Blue Prosecco EX

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Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:04 pm
Location: Colorado

by MountainAddict

NBD: blue Prosecco EX

Blue competition cycles is a brand that I don’t think I’ve ever seen on here before. It’s a small company based out of Colroado (which I didn’t know prior to purchasing). Kind of cool since I live in Denver. Anyways, the backstory is I was hit by a pickup truck in early June, I knew I was going to get a decent settlement amount and I began looking for a quiver-killer (i.e. gravel/adventure/cross bike that I could use for gravel riding, race CX on, commute on, throw a rack/fenders on, etc). I was looking for full hydraulic brakes, front and rear thru-axles, clearance for 40c tires, rack/fender mounts, Shimano 105 2x drivetrain (or better), 27.2mm seatpost, threaded BB, and an aluminum frame.

Anyways, Cannondale released the Topstone a couple weeks after I began my search. It had everything I was looking for, the price was perfect, and I liked the color scheme of the 105 build. State Farm was trying to f**k me over and by the time I finally got the settlement check, Cannondale’s lead time on the Topstone 105 in size XL was about 4 months. I test rode an Topstone Apex - size XL at a local shop just to double check I’d like the bike and how it fits. I did, but I wasn't a fan of 1x drivetrain, the dropper post, the blue color scheme, or the price increase.

I scoured the internet, local Facebook Bike Swap groups, and Craigslist for months since I had this money burning a hole in my pocket. I almost decided on buying or building up a second road bike to compliment my CAAD12 – was debating between a 2019 Scott Foil 20 Disc or buying a SuperSix Hi-Mod Frameset off eBay and building it up with Di2. I eventually decided either option would be too similar and I really wanted to diversify the bike stable.

I randomly searched for 60cm bikes on eBay one night and came across this Blue Prosecco EX with Ultegra Di2. It was listed a little over $1,700 US which sounded too good to be true so I clicked the listed and checked it out. After a few hours of Google searching and research, it sounded like a good bike. It’s a 2017 model, originally listed at $2,699 (which was still a great bargain at the time of release), has front and rear thru-axles, full hydraulic discs, and based on reviews the max tire size is somewhere between 38c-42c. It’s an endurance road bike/cross bike so it doesn’t have the extra mounting points for racks/fenders, but that was a trade off I was willing to make since I was getting Di2 which I never expected at my price point.

I went to the website of the company selling the bike on eBay ( I read up a bit more on the specs, check out the geometry chart, etc. This bike actual was shipped out to a customer on accident and then returned back to the store. There was a small imperfection in the paint, near the intersection of the top tube and the seat tube. While I was on the website, the little online chat box popped up and said, “Extra 20% off of discounted Blue Bikes”. That put the price of this at $1,363.78. I thought about it for another day and then went back to the website, entered the discount code, and then began waiting for it to arrive.

It shipped within a day and took 3 days to get from Minnesota to Colorado.

Upon arrival:

Before the build:

Before first spin:

Initial weigh in (with shipping scale at work):

I took it out for a short 40 minute spin after building it up. It was 40 degrees Farenheit out so that meant arm warmers, knee warmers, gloves, etc. At first it was tough to feel the Di2 buttons with gloves on, but after 10 minutes, I was accustomed to it. Since it’s spec’d with 28c road tires, I took it on roads and just a short, smooth gravel section. The seatpost had slipped during the ride so when I got back to the office I used some of the supplied anti-slip paste that I had skipped during assembly.

First ride impressions were that this thing is buttery smooth. I’ve never owned a carbon bike, but I’m extremely comfortable on my CAAD12 and have done plenty of 4+ hour rides on it, metric centuries, 100 miles, etc. I’m not sure if it’s the carbon frame, the dropped seatstays, the foot of exposed seatpost, the flexy saddle, the wider tires, or just my imagination – whatever it is, I like it. I did a couple sprints and a couple efforts up climbs and it felt incredibly stiff and fast, maybe better than my CAAD, or maybe it's just because I've only been riding the trainer for a couple months.

