Ride #1 Review
I just got back from my 25 mile ride along the coast this morning. I did almost the identical ride I did a few days ago so that I could try to compare performance on the bikes
Simply put, the bike lived up to expectations. I averaged about 2 miles an hour faster for the trip as a whole on this ride than I did on my last ride with my old bike. This probably would have been higher if it were not for the very painful stomach cramps I had from about mile 4 until shortly after the turn around mile 13 or so. On the way back, I had very similar wind conditions (i.e. wind was at my back) and I started to FLY.
On the way back I averaged just over 20.5 miles/hour compared with about 16.5-17 miles/hour on the same ride just four days earlier. Part of this speed gain can be directly attributed to the aero positioning. Just as an experiment, I’d periodically come out of the aero position and keep my perceived exertion at about the same level. I typically noticed that I’d drop about 1.5-2 miles/hour very shortly after coming out of the aero positioning.
Aside from the aero benefits, this bike climbs like a billy goat. Now, in all fairness, I wasn’t exactly climbing massive hills, but this route has a number of rolling hills that I typically will slow down significantly going up (hills are my biggest weakness far and away). But today, I was cruising up these same hills at a good 5-6 miles/hour faster than I normally would. I’m not sure why, but this bike maintains its speed at the bottom of rolling hills much better than my old bike and I was able to maintain that speed through much of upslope on the rollers.
The responsiveness on the bike is amazing. Step on the peddle and it goes. For anyone that hasn’t experienced the difference between either an alloy bike or a low-grade carbon bike and a high-grade carbon bike, this is a tremendous feeling. Whereas on the former you feel like your sending out an invitation for the bike to perform and you end up waiting for an RSVP, this bike feels like it accepts via an auto-reply email. What a pleasure.
The handling was surprisingly good. I’d always heard that tri bikes can have poorer handling than road bikes, but this bike was great. I was flying down hills faster than I’d ever done on my road bike and the front end was almost completely silent. Talk about inspiring confidence. I kept taking hills faster and faster (all the while in aero position) and I never once felt uncomfortable (something I can’t even begin to say about my old bike).
To round it out, the brakes were solid and performed like you would expect them to. The shifting on the rear derailer was solid, quick and no problems. I had a few hiccups with the front derailer (chain popped off early on ride and somewhat difficult at times to get to big chainring), but I’ll be heading back into Nytro anyways after three or four rides to have them take a look at the bike to make sure everything is still tight and not stretched, and I’ll have them take a look at it then.
Overall, very, very happy with my purchase. It’s not the cheapest bike I could have gone for, but I did that last time and I just never felt good on the bike. This bike was more comfortable, handled better and I felt like I was getting more out of my efforts on it. This is the kind of bike that makes you want to hit the road day after day because it is simply a joy to ride.