http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/06/bikes ... peedvagen/
http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/02/bikes ... d-machine/
It will ride like a high end custom steel bike.
My 1st road bike was a Time Edge VX --> Cervelo R3SL --> Parlee Z4 --> Speedvagen 2011 SM
By far the Speedvagen is the most sublime riding bike of all bikes I've owned. The quality of a steel riding bike is unmatched, well.. I recently bought a BMC for hill climbing and I can honestly say the BMC SLR01 rips! So yeah, the BMC matches the SV in ride quality and smoothness.
When you first ride a Speedvagen, you instantly notice how smooth the bike rides. The ISP absorbs all of the road vibration and I'm constantly telling friends that if I were a crit racer, I would ride nothing but a Speedvagen. It mutes all of the road chatter, that I find myself pedaling non stop. Say you're on a carbon bike and you see rough road, you may embrace for the rough stuff. On the SV, you just pedal right over it. If that makes any sense?
My speedvagen with somewhat light parts (Super Record 11, Tune wheels) weighed in the high 14lb range. I mean for a full steel bike with ISP, 14lb isn't that damn bad, right? I'm not sure if all current steel bikes ride like a SV does, but it's something that's hard to describe fully in words on a forum. It's just that smooth. The cornering is ridiculous as well. It leans like a Moto GP bike, so easy to flick from side to side and the bike feels super stable at speed. People ask why I bought a BMC, when I have a speedvagen. To be honest, the Speedvagen isn't the best weapon for long days in the saddle up long LA climbs, but I've hung with extremly strong climbers on the SV with no issues. Most of my riding involves 4000-8000ft of climbing on my average loops. Not saying it doesn't climb well, just saying that a 12lb Carbon bike will climb 10x better than a 14lb steel bike. It's just the truth. I've shattered all of my climb times on the BMC, and that's not lie. Different weapons for different battles I guess you can call it. The Speedvagen road racer purpose is an all day race bike, and that makes perfect sense. It would be the ultimate stage race kind of bike. A ride with just enough flat, just enough climbing and crush on the descents. That's exactly what the bike does exceptionally well. It climbs with the lightest climbing bike, crushes on the descents and hammering on the flats is next level. With my Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels, straight line riding is ridiculously fun. I mean averaging 30+ solo on the flats with ease, and not even trying to hammer. I chalk that up to the 404 wheels, as much as I do the bike itself but paired toegether with deep carbon wheels, the speedvagen comes to life. My buddy just got a 2014 Road Machine, and I've been telling him to run to the nearest Enve or Zipp dealer and buy deep carbon to pair with his bike. These bikes fly with deep wheels.
Everything you hear about these bikes are the truth. The price is warranted because of the service you get from the folks at Vanilla. They honestly treat you like a family member, once you get one of their bikes. I can't see myself parting ways with my frame, as I have it taken apart waiting for a new group (Shimano 9000) and refresh. In a few years, I'll think of some wacky paint scheme and have Vanilla give me a paint refresh.
Speedy is smoother, and - despite weighing a bit more - I don't actually see much time difference on shortish climbs. In the Alps/Pyrenees, however, I have always taken the Parlee as on long climbs the weight benefit is clear.
For comfort and confidence descending the Speedy wins hands down, it just feels rock steady and (even on Lightweights) seems to absorb the road a load better than the Parlee.
Service from the Speedvagen team was great, and I've yet to see another on the road in the UK, an added bonus.
I was bummed. I chose the paint scheme. Hollow lettering with "Vanilla Blue" outline.
Such a killer looking CX frame. I shipped it to the UK..
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