It does feel like I’m driving a school bus with the wide handlebars (I run 40cm c-to-c handlebars on my road bike) and these are 44cm center to center. Even with the slammed stem, it feels a bit too upright. I run a slammed -17 degree 130mm stem on my CAAD and when I compared the geometry charts before buying I knew that the stack on this was 20mm higher and the reach was 10mm shorter. I think I might throw a -17 degree 120 or 130 mm stem on this so that it’s a little lower. Might also throw on a narrower handlebar, but I’m undecided on that for now.

After the initial ride, I took it to one of the local bike shops to get the brake cables trimmed, the steerer cut, and have some shelter tape installed on the bottom of the down tube and the rear of the seat tube.

I had to go to a different store that had the tires in stock that I was interested in (Teravail Cannonballs and Panaracer Gravel Kings). I ended up going with the Teravail Cannonballs because a coworker recommended them (as did 4 of the shop employees who ride gravel). The largest I could fit in the rear was a 35, and up front a 38 (probably a 40, maybe a 42 - will experiment when these tires wear out). I had them tape my wheels with tubeless tape since it doesn't come tubeless ready from the factory. The shop told me the rims aren't tubeless compatible, but the reviews I read online before purchasing said that they were. After I got home I googled the exact rim model (there was a sticker on the wheel that clearly said the rim model) and on the Alex Rims website it clearly said, "Tubeless Ready".

I spent an hour or so that night removing all the stickers from the wheels and frame, cleaning it up with goo gone, and then registering the bike with the manufacturer for the warranty.

I ran over to a third local bike shop the following day, got tubeless valve cores, sealant, and a valve core remover. Brought the bike into work the following Monday, removed the tubes, and set the tires/wheels up tubeless using the compressor at work.

Let them sit over night, double checked that Tuesday, and the rear lost some air so I removed the valve core and added an extra ounce of sealant.

The rear brake rotor was rubbing so I fixed that and the front brake had a terrible squeal (must've gotten contaminated at some point). Anyways, removed the front wheel and brake pads and wiped everything down with some alcohol and that solved it.

Initial impression of the maiden voyage with the tubeless setup was that this thing was even smoother. I ran ~50 psi up front and 60 in the rear since I knew most of the ride would be on pavement. I did get it offroad for a short section and got it covered in mud. Unfortunately this was a lunch ride so I hosed it off and got it reasonably cleaned up before bringing it back into the office with me so I forgot to take a photo while it was all muddy.

Anyways, here is the bike in it's current state:

All in cost so far: $1,671.43. Ended up coming in cheaper than the Topstone I originally wanted and I ended up with a MUCH better bike.

Some things that I think I'd like to do in the future:
- Get the Di2 wiring and hydraulic cables run fully internal (if possible).
- Kalloy Uno -17 degree stem, de-logo'd like I did on my CAAD.
- New, narrower de logo'd handlebars, Di2 compatible or drilled aluminum bars.
- K-edge combo mount so I can run my CatEye Volt 800 under my Garmin while commuting or GoPro during CX races/gravel grinders.
- Maybe new, lighter wheels with centerlock rotors (wife isn't crazy about that idea).
- Maybe a 34 chainring instead of the 36 that's on there and an 11-30 cassette rather than 11-28 - we have some steep climbs here in Colorado.

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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 11:26 pm

by NiFTY

Nice looking bike. And sounds like a bargain.
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by Weenie

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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:17 pm

by jbaillie

Blue has changed hands a couple times in recent years - they had the same parent corp. as Mad Fiber at one point - but they still seem to churn out good bikes, especially in the CX/Gravel market. I've bought from Random Bike Parts (who also operate as Crosslake Sales) a bunch on eBay, they're always great to work with. Looks like you got a solid bike at an excellent price.

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