OK so i promised I'd feedback my impressions on the frameset / bike once i had some miles on it...
Quick comments on myslef and the build on this travel bike so you can judge relevent points for yourselves.
Star sign: kidding.. hippies !!!
Environment: Gold Coast Queensland (Oz for this who missed class), sub tropical coastal, breezy to windy, (15 - 40kmhwinds) hilly (5% to 25%). Tarmac a mix of coarse chip seal and the occasional reverred patch of hotmix.. (ever gone back to go over a dream bit of tar again.. i have.. ) Temps 10C in winter to 40C in Summer (now.. ) Humidity bloody high 60 to 100%..
Bontrager 3 tyres, 23mm, 95/105psi FR/RR
Continental Racelight inner tubes.
HED Ardennes SL
Shimano Ultergra groupset
Sram Force callipers (dura ace alu pads)
KMC X10sl chain
3T ARX Team stem (ALU 110 mm 7degree)
3T Ergo sum Team bars (42ctc at hoods 44ctc at drops)
Bontraget Gel race tape (it's great BTW)
Selle italia SLR
Speedplay Zero (Wade Ti spindles)
Okay, with that out of the way, here's some ride impressions;
In summary, frame manufacturing quality is surprisingly good... Better than most folks, including myself I have to say,expect, but still below the best Brand names
Internal frame tube inspection reveals no scandalous practice evident, just clean internal surfaces, and very little mould flash or excess resin
Alignment was good, assembly no issue though I did clean up every frame appeture with the dremmel prior to build....OCD.. I know..
Rear mech hanger did require adjustment, 30 seconds later it was fine and has remained so.
Ride wise, it's lively and direct / immediate under power in a nice way.. So good connection from head tube to B/B and rear axle....
Ther is no wagging through the B/B torsionally, no chain rub on the FR mech under load, and no brake rub at the rear under power, climbing TT or sprint (I sprint shite BTW)
The tapered head tube, steering and fork feel very supportive, i.e little flex under load…fore and aft, or side to side.
From a handling perspective; lively, not unstable, not ponderous.. A reasonable balance... Not crit bike lively but nippier than a sportive bike..... It's good in this regard....
It tracks well through corners, holds its line and can be adjusted without complaint mid corner when required
So tahst all the general and positive traits, all of which go largely unoticed after a few rides as it just gets on with the job… which a great characterisitic in a frameset…
These next couple of items are the things that you continue to notice in subsequent rides.. Not every one, but regulary enough to make you think, and sometimes smile….
Comfort is where it gets interesting ... The 27.2 set back post and pencil thin seat stays make for a very smooth back end..vertical flex is visible especially in the supplid set back seat post
Initially you wonder about tyre pressure ... Then you realise its designed that way.... Vertical compliance with otherwise very good lateral stiffness and support...
Everyone bangs on about this, some frames you really wonder if there is any give… this one (with the seatpost) has it…. And for me its defineatley a big plus.
OK so the only question mark for me; The fork. Whilst steering well and braking well..and by in large tracking well
On rough surface with a step edge (speed bump, or big road joint) it is possible to feel a kick back in the fork, or resonance if you hit the lip of the edge..
e.g. Such and lifting up onto a speedbump.. I have notice to be somewhat twangy... In as far as it feels a little underdamped in its response to a very specific input...
It's not flexible or wagging but there is a feeling a better fork may be worth it on this frame... Eg edge 2 ....
And perhaps here lies a small gap between these products and their more well developed branded counterparts….
Right that’s about it, none of the characterisitcs observed above have evolved, increased, decreased over the many hundreds of kilometers…..
The paint and finish has held up, and it cleans up as new…. Despite copius sweating all over it in the QLD summer this year.. So no complaints at all…
And last but not lest, yep it's light... Around 800gms totally stripped…frame alone for the frameset
The bike built us as spec is 6.8kgs.. Cages, pedals and garmin mount..
Finally, a parting thought… I have grabbed this bike a number of times for 1hr Tempo sessions in the evening over LOOK 595 and 695's
Yes it had an AY-UP light bracket on, but even in this esteemed company, I wasn't deterred for a second to use it… makes you think…..
PS I also couldn't be arsed cleaning the good bikes again, which may have had something to do with the selection… but still …
Hope all this helps any other guys / ladies out there decide for or against….
Any detail questions drop me a line and I'll try to help.
Sorry for the wonky pics..
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Last edited by shadwell on Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:05 am, edited 2 times in total.