Ya’ll have no idea how bad it is on the private Elephant NFE google group.
[quote]My NFE experience… 2,000 miles or so since October 2016… (Minnesota, I only ride 6 months of the year)…
Steve Hed (HED CYCLING PRODUCTS INC https://www.hedcycling.com/about-us/ wrote an article about 2 cross spokes some years ago. I am paraphrasing here – he implied 32 spoke 2 cross is the “no reason not to” spoke lace pattern. That was for 700c, and I feel it is even more relevant for 650b with low pressure/high volume tires and wide flange hubs with 135mm rear axle.
My wheels are this – and I very much like them…
Sapim cx spokes, 32 by 2 cross, front and rear
Onyx Racing hubs (made in Minnesota, OOoohhhh… yes they are that good) with Sram XD drive
Velocity 650b Blunt SS polished rims
Sram 1X with 38 tooth ring and 10x42 X-DOME Cassette.
Light and tight… yet, with high volume tires (38mm at 35psi, not 25mm at 120psi) I get the compliance I need for comfort. However - crosswinds are more dynamic than on my 700x32 cx bike… (Koga-Miyata) Is it the low trail geo or the tire/rim/spoke profile ??
I have Compass 650bx38 Extra Light - and Compass 650bx48 Extra Light tires… easy to change without tools, in just a few minutes (with the wide Velocity rims) both get caught in the wind. I fear this is the mechanical (geometry) disadvantage to an unloaded low trail bicycle.
I have to say – also – I cannot get used to not seeing my front wheel while riding with a front bag. Every pothole, every tree branch or pieces of broken glass…. I just feel more comfortable seeing my front tire and directing it (and me, and my back tire) away from the road hazards. I do like low trail for slow technical trail movements, though most of my time is on county roads, with no front load… so at county road speed, the low trail geo is very twitchy – understandably.
I have had both the original bi-wing fork (recalled, never a problem) and the replacement unicrown fork (thank you to all who made that happen). As I said once before it’s the very best unicrown fork I’ve see or ridden… Most of my rides are on county highway. Low trail bicycle geo is not optimized for this, in my opinion… (I know – I bought the bike… ). I currently have mounted a Surly Straggler 650b fork on the NFE. This allows me just a bit more trail (16 mm or so, I don’t know, somebody with some CAD software – please correct me) with my 38mm tires. I have over 200 miles on the Straggler fork so far. I like it. I place my bag weight in my rear pannier (one is usually enough). FYI – I file off the “lawyer tabs” on all my fork drop-outs… sooo much nicer for wheel / disc rotor fitment.
Just sharing my NFE experience… take care all…[/quote]