There are few things better in life than stretching your legs, taking in nature and getting exercise and fresh air after a hard day in the office.
Last week I had great news. “Worksrider, we have bought a test bike for everyone to use. Size 56, will that work for you?”
Up until now, people pretty much used their own bikes, swapping out components, and testing them, then swapping back. This isn’t as great as it sounds. Bikes aren’t generally designed to constantly have parts swapped on them. It causes wear and tear that the component manufacturer didn’t take into account when designing the product in the first place. Think, for example, about your seat post, and for specifically about the saddle clamp. How many times do you fit the saddle to the bike in its lifetime? Once, twice, maybe four times perhaps? Well, if you are testing saddles, you will do that perhaps in a day. Things then break (I have broken a perfectly good saddle clamp playing this game), and who then pays for that? So the test bike is good news – especially when your road bike is perhaps say in England when the office is in Germany!
And the bike itself isn’t too shabby either. Smaller than my carbon Canyon which is a 58, this alloy version felt a little different on account of the different size. It is, of course, a little heavier, but my impression of it was that the frame in alloy (Ultimate AL) isn’t a significant downgrade, unless being an absolute weight weenie is your thing (and I must admit, at times, I have been known to be one). And even then, the weight disadvantage isn’t massive – I am sure you can hit the 6.8 very easily, as out of the box it is 7.2 according to the website. Taking into account the replacement cost, if I were racing and paying for it myself, I know which I would purchase. Particularly that I think the complete bike costs as much as my frame and forks. Jesus…..
It was my first time riding SRAM too – and I found the double tap system (I know, been around now for YEARS) to be fairly intuitive. This was SRAM Force, so the second tier group, and everything functioned nicely. The brakes however, lacked the feel (and to my mind power) of my Super Record ones, but I am probably being unfair, because that isn’t comparing apples with apples, and the pads / rims are new. I think I was the first person to ride the bike properly, so everything needs to bed in.
There were other parts I was testing on the bike, but I can’t talk about those! They passed though, if it helps!
Back to the ride though… My god, I have missed it around here. There are good long climbs, steady, twisting things, with good road surfaces. It is wonderful.