Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by borja

Hi there,

If anybody is interested about how the new A2J's ROLO bike performs in real world, here is a quick report.

I was honoured to ride the one of the recent hottest stuff in the industry, the ROLO Prolight bike. I've got it for a few weeks so I just thought it's worth mentioning it here..how it feels, rides etc..
I'm from Slovenia and I'm a competitive rider, spending 12 years in the U23, Elite and Continental peloton, then unfortunately the crisis forced me to move to amateur racing (mostly in Italy). I'm very critical rider and I'm one of those picky morons who rather argue about every bolt on the bike instead of being out there and training;)
My primary bike is Cannondale EVO with DA7900. This is most probbably the best frame currently on the market and I take it as a reference to everything I ride.

The ROLO I've got was a first prototype of A2J's ultra stiff layup. It had some issues with the brake cable joints and Di2 battery connections but these were minor, prototype related issues.
The bike is really a race ready beast. Stiff and fast, precise and stable on descents but still compliant enough on rough surfaces.
Comparing to Evo, the bike feels stiffer. The front end of the bike (headtube and front top and bottom tube) is very stable (more than Evo's), either when pushing hard gears off the saddle on the climbs or cornering down at high speeds.
When you go full power from 40 to 50kmh on the flat, the bike accelerates well so it seems that the rear triangle construction is stiff enough. If you hit a hole on the ground the frame absorbs it. Not so much as Evo does but for me it is perfect since I like the solid feel of the bike.

On the descents, the bike is very responsive and very stable at high speeds. It is very confident in the corners, similar to the old Cannondale supersixHM or maybe even better. Those who were/are using the HM will know what I mean.
However, the 3T fork is maybe a bit too stiff - if you descent fast on a rough road and hit the curve, the front wheel of the bike start to slip out because of the vibrations. The vibrations just lift the front tire of the ground slightly and that causes a slight drift out.
But A2J is about to design their own, frame-tuned fork. I still have to try out some THM forks, they are more promising (and also much lighter).

Anyway, thumbs up for the bike, I like it and I like it a lot! I would love to ride it on the races. There are some minor issues which need to be resolved before the bike goes into sales but regarding the riding characteristic, this one is definitely very competitive to the current top bikes (talking as a competitive cyclist). The bike is fast!
For those who are preffering more comfortable ride, I think this one is too stiff. The A2J guys have more compliant layups for this frame but I can't comment on these since this one is the only one I have ridden.

Bike config:

Frame: ROLO ProLight (The stiffest one)
Groupset: DA Di2
Crankset: Cannondale Hollowgram SL
Stem+handlebar: Shimano PRO combo
Seatpost: AX Lightness
Wheels used: Lightweight Meilenstein + Conti force attack tubs, DuraAce C50 + Tufo S3Lite tubs
Pedals: DA 7900

Weight: I didnt put it on scale yet but I would say its arround 6kg with LWs. Except the AX seatpost and LWs, there are no other WW parts on it.

If there is anything specific you would like to know, post a question and I can try to answer..

Ok, thanks for reading ;)


by Weenie

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by djconnel

Nice review, but it makes me want to ride the Evo! :)

I saw the previous generation Rolo in the flesh and it was very nice. It was too big for me so I didn't bother riding it -- that would have been unfair. I did, however, ride an Evo and was extremely impressed. If I was going to buy a stock bike that would be it.

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by prendrefeu

On my dream list.
At the top, actually.

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by borja

djconnel wrote:Nice review, but it makes me want to ride the Evo! :)

I saw the previous generation Rolo in the flesh and it was very nice. It was too big for me so I didn't bother riding it -- that would have been unfair. I did, however, ride an Evo and was extremely impressed. If I was going to buy a stock bike that would be it.

Evo is a very good frame. As I said, one of the best currently available, you can't go wrong buying it. But Rolo goes even further and for those looking for no compromise frame, this is it.

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by dereksmalls

We're talking this one yeah? Image

But without the Berk combo and other light stuff?

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by borja

Sorry fot the photos. I'll try to find some and post later.

@dereksmalls: Yes this one but not in this layup configuration and with more race oriented components. Di2, Pro combo, LWs, DA brakes etc. Nothing really light one the bike except AX post and Hollowgram cranks.
This one on the photo is the ultralight version, it has arround 4,5kg complete bike and the frame is 640g. The review is about the ultra stiff version which frame is about 200g heavier and painted.

