Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Unsolicited Brown-Nosing From Jonathan

My ego has never been more inflated.

Hey Walt.

Sorry for the delay, but I wanted to provide you with some sweet feedback on my new road frame. Feel free to put this on the blog. People need to know that you’re a genius with building road frames, too! I’ll send pics soonest!

So my new Waltworks road frame is officially the 40th bike that I’ve owned in my 40 years of existence and it is proving to be the nicest road bike that I’ve ever thrown a leg over.

For decades, I’ve been riding harsh aluminum or dead carbon frames that never really fit right. I’ve got long-ass legs and a short torso. I’ve either run a ton of seat post or really short stems that always made my road bikes very uncomfortable. 58s and 60s always left me hanging.

After riding my Waltworks 29 hardtail in various configurations over the last 3 years, I knew that Walt had to build me a road frame. My hardtail is the absolute coolest bike to shred tight, east coast single track. It climbs and wheelies and fits like a glove. I wanted to have a road bike that climbed like a demon, but felt stable on descents and cruised the flats without causing me neck pain. I knew Walt could work his magic.

First off, the build quality is superb. Super neat welds all around. Even the powder looks nice. Can’t beat black!

I knew going steel would result in a heavier bike (I’m a recovering and often relapsing weight weenie) than I’m used to. My Cannondale System 6 was 15 pounds. My new bike is closer to 18.5. Can I feel the extra weight? Sure, but the bike is so freaking comfortable that I can lay down the miles for hours, feeling super efficient. I’m running a 62 cm seat tube and 57 cm top tube! I feel so dialed into this bike that I immediately felt at home with it. Every previous road bike would take 5-6 rides to dial it in to a state of being acceptable.

I made 1 adjustment after 2 rides on the new frame (seat height). The bike does everything we talked about. It feels crisp on the climbs. I can stand and jam on the pedals and there is no lateral flex that my massive 250 watts can produce. Yet the plush True Temper pipes soak up road chatter and Pittsburgh’s notoriously choppy roads. The bike is smooth as silk yet can be hammered.

No neck or back pain after 3 plus hours in the saddle. Looking forward to a few centuries before the summer is up. So what’s not to like? Yeah, she’s “heavy” for a road bike in the days when 14 pounds is the norm. I could still race it if I wanted to, but I’ve never been into racing road. The sheer comfort outweighs any weight penalty.

I’ve got the bike built with a mix of Sram Force and FSA parts. My Mavic Kysrium ES wheels are super snappy. A set of tubulars would make this bike even smoother. They might be in my future.

I’ll quit rambling. I gotta get home and ride my new road bike. Walt really did a great job on this frame. A full-sus could be in my future. A trifecta of Waltworks? Oh man that would rule!


Lance said...

looking forward to my road bike...

NickS said...

This is all true.
As you know W, I handed the free team SL4 Tarmac back after 3 months as it was not very nice to ride compared to my WW road bike. Lighter, yes, free, yes. but those were the only advantages. I was actually slower in crits and descents as it didn't handle the way I liked, (wasn't balanced, rear felt too long) and it skipped and bounced through rough corners where as the steel WW just tracks beautifully and soaks up the bumps.
And you know if something was pants, I'd tell you.