Saturday, September 5, 2009

Test Ride

Today, I thought I would take the new bike out for a longer test ride than the 15 minutes I squeezed in yesterday. About an hour would be a good measure of how comfortable a rig this would be. The geometry is a whole lot different than my old bike, much more aggressive than I thought it would be. I road up the Munger Trail for comparison, since I ride that a lot. There are bone rattling bumpy stretches and long grades, with speeds varying for 13 to 30 mph.

The first thing I noticed is how quiet it rides. The Immortal Force frame seems to soak up the bumps in a way my old ride couldn't. No rattling over bumps, the chain doesn't make that metallic noise when hitting bumps like it did on the old bike. None of the road vibration makes it up to your hands and it's not skittish when hitting bumps you didn't see. It tracks much straighter when you take your hands off the bars, not that I do that much, but I thought I would try.

As far as the components go, the new Ultegra 6700 is fantastic. The cable routing is very clean, and shifting is flawless. The FSA carbon seat post is my favorite, very simple to adjust and doesn't slip once set like the Ritchie post on the old bike would. I've got a FSA post on my MTB and for the money, I can't find anything better. Speaking of Ritchie, the bar and stem are Ritchie PRO aluminum series. The bar is the Biomax model and has very nice hand positions. It helps that the new Ultegra hoods are longer and flatter than the older series, making riding the hoods more pleasurable than ever for me. The FSA SL-K compact crank has a different finish and graffics that last years, and is a little lighter. It spins very smoothly.

Now for the brakes. I had Cane Creek SCR-3 braes on my old bike, and was going to replace them with Ultegras. This one came with SCR-6 brakes and work light years better. I may change to Kool-Stop pads, but for now, these are fine. These are a very new model brake and aren't even shown on Cane Creek's web site, so maybe they listened to all the complaints about their older models and did a little more development on the SCR-6 models.

The Vittoria Rubino Pro tires gave me some grief when mounting. The rear didn't seat right and blew out as I was lubing the chain. I put in another tube and carefully pumped it up first to 20 lbs, then 60, then 110 when it let go. The 3rd tube was fine. A couple of miles into my ride today, the front tried to do the same thing, but I saw it start to bulge, stopped and let the air out. after reseating it and reinflating, it was fine. I rode 30 more miles without incident. More care is required with these tires, I guess. As far as performance, they roll smoother and far faster than the Kendas that I had on the American Classic rims before.

All in all, I very happy with the bike. It exceeds my expectations in every way. The finish is gorgeous, a beautiful pearl white. I've always liked the color, especially on a Cadillac DeVille. It seems so many carbon frames are that black weave, so it's a nice contrast. I know 32 miles isn't that much of a test, but it performed far beyond my hopes.


rlove2bike said...

Good looking ride and I won't be suprised to hear the miles will have increased this fall. I used to ride the Munger a lot...not so much this year.

Boz said...

No doubt, with the fall we're enjoying around here. All good things must come to an end....