I have noticed that my preferred steed and ride characteristics seems to change on a periodic basis. I have gone through a recent period of minimising weight and maximising speed, and therefore have been spending a lot of time on the CHR. However, this always has a knock on effect for me, and I end up stripping down the Fuego, removing racks and mudguards, putting fast road tyres on etc, in order to make it as fast as possible too. Which just seems daft when I can take the CHR out for a speed fix, and it’s always going to trump the Fuego in that regard.
This week I put the Fuego back into the sweet spot that it so beautifully occupies – ‘fast enough’, super comfortable and flexible luggage options with nice bigger volume tyres. I haven’t gone as far as the full pannier rack again yet but it’s only a matter of time.
The Schwalbe Ones have been replaced with the old favourites – Marathon Racers at 65 PSI. They roll pretty fast and are very comfortable, and there’s no more worry about thin tyres getting stuck in one of the many cracks in the road surface. The rear rack and mudguards are back on. I’ve shortened the geometry a bit to make the bike a little less stretched out and the suspension a little softer. I’ve also dialed out the suspension tension to make it more plush. I’ve raised the seat back a little too, so it’s not quite so flat.
I went out for a blast last night – up the old coach road to Heriot and back down the A7 to Stow. After riding the CHR so much, what a difference in comfort! The road buzz is more or less gone. The Marathon Racers are a fantastic tyre, nice and chunky but still pretty speedy. No jarring impacts at all, better vision over the bars and a feeling of riding in style and complete comfort. Low enough gear inches to spin up anything in the Borders. The Fuego is such a delight to ride and so easy to control with the open cockpit bars, and the small front wheel means less stress on tight bends and hills. Sure the bike is a little slower, particularly with the added weight of racks, slower, less supple tyres and lower tyre pressure, but I still managed a healthy 17.6 MPH round the loop and I could have pushed harder. Not bad considering the hills of the old coach road, and a bike that weighs around 18 KG with all the extra bits and pieces added on.
I’m actually pretty sad that Nazca have discontinued the Fuego as a model. I understand the Gaucho is a much bigger seller, and that twin big wheels would help on the rutted roads we all have to ride, but there’s something special about this little low slung beast. It’s just a class piece of design. I’m hanging on to mine!