About time for a look at what’s changed for me, and the bikes.
Back at the end of January this year I was offered redundancy from a job i’d been in for nearly 26 years, the last 5 or so had really been a struggle as frankly I was bored shitless and had just been going through the motions. So at the age of 57 I took early retirement … well, sort of. The plan is to work for myself within the trials world and maybe any other opportunity that crops up, but I don’t have to panic and jump into anything I don’t want to do.
Jo and I have time now to enjoy the other interest we have, almost when we want to. Road motorcycles, mountain bikes and several others. It’s great and I highly recommend this retirement lark !! Beats being a number at a big company, knowing ultimately they really don’t care about you.
After using the Mecatecno UK demonstrator bike for a while I have purchased my own Dragonfly e-trials bike. It’s great fun to ride, just different enough that I have to learn to ride some things a bit differently. I had been in a rut with my riding, my ex world round bike is an absolutely stunning machine but since my knee injury some years ago my brain just won’t let me use it something like it should be. I realised a few months ago I was going out to ride and just riding stuff I knew i could do, and getting bored.
Talking of the knee injury, i’ve only gone and knackered it again! A silly step off in the woods, a little drop onto uneven ground and the knee popped out again. And it feckin hurt …. So i sit here typing this awaiting an MRI scan, which will decide on the next move. Operation or physio. Meanwhile the CTi Carbon fibre knee brace I had made to measure back in 2014 has been brought out of retirement to enable me to walk the dog, ride the ebike mtb and have a gentle ride on the Mecatecno.
The Dragonfly has, of course, had a few shiny bits fitted. S3 #5 bar ends, Renthal grips, CSP lever adjusters and a carbon fibre disc guard i’ve now fitted to 3 bikes over the last 5 years! And the rear brake master cylinder now has a plastic cover fitted to help my boot slide past and to make it look a little less “sticky outy”
The bike is very easy to ride but being so new i had no idea what it was really capable of compared to a standard modern 2 stroke bike. My eyes were widened when I was asked to take photos for a quick test of the machine for the latest edition of the Trial Magazine UK, the rider being ex Trial2 world champion and British champion Iwan Roberts. Watching him ride a completely standard bike so smoothly and easily on sections that I couldn’t even think about attempting was brilliant. And made me realise there was nothing i couldn’t do on it that i can’t on my TRS. It just will take a bit of time for me to find out how in certain cases. And that’s the fun bit.
So, armed with the confidence that the bike could do it, I went back out for a play as soon as i could after the photoshoot. Made a massive difference to my riding, I slowed down and started to trust the electric power torque, it’s still not natural to me but it’s getting there.
Sadly the knee injury has brought practice to an end for a month or so, but i’ll be back out learning as soon as i can ! Here I am, below, getting used to a slightly different approach to step-ups. As there is almost no flywheel action you have to remember not to roll straight off, but keep a little throttle going. But too much and the bike will flip you off the back! All things can be changed with mapping alterations but i’ll stick with the three standard map settings for now.
*** Update ***
… after speaking to the Mecatecno factory they let it be known they have been working on an inertia setting in the software, giving a little bit of flywheel effect. Also as part of the same update there is no an anti-rollback programmed in as standard. Electric bikes don’t have any compression or gearbox so if you get into trouble on a hill for example you roll the throttle off and unless you have foot on rear brake or lay the bike down they can just shoot backwards down the hill. If you are used to that fact then you can just take precautions but coming straight from petrol engines its not natural. So now there is an automatic type of compression. You don’t need to press a button for it to work, it just does. If you want to roll or hop backwards you can still do so by just using the clutch as with petrol bike.
As an extra I have had 4 mapping modes set on my bike. There is now a new first map when switching on. it is a 50% power map that is ideal for youth riders. Tested by a good friends 12 year old grand daughter it gives a lovely smooth power take up and is ideal if the youngster has moved through the kids electric bike range and suddenly found themselves too physically big for the biggest available. It also means that by a quick touch of the mapping switch an adult rider can get on the same bike and ride all adult routes.