Last year I rode the hilly Isle of Wight randonnee on a LWB, this year I attempted it on a SWB – and failed. I was expecting the SWB to be easier to balance on the hills but I lost balance on a few occasions when in bottom gear, usually when distracted or in tricky congested situation (lots of bikes, narrow roads, cars coming the other way kind of thing). Gear ranges: LWB 21.4-106.8”, SWB 20.4-85.6” The SWB is about 4lbs heavier with its rear suspension. The LWB has the more efficient drive train with no idler and no suspension. So maybe I was able to maintain a higher speed on the LWB which helped with stability. Second gear on the SWB is 22.9 and that was too high for many of the hills. My legs felt like lead after a couple of hours so I opted for the shorter route after reaching Alverstone. Maybe racing for the ferry early in the morning had drained me – left the house 10 mins later than planned. Also my asthma this year is causing me problems. After the ride, on the way home going up the Portsdown Hill (old A3) I managed the whole long climb from Cosham without stopping or losing balance and more than half of that was done in first so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.