Love the gray metal!
A ride report?
Sure; I have a little over a 100 miles on the bike so far, and here are some initial ride impressions:
- The bike feels a lot stiffer than my old Felt F75 (aluminum frame w/ carbon seat stays). The BB area flexes significantly less when on my trainer (I try not to look at my BB area when I am sprinting on real roads
), and the front end also feels a lot more solid during cornering. I suspect the Alpha Q fork with the steel steerer tube, as compared to the Deda all-carbon fork I had in the Felt frame, made the difference in the front end. I am sure the shaped tubes also contribute to the stiffness (the downtube becomes flattened at the downtube-BB junction, which theoretically provides more resistance to lateral movement).
I must also say I was pleasantly surprised to see the titanium frame to be stiffer in the bottom bracket area than the oversized aluminum frame of the Felt. I used to be able to generate chain rub during out of the saddle sprints on my old bike, but this is not a problem anymore. The Ti frame is also lighter by about 50 g.
- The Ti frame feels slightly more comfortable over rough roads compared to my old aluminum frame, and seems to transmit less road vibration. This is using the same tire/combo on both bikes with the same tire pressures. I still wouldn't call it a comfortable bike, though. In comparison, a Cervelo S2 that I had the opportunity to test-ride for two days was more comfortable than both.
- The bike is much less twitchy than my old frame, which had 73.5 degree head tube and seat tube angles. The new frame in comparison has a 73.5 degree seat tube but a more slack 72.5 degree head tube, resulting in 6 mm more trail as compared to the old frame and a little added stability.
- My rides so far ride also confirmed that I need a slightly longer stem and a handlebar with a smoother transition from the tops to the shifters. I am very comfortable in the drops with the current setup, but riding on the hoods doesn't feel good. As I mentioned, I have a 110 mm 3T stem and a 3T Ergonova bars on the way to try help resolve this issue. I will probably end up lowering the bars a little as well during this change and see how that feels.
All in all, I am pretty happy with the new bike. Granted, I have never ridden an expensive Ti frame so I do not have a basis for comparison but the bike seems to do most things well. I will give an updated report as I put more miles on the bike and make the changes to improve fit / comfort.