Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bike Demo Part 3

I want to start out by clarifying an earlier statement I made about the braking capabilities of this bike due to the "carbon rims", which even caused one commenter to ask if the bike was properly equipped with carbon fiber specif braking pads. When I said the braking on this bike sucks, I was just comparing it to all other bikes in general that I have ever ridden. Even with proper brake pads stopping power on carbon fiber is just not good, it inherently sucks. That being said, the breaking on this bike is good when compared to other overpriced lightweight road bikes rolling around on carbon fiber wheels. Once you squeeze the levers really hard, the bike readily comes to a stop. Light and feathery pulls on lever, like I would use on my Ksyrium equipped* bike, felt more like suggestion than commands.

*"Ksyrium equipped" does not mean I am ridding a Ksyrium Equipe wheel set. I am in fact ridding a on set of Ksyrium SL Supperlight Premiums, one the most redundant product names in of all of road cycling.
So now that we know the brakes actually do work. So what about the shifting and the hoods themselves? The front shifting was excellent, up shifts felt noticeably easier complemented by the short throw required to execute an up shift. Plus, despite my best efforts I was completely un able to drop the chain.
The rear shifting I was slightly less impressed with. First off I didn't like the new feel of the thumb lever. To me it felt cheep and tinny, and way to easy to click down. I'm a fan of the stiffer feeling springs, like the ones featured on the astronomically overpriced Campy Record Red series. I've even considered upgrading to those springs in my shifter (you can by the springs for like $10, which was the only difference other than the red paint job on the front) On top of that the shifting just didn't feel amazing, but I think it need some adjustment anyways so I won't judge it completely based off this test. I didn't however ever really notice the extra gear, it just felt like the same old low gear to me. It just takes you longer to get there. I should point out that this bike was equipped with standard gearing and I normally ride a compact. If the bike had had a compact crank and an 11/25 cassette, then I certainly would have noticed a difference with the lower gear ( I ride an 11/23).
As for the hoods and levers themselves I'm still not a huge fan. They felt really weird at first, and I slowly got used to it as I was ridding. The bend in the top of the lever did seem to give you a good grip when breaking. But at the same time the shifter lever for your index finger, seemed to be now just out of reach of my finger. I could just barely get to it. The thumb lever seems the same, except for its new whimpy feel. But for me what it all comes down to is, after I was done ridding and the bike was returned to the shop I got back on my trusty old bike and road home on my Chours 10 speed levers and they felt just right. So I guess I'll just have to come to terms with it, I am now officially a "retrogrouch" Which brings me to my next point, why the hell does Campy Record 10 spd cost more than Campy Record 11 spd??? It kind like when Apple started doing those glossy screens as optional. At first nobody seemed to like them so, they made them standard. Now they charge an upcharge to get the regular plane old screen on your new computer, fucking marketing.


libertyonbikes! said...

a serious marketing trick - tempt you to buy the 11 speed to 'upgrade', because you then will buy the cassette and rear derailuer. so if you break a 10 speed shifter - it seems 'better' to just upgrade.... i'll stick with the old.

Anonymous said...

can't comment on the Chorus, but
that Stella Artois is very good!