I'm proud to say that I have ridden for the first time in Europe the Ciamillo Gravitas crank prototype today !
I have completed a road ride with my cycle cross bicycle: 2 hours alone at 32km/h AVS.
No issue has been recorded during the ride, which is a good thing for a prototype.
But I would like to share with you the impressions of the elite level cyclist that I am, rather than any other commercial opinion or advertising. I know, that's really hard to be objective ! But I'll try...
The prototype arrived yesterday. This is the blue that all of you have already seen.
I was very excited to receive it, because all I had seen was the base and the carbon tubes (during my last visit in Atlanta in November).
And I have been really impressed when I opened the box: the quality of this stuff, the incredible weight and the stiffness. The weight is correct: 390g !
Then, I tried to set it up on my bike, a BSA30 bearing was installed, exactly the same that is on Ted's bike in Atlanta.
But it seemed impossible to work, the spindle was too short. Since it was the morning in France I couldn't call Ted for a help (OK, never mind it would take 5 days to get a reply
). So, I found the solution by myself with removing the bearings seals, and it worked like a LEGO !
Since it was a very rainy day, I have decided to wait for the next day to test the crank...
So, this morning I went out for a 2 hours ride. The tools in the pockets just in case... An I rode. After just 1 acceleration I had to say: "where's the crank ?". That's a strange feeling, there is like no weight left, or just on the chain rings ! On a second bigger acceleration I realized that the crank was not only light, it was also simply the stiffest I had ever tested (definitely stiffer than the Rotor 3D that I had until monday on my bike with the same chain rings).
Then, the rest of the ride has only been a pleasure.
I had not a power meter on me, but I know me quite well and I pedaled at 500-600W during 1-2 minutes several times in order to pedal at very high speed with a strong rear wind (my speed during theses efforts was between 60 and 70km/h).
Now, I know what a stiff crank is, and I want absolutely keeping that stiffness on my racing bike.
Stiffness is avoiding loosing power in material deformation, lightness is avoiding loosing power in the rotation of the crank arms.
The last time I felt a such improvement has been when I changed my Cosmic carbon wheels by an ENVE wheelset. The improvement was probably better with the wheel change, but this is to illustrate that I felt a real gap with the existing cranks available on the market !
After the end of the ride, I checked the crank and everything was perfect. The bearings are now in place so that I have been able to tighten more the bolt that is maintaining the 2 half spindles.
So, I called Ted today to share my opinion as a cyclist. And, as a cyclist we want something reliable. So, I'll continue to test it before placing orders for my customers. As a cyclist, we want something easy to setup. So, I'm waiting for an adjustable bolt that will preserve the bearings and avoid the crank to have any play. That should be solved very easily with just a little longer spindle.
A last thing that I loved was the interchangeable spider. When you remove the crank, the spindle is going out by itself. What a good improvement !
On my Rotor cranks I hate changing all the time my chain rings. With a such crank, it's very easy to change your chain rings: I'll have 2 spiders: one with a 54/42 for flat rides, and the other one in 110 will be 53/38 for the mountain. That will be changed in 2 minutes.
It recalls me that a good product is often simple.
So, what's the next step ?
I'll continue to ride this crank. I feel very confident in the product, despite it's a prototype.
Ted has launched the production and he's going to make stiffness and reliability tests with machines.
The colors of the blue pins should be replaced by black or red anodized, and make the crank for many people (not all of course !) the most beautiful available on the market. I'm sure that you'll prefer the crank with aero chain rings.
We cannot be sure at 100% that there will not have any problem on the product, but as a cyclist, I felt very confident all the time during the ride, and if there's a drawback to signal, this is how we are going to be able to supply the crank with the exact spindle lengths and shims widths... Ted will make it possible, he just needs time.
Tonight, I'm sure about one thing... if Ted has been dreaming for a long time swimming across the oceans with the dolphins, since January 2013, Ted is back with us !