The Papalagi delivers what it promises. It feels comfortable in almost all terrains and is indestructible. The integrated luggage carrier (welded to the frame) and a tapered fork increase stiffness and riding safety at full load, while high-quality Reynolds 853 steel and a sophisticated tube design ensure optimum riding comfort.
Drive (Belt & Pinion Transmission)
On the net there are so some heated discussions about the pros and cons of a belt with Pinion gear and a conventional circuit with chain.
For us and also for all other bicycle travelers, which we have encountered on the trip with a Pinion transmission, the case is clear:
Never again with chain!
- No annoying oiling of the chain
- Longer durability of the belt compared to a chain
- More gears
- Clean shifting, you don’t have to and can’t make any adjustments to the transmission. You shift into the next gear like in a car and everything sits!
- With mud you have much less problems. As an impression, we had collected enough pictures and videos in Ukraine: to the blog post, a picture in advance:
What we have adjusted
After the first 7 months on our favorites, we decided to make three adjustments. We also treat our bicycles to a little well-deserved service at our main sponsor Bauer Sport in Wettingen.
Gear ratio adjustment
With our Pinion P1.18 transmission, we have 18 real gears and a total gear ratio of 636%! However, we quickly realized that we almost never need the top gears and would need one/two lower ones for hill climbing. So we changed our rear sprocket from a 24 tooth to a 32 tooth. So now we have a 1:1 gear ratio (front 32 teeth and rear 32 teeth) these are connected by a 111 tooth belt.
On a first test drive, our change has already proved to be a huge improvement. So we can now conquer the mountains quite comfortably with all the weight 😃💪🏻.
Brake disc adjustment
Our brake discs were designed more for lightweight and cooling, not durability. They had an aluminum core for better heat conduction and a stainless steel jacket. However, since the aluminum core may not be used as a brake lining, the disc is worn considerably faster compared to a pure stainless steel disc. So it was now replaced by a “MAGURA Storm HC” stainless steel brake disc.
New handles for Nicole
On long climbs, Nicole often missed taking a different position. Thus, we mounted her the “ERGON GP5 Rohloff/Nexus”. So you can grab the horns on the mountain also sometimes sideways and above.
Sometimes, when everything just fits, you can keep it short. We are completely enthusiastic about our Papalagi touring bicycles of the brand MTB Cycletech. During 7 months we had just one flat tire and one broken belt (read more in this blog post). But when that happened with the belt, we also put our bicycles under a hard test 😅. So he spiked because of too much mud and probably too little tension from the pinion and twisted (a belt must not twist in any case, then it tears). The next really gnarly climb then took its toll. We were able to replace the belt with our spare belt.
Otherwise, the only annoying thing is that the belt squeaks from time to time and we then have to clean it with an old toothbrush and water. But the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages!
We are completely satisfied, even the pine gearbox keeps its promise. It’s just fun to travel with such great bicycles.