The reason for this is that you'll quickly realise there actually isn't any difference. Put panniers on the back of your bike, fully and heavily loaded, and the handling is different. Not necessarily worse, but most certainly different. Strap a trailer on and the feel is more just of a heavy bike, but you've always got to be aware of trailing something behind. The Noomad, however, is rather heavy, so the front feels 'planted'. Stick a heavy bag on the front and the weight distribution remains lowdown, the handling is... The same.

Of course the handling itself is naturally different from a standard two-wheeler. It's hard to describe. A morning cycling coffee group took it for brief spins, and the feedback was 'it feels like a bike'. And so it does. Straight line; gentle curve; at speed; setting off... You're on a bike. Nothing more, nothing less. Where the differences come are when you start being a little bit more... Vigorous... Throw it into a turn and the wheels lean, then start to drift. Ever so slightly. Almost imperceptibly. But enough that the first time it happened I threw my foot to the deck. Understeer on a two-wheeled machine and you're almost always on the deck. On the Noomad that slight under steer at speeds over 12mh or so is ever-present, and takes some getting used to. It's even more prominent if you hit a bump in the midst of a turn. Now that is scary, and on Edinburgh's roads, as I resolved to commute for a week on the trike, it made corners an elaborate thought-process.


Hitting the commute, and comparing my riding with that in the official Noomad videos, it's clear I'm not necessarily going to be riding this in quite the intended manner, but it's an interesting comparison with the normal ride to work. Those rough corners play on my mind as I turn into and out of the main road of traffic, gingerly leaning and feeling for the edge of grip that I know isn't far away from breaking. Heading to a nearby good quality off-road cycle path I come to the realisation that with the kit on front, and the bag loaded as heavily as I dare, I'm not going to be able to hop up the kerb onto the connecting path (yes, obviously there isn't a drop kerb, we're back to the differences between riding on this in Edinburgh and in sunny, smoothly paved Spain). But then comes the revelation. As the path smoothes everything feels... right.

Those small wheels up front whir away, and I have fun staring down and leaning it side to side, watching the bar on which the wheels are mounted doing the job of keeping everything balanced. It's not dampened at all (meaning I was initially disappointed when I realised it wouldn't stay upright without my having to execute a trackstand), which adds to the ease of turning and overall feeling of fluid motion. Hitting a slope on the path I'm once more into tentative territory, wondering how it will all work as I get out of the saddle and pull on the bars. But that easy side-to-side rock on the separate wheels once more comes to the fore, and once more that low weight distribution at the front means that the sway isn't accentuated by the luggage. Slowly but surely I'm starting to like this quintessentially odd system.


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