longer term ride report below. happy reading
the peg marcello is basically a race frame with all day comfort, just as most reviews said it would be
i weigh 67kg so filter my opinions with that in mind.
campag SR remains fast and slick although the driveside BB cup likes to unscrew and will need locktight applied to the threads. i prefer the single bolt hirth joint to my previous experience with athena 2011 and shimano cranks that both seem fiddly and unsatisfactory by comparison. with what i have learned about this feature, i believe i would pay extra for 2011 chorus instead of athena for that reason alone on future builds.
the fizik arione saddle is a marmite product on the forum. i came to fit one to my trek rebuild because it was lying around in my spares box and i found it really comfy. for the peg build i went up to the carbon version to match the quality of the build and because most other carbon saddles have more decals or branding. an unexpected benefit is the lack of any flex in the carbon shell or carbon saddle rails. so the carbon arione performs even better for comfort than the standard one.
the peg kills road buzz more successfully than my previous litespeed ghisallo but it doesn't 'glide' over imperfections like the ti did. instead it forcefully resists broken surfaces and filters out harshness. the stiff feel is always pleasantly apparent. however, the peg duende has more forgiving rear stays and i believe some riders would probably prefer that frame.
its hard to convey how beefy the chainstays are on a marcelo in photos, especially near the rear drop-outs:
descending at speed
finally i got to descend over 50mph on a bumpy road, but there is no change in composure at all. this is the single most telling aspect about the marcelo for me. as a comparison, on car track days, even some quite sporty road cars begin to feel loose above 100mph, but the marcelo never feels under pressure. certainly none of the other bikes i have ridden come close to the same level of capability.
carbonsports lightweight wheelset
as previously mentioned, this wheelset came on a 2007 focus izalco extreme and spent the last 4 years in tenerife. this is an island with a 13,000ft (3,700m) volcano. most roads quiet enough for cycling there either head uphill or downhill unchanged for 30 miles. you are either doing low speeds for long periods or the opposite with nothing in between. now back in the UK and fitted to the peg, these wheels feel faster than they did in tenerife because in the UK where i live there are lots of little hills. these wheels hold onto speed for an extra 50-60 metres after a downhill changes to an uphill. that is the type of road that happens 10-15 times an hour back in the UK.
the carbon braking surface is less of a noticeable disadvantage in UK. tenerife narrow hairpin descents require careful and progressive braking. in comparison to campag, dual caliper shimano brakes on the focus were unnecessarily powerful, less progressive and easier to lock up the carbon rims.
the peg offers up a robust and a more stable platform for the wheelset. the steadying influence better suits the technical nature of the wheels, and the characteristics of UK roads play to their strengths.
veloflex criterium tyres
this choice was always risky as i don't actually race anymore and most of my riding is back roads with chalky flints. however, so far they have been used on a charity ride that rained all day, having to ride on puncture prone parts just to overtake slower riders with children on narrow roads. i accepted that i would probably puncture.
but its a once a year event and normally its dry. inflated to 7 bar - in the end, not a single cut or embedded stone
the veloflex ride quality is firm but forgiving, the grip is outstanding. so far i am happy but realistic about their suitability when a more sensible choice would be continental competition. by comparison a more robust but less tub-like ride.
as back-up i have some vittoria evo corsa SC put by. if anything even more delicate.
however, of course i am well pleased with this bike. the reviews helped me decide.
for similar money i was considering a parlee z4. the z5 is more expensive than the handmade peg. the handmade z3 now way out of my reach but super desirable, even so.
i am sure well designed race bikes are going to have some identical characteristics that apply whatever material they are made from.
i don't think the extra weight of the peg counts against it if you take into account the unflappable handling, stiffness and comfort. i already owned the wheels otherwise i would probably have gone for bora ultras (a lovely wheel with perfect build quality) for that matched look.
in a way i had more fun creating the trek 5200 restoration because it was a surprise how good it turned out, whereas this build was high stakes and the expectation is therefore greater.
its great being permanently back on tubs for both bikes. even the best clinchers don't seem to give that top-end connection with the road, refinement and feel that i am now getting on all my rides.
thanks for your interest, recommendations and comments. i hope people find the opinions useful.