A word on the bike you are seeing here, and on my riding. You are looking at a rider who used to race, once built frames, and now rides double centuries. I am approaching a million miles of riding. You are looking at a very picky rider.
The bike is carbon, and I was very leery of buying carbon. I have ridden a lot of carbon frames, and disliked them all. They felt dead to me, and they never fit right. Good fit is not so important in a crit, but it is everything in a double century. And a bike that handles oddly is not something that I want on a long descent if I am at 12 hours and 180 miles. I don’t want to be thinking about my bike, I want to be thinking about my mind, So I stuck with steel and Ti for years, waiting for someone I trust to custom build carbon.
Carl, you exceeded my expectations with this bike. The bike rides and fits as comfortably as my Ti Strongs, and it handles smoothly and quickly. It absorbs shock a bit better than the Ti bikes, rides lighter, and climbs very well. This week I did a long ride that started with 5600 feet of climbing in 25 miles and finished with a series of 20 % grades. The bike rides these superbly, and handles the descents with style. It is noticably better than the other bikes, and as comfortable as it would be if I had 3 seasons on it.
How good is this bike? Less than a week after I got it I set aside the Ti bike and pulled out this carbon machine for the Central Coast Double. That is 200 miles with 13,000 feet of climbing. A great deal of the descending is on terrible surfaces.
The bike rides superbly well, again well beyond my expectations. I wanted to try carbon. You can guess that I am a traditionalist, I held out for a long time. (You will notice the Campy Record/Super Record components.) The Strong is the only carbon bike that I have ever considered. It rides totally differently from any other carbon bike I have tried. It is stable, responsive, and comfortable. It comes close to the feel of steel, very similar, with the absorption that steel and Ti do not offer and the extra lightness. It climbs wonderfully, it descends superbly, and it feels so good I can ignore it when I should be focused on other things. And that is the ultimate compliment – I can ignore it, it is an extension of my thinking.
Of course, the fit is excellent, I knew that would happen, but the ride is a combination of light and firm that I would never have expected. It is by far the best bike that I have ever ridden.
Oh, the wording on the top tube? This is a gift from my wife. She is wonderful.
Can you tell that I am happy with it? Oh yeah, I am happy with it. I would recommend this to the most cautious of buyers and the most experienced of riders. I recommend it highly.