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BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:31 am
by willieboy
Some of you may have read my short term ride report on the 2013 BH Ultralight. My early impressions were it may be to much bike for me. This is due to the stiffness of its ride. The bike really is as advertised. A stiff pure bread race machine. While in the early days I was convinced I had bit off more than I could chew I have since found out differently. Mind you I needed to stick with it, make a few fit adjustments and put 25mm tires on her but now after 1,500 miles I know it belongs in the stable.

I'm a 55 year old rider. Weigh 152 pounds and 5'8.5" tall. The bike is a medium size. I'm just coming up on four years of riding in September and can honestly say this sport has changed my life. Not just the 60 pounds of weight loss but the lifestyle changes that cycling forces you to make are all worth while and then some. Enough about me. Back to the report.

The BH is of course, light. 747 grams for the frame and another 300 or so for the fork. I'm running Campagnolo SR11 with Ritchey WCS carbon seat-post and 100mm alloy stem. Easton EC90 aero bars in a 42. Specialized Romin Expert saddle, Look carbon blade pedals and Hed Jet 4 FR wheels with Continental GP4000S tires. Serfas cages and Lizard skin 2.5mm bar tape finishes off the ride. The bike weighs as pictured at 14.9 pounds. It's very stiff and responsive.

Notables are the bikes power transfer. What you give it is what you get. There is no flex in this bike. It climbs very well and holds speeds on the flats amazing. From a performance stand point this bike gets an A. It has made a huge difference in my ability to pull and keep up on the weekend group rides with the local bike shop. These guys are serious about their riding and it took me a little while to learn the ropes and get fit enough to stay with them. I credit much of that to this bike.

From a comfort stand point I give it a B. It's not uncomfortable but you do have to focus on getting out of the saddle a little more often and doing various stretches while riding. I wouldn't take this one on a century but that's what the Lynskey R230 is for :).

From a looks stand point I give it a B+. While I find it good to look at I would rather it had less white on it. I suppose there's a way to make the white BH logos black to get that stealth look but it's completely acceptable to the way it is.

Image

In summary the BH Ultralight is a no nonsense bike that will bring the best of you out on the road. The handling is crisp, it will take all you can give it and is acceptably comfortable. It's a great climber and descends on rails. I would think this bike would be a great asset to any racer, crit rider or serious weekend warrior.

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:13 am
by petal666
The 2014 bike is all black with black decals.

If you used an alloy seatpost with setback (it doesn't look like you need it though), the any harshness in the ride would be reduced. I have the 2014 with a Thompsons post and find the ride fantastic.

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:12 pm
by NiFTY
I agree that setback would increase comfort, but that could throw off the seating position. Alloy is not more compliant than carbon as a rule.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/12/ ... t_267560/3

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:16 pm
by petal666
Interesting comparison.

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:56 pm
by kgt
Although it is somehow boring in terms of design I am sure it deserved a much higher percentage in the market. A real ww and a nice riding frame.

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:55 pm
by mythical
Great writeup. I've been looking at the frameset for a while now, wondering about this bike's ride quality. It's a very enticing frame in terms of weight, design and finishing. It does seem a bit on the short (shorter TT) and high (longer HT) side for my liking, though nothing a lower and longer stem can't fix.

@petal666: I found my Thomson Masterpiece downright harsh. Good thing my Selle Italia SLR is so flexy. @NiFTY I agree about the seatpost, but in this case I believe a more forgiving saddle could help more.

As the OP suggests, this bike is probably better as a racing machine than a tourer.

A video I found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeCQ7SM7iT4

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:46 pm
by willieboy
Thanks for the props on the write up. I was between this frame and the Cannondale EVO. Went with the BH on a recommendation and glad I did. Didn't hurt that I scored a large discount. It really is an amazing bike but it took some time for me to adjust to it :)

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:14 pm
by petal666
Here is a time lapse of me building mine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpfo1NQyB-A

Re: BH a Ultralight mid-term ride report

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:06 am
by willieboy
That is very cool Petal. Enjoyed watching that and man do you work fast :)