig Johnsen