Monday, July 26, 2010

Mango Sport on Week three.

My Mango Sport has 500 miles on it over three weeks of ownership, 215 miles or so of which was the STP. Most of last week I didn't ride at all. Today was my first day back commuting with the Mango.

My impressions remain great, I am faster, more comfortable and safer riding the Mango. It really is a joy to ride and it is very easy to carry stuff. I am considering what it would take to do a weekend camping trip. Lately I have been looking at Hennessy Hammocks. They are lightweight, pack small and would easily fit into my Mango Sport. Add a small sleeping bag, and some food, maybe a camp stove and I can tour.

I also want to train more for fast centuries. I can work on speed loops of the lake as well as some nice hilly loops in Redmond/Issaquah areas. The Mango feels nice and light, I am climbing hills well on it. In my reduced state I am as fast on hills as any of my other bikes. I suspect this will change as my power to weight ratio changes but I think in general my speeds can only go up. At the moment I am 10 lbs lighter than when the Mango Sport arrived. The uptick in riding and change in my eating habits paid off quickly. Only another 40 lbs to go :) All in all I think the increase in acceptable riding conditions that the Mango brings will pay off with a fitter, happier me this time next year.

The Mango Sport has been getting a lot of attention. I am enjoying that and learning how to deal with it. Lately I have found that a brief wave and keeping pedaling is a nice polite way to acknowledge the interest without losing too much time. I have noticed a number of other Mango Sports lately on the Internet. There are some really nice tips and videos out there that I am enjoying.

All in all my Mango Sport is wonderful and I expect to continue to grow into my velomobile. I do think I need a name for her, saying my Mango Sport is a bit cumbersome. I am considering calling her "the Carrot" since she is orange and faster than the "White Rabbit" my raptobike.


Warren Bowman said...

Thank you for continuing to post your thought on the Mango Sport. As a new owner, your impressions are very valuable to us wannbees. my personal Velomobile has so far been tempered by fit questions. I am 6''2" ans 220 lbs., and I found a Quest to be a tight fit. Woudl you care to share your impressions on what size person can fit a Mango Sport, or share your personal stats?

Thanks, and enjoy the ride!

Duncan Watson said...

I am 5'7" and long in the torso. I weighed 220 when I first received my mango and weigh 209 right now.

My first fit issue was shoulder contact with the lip, I had to adjust the seat downward. After adjusting everything I fit fine, there is a little more than one finger width between the top of my shoulders and the lip. I fit in easily but had some issues bumping my shoulders into the lip. Now solved. My shoulders are a bit more than 20" wide, narrower shoulders would have no issues. And I don't have any issues now that I dropped the seat height.

I have sat in Ian's Quest and fit fine, though snug. I don't mind if my shoulders hit the sides or hit the foam positioned at the shoulders in a Quest. Riding in my Mango is comfortable and I get more comfortable in it daily. I am sensitive to heat and found that riding the mango meant using more water to pour over my head. Luckily it is easy to carry more water.

The speeds a velo are capable of means that air flow is not an issue most of the time. I do notice the air dam from passing cars when I am going slow and feel the heat. The airflow is noticeable in those circumstances. Since my body is in the shade the evaporative cooling isn't tempered by the sun's heat.

The Mango Sport and the Quest have similar cockpits since they share a heritage. Accessories for one tend to work for the other. The key point is how to adjust the seat position, both down and in my case forward. The Quest has more limited adjustment from my examination. The Mango adjusts the seat forward via a bracket on a boom. It also moves up and down via a three position bolt at the bottom and the top of the seat is adjustable as well.

Fit will be an issue for those of us with wide shoulders but I think dropping the height helps quite a bit.

I hope this helps.

Scott McElhiney said...

Dang... wish you were closer, I just got on a scale today for the first time in about two years and the 50 lbs I lost when I started riding seriously in an attempt to get back into shape are all back. 225 pounds... damnit. Only positive note is that there ain't an ounce of fat below my hips, I'm still a bunch stronger than I was before I got back into cycling... but the gut sucks. Need to change the diet and get more consistent on riding.

David Hembrow said...

Duncan: to fit people in without having to set the seat lower, we also often adjust the shape of the "lip".

The normal thing to do is to to remove the rubber around the cockpit, sit in the bike and have someone else mark with a pen where your shoulders touch (it's difficult to do this yourself).

You can then use sand paper cupped in your hand to remove a little of the lip from underneath giving a higher position in the bike without your shoulders touching. If you're careful then this is invisible after the event. Re-fit the rubber afterwards and you can't see that anything changed at all, except that it's a slightly different shape.

You should position the foam pieces either side of your shoulders so that you don't move from side to side as you corner. It's more comfortable than being completely free (well, try it both ways and make your own decision).

You were sent middle sized foams pieces with your Mango Sport, but if you need a different thickness of foam, let us know and we can send thinner (half thickness) or thicker (nearly double) ones.

The space inside the Mango and the Quest is quite similar, but the wheels of the Mango are further apart, so there is more space between the wheel arches. With the Mango+ in particular there is also rather more space at the back and around your elbows. However, the opening is the same size on both.

Warren: The Mango can be adjusted for most people up to 2.1 m, or 6'9" tall. The design needs to be able to accommodate tall people as many Dutch people are tall. My colleagues H@rry and Arjen are 6'3" and 6'6" in height and both ride Mangos.

H@rry said...

Velomobiles and hammocks seem to go together nicely! I have used the Hennessy hammocks for years to bike and camp. It is very comfortable, but to stay warm inside I strongly suggest to use the Undercover, because there is a lot of cooling at the underside.
I use the biggest rainfly of Hennessy now (70D hex-shaped PU-coated), because it's much better in rain and high winds. The smaller lightweight rainfly is no good in a storm! I had to hold it for hours to keep it from flapping around. A very nice thing about the hammock is, that you can pack it dry and only the rainfly will be wet, even in the rain. The rainfly can be packed seperately in a plastic bag.

H@rry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
H@rry said...

@Warren: like David already said, being a tall person, the Mango Sport fits me very well. Have a look at my videos on YouTube to gain some more insight:

Duncan Watson said...


I have some foam to try. I will give it a shot. I tend to wedge my elbows into the sides for stability at the moment. I prefer feeling "in" the bike.

Puusilmä said...

Do not buy Hennesy Hammock, I did.
Warbonnetoutdoors has better hammock, it is called Blackbird, chek it out!

I have two of those + Yetis and Black Mambas.

Friendly advice from:
"Soon to be fellow Mangoteer"

P.S. Hammockforums is the right place to be when one wants to know about hammocks.

Duncan Watson said...

Thanks for the tip. I will check it out.

Moz said...

I'm with @Harry, but also hammockforums is a useful place to read. I've had my HH for several years and with the underblanket and hex fly it's been great in all weather. If you get a larger stuff sack you can leave your sleeping bag and everything in the hammock when you stuff it. Just take the bag out when you get home - storing down compressed is not good for it.
I'm starting to look forward to velomobile touring. Now all I need is some time off work...