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by prendrefeu

That bike.

I would sleep with it.
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by Pharmstrong

I think the rolo looks so much better with the Scapula F.

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by itsacarr

scapula fork scares me a wee bit but the craftsmanship of that whole bike is stunning

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by andy2


We have a couple of bikes available for test rides for the WW community in No California the next two weeks.
They are a superstiff and a standard both w Di2 in case you want to use your own wheels.
These bikes are well traveled press bikes / test mules and they are waiting to be used!

Just pm me if there is any interest.

A note on Borja and his comments above:
We first met Borja through Jure Berk at Eurobike demo day last year. He had ridden quite a few bikes that day and was extremely critical of many of the bikes but also always qualifying his critique in a very articulate and analytical way. Working with very critical and physically capable individuals has been invaluable when working on tuning the lay up to suit different rider characteristics.

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by Berk

We meet with A2J thanks to this forum, and I'm really glad that we meet last year and it's great to see the development of the ROLO frame. They really want to make it perfect, and I think that they're on the right way!

Unfortunately I only rode with their bike last year, but now I hear that they made it even better! It's great to hear that they're working also with athlets, and Borja is for sure the right guy. I wish you A2J guys all the best!

One more photo of the A2J masterpiece:
Berk PROTO-TYPE Composites - Handmade In Slovenia
Berk Composites

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by YinYang

I'm interested in a test ride. Are the test bikes heading down to Southern California anytime soon?

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by kevosinn

this ^^ im in so cal also would love to ride it!
Www.crypticcycles.com Custom carbon frames, bar/stem combos, repair and component tuning.

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by PSM

Me seconds before entering the A2J last summer... I really liked the bike even if this was one of the early prototypes.
I also had the opportunity to witness another prototype build.
Last edited by PSM on Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by timsterc

I too had the pleasure to test ride the Rolo - both the 'standard' as well as the 'stiff' layup versions.

There was an issue with the Clavicula crank / BB when I demo'd the 'standard' layup bike a month back - at the Montebello Climb of djconnel's Low Key Hill Climb series.
It was the strangest sensation - as I was climbing full-tilt in the race - and (come to find out) it was slowly getting tighter and tighter and tighter. To the point
where, when I was struggling to catch a guy on a 29er (who wasn't even IN our race), figured that it wasn't me. This put a damper on the test ride, but Adam was keen
to make sure I got to ride it again.

Adam (one of the A's in A2J) emailed last week saying that he and Jon (the J) would be in the Bay Area this weekend - and would I like a 2nd Go ? But of course !!!

This time I'd get to ride the stiff layup version - setup with Di2 and Cannondale Hollogram crank.

Met them near Woodside - so we could ride up Kings and then meet Adam back in Woodside. Jon's gearing was a little bit ... err ... flat-landish ... so we decided
to 'call-it' at the entrance to Huddart Park ... but I was able to get a good feel for how well it climbs on the lower slopes of Kings ... and gave a pretty good effort
for the first mile on Old La Honda. I was particularly impressed with how immediately it responds to out-of-the-saddle efforts. The stiffer layout (particularly in
the area of the BB) clearly does what it's designed to do. What honestly surprised (almost shocked) me is for a bike with that much immediate power transfer - just
how comfortable it is over bumps, etc. It was setup with Lightweight Clinchers - so not a whole lot of cushion on offer to me (@ 151lbs) from the wheels. Riding
my Parlee Z5SLi this morning ... it felt noticeably 'less exciting' (not dull) than the Rolo. A little more comfortable, but I could definitely 'feel' the difference when I jump
on it.

I'll be getting the bike back tomorrow night ... and get to keep it until Sunday !!! Anxious to swap out the Lightweights for my DA C24 Tubulars - which I've ridden
just about every climb on the Bay Area on ... across a number of bikes (Cervelo R3SL, Parlee Z4, Z5, Z5SLi) ... and see if I can really focus on 'The Frame'. I'm planning
to see if I can hammer-out a sub-16 minute OLH time and move my way up in the Strava KOM standings !

Jon and I just heading out

Little 'pouseuring' in Woodside next to the fish
My Ride - Parlee Z5

by Weenie

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