Moderator: Moderator Team
I must have got out of bed on the wrong side because the first half of the ride was ugly - the bike felt slow, I couldn't get on with the (deliberate) extra reach compared to the Cyfac and the 50 miles up to the top of Snake Pass felt like a real drag. I couldn't get my heart rate up and I'd averaged less than 15 mph. I wasn't sure if it was the bike, the continuous headwind or the fact I hadn't recovered from a heavy ride on Sunday.
It turned out the first 50 miles were literally a drag - the front brake was rubbing! I also realised that I'd somehow managed to put not one but two buffs on my head (no wonder my head was cooking!). At the time of taking the below picture (Snake Pass) I was ready to call a taxi home and was gutted that the bike was so under whelming - didn't have the 'all-of-a-piece' stiffness feel of the Cyfac and just felt a bit, well, dull and slow. I was gutted. It even felt slower and harder work up the climbs than the Cyfac despite running a semi-compact (36/52T).
Thankfully I persevered and shorn of (both) buffs and the dragging brake(!) the rest of the ride was like a fresh start. It might be because I'd not worked as hard over the first 50 miles but for the next 50 miles home I just kept pushing harder and harder and the bike just kept getting better and better. I can honestly say that I've never got off a bike after 100 miles and felt so fresh - I'm still buzzing now and just want to go back out and ride again right now!
The stiffness through the cranks and BB is just stunning but the rest of the bike feels buttery smooth. That lack of feel that I originally worried about turned out to be nothing of the sort. The bike just floats over the tarmac and its so comfortable its got to be the ultimate distance bike - but the harder you push the better it responds. Its quite hard to explain (for a layman like me!) but it just feels so beautifully damped yet feels as taut and responsive as I could ever wish for. Its so stable but it still feels nimble. Oh and the brakes were great as well (almost too good as I managed to lock the rear a few times by mistake).
I'm so relieved that it rides so well. Its just been like a piece of artwork for me for the last few months as I've waited for my collarbone, pelvis and knee to sort themselves out. Finding out it rides as well as it looks it just the icing on the cake for me. Sorry, its not for sale now!
Otherwise, nice build
I've still got far too much alcohol and chocolate left to consume before it gets ridden - will be pleased when its all over!