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#55 of 2366 Top 100 Gear Guru 35 points

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  • 8 Reviews 12 Helpful
  • 0 Questions 0 Helpful
  • 9 Answers 5 Helpful
  • 0 Photos 0 Helpful
  • 0 Videos 0 Helpful
  • 1 Comment 2 Helpful

Here's what others have to say...

5 5

For a lot of us, half of the appeal of cycling is the mystique of all-things Euro. Italy almost always takes the top spot (Spain falls somewhere down the list), but Belgium is right there, especially come spring and fall, when the "hardmen" come out to play. Ridley's slogan is "Tested on Pave," and while it's a little cheesy, it's pretty spot on with their design philosophy (at least for most of their bikes - TT bikes may be less brute and more finesse) - simple down and dirty bikes/frames that are built like tanks that still manage to hold on to a glimmer of that southern-European buttery ride (think Pina, Colnago, Bainchi, etc). Having ridden the Helium for a season, I can truthfully say it's a really nice bike. It's a pro-tour-ridden frameset that's respectably light (even by today's standards), rides very solid (partially due to the ISP) especially pedaling hard while in the saddle, and is, likely, one of the best values in a high-end frame. At over $3k retail for the normal frameset two years ago, it was a great deal. At under $3K for a 6800 Ultegra/Hed Ardennes equipped bike? That's a silly good deal. Get one and be that hardman on your weekly group ride.

2 Comments

5 5

Part one: I wasn't sure I was sold on the idea of a thermal short - I usually just go to knickers or tights if it's cool. But I decided to give them a try because of point two, and they haven't disappointed. They're definitely warm, and are a good choice paired with knee or leg warmers for those chilly morning rides when you know the sun will be peaking out and warming things up.

Part two: the quality is stellar. De Marchi makes all (I believe) of their clothing in Italy, and they manufacture chamois and bibs for other well known brands. The feel and quality reminds me of a certain R**** brand, only these are even better. Love them and now am very excited to see this same series but in their spring/summer line.

0 Comments

5 5

It all starts with the rims - there are only a handful of products that a mere mortal can buy that are as legitimately PRO as these hoops. The fact that they're laced to some really awesome Murican-made King hubs is just icing on the cake. I have the same wheelset (only with DT hubs) and they're just awesome riding, timeless, and bombproof. Modern-day creature comforts these may lack, but that's not really the point.

0 Comments

Hey Peggy,

Sorry about the weird feeling with your trainer. I spoke with CycleOps, and I'll try to explain what's going on. If you'd prefer to discuss this over the phone, feel free to call us at 888-276-7130.

Because these trainers allow you to freewheel (like you would on a normal bicycle - ie coast), the pedals won't always have tension on them like a more "old school" trainer might. What could happen is if you're not focusing on carrying the pedaling motion through the entire stroke, you end up with a "dead spot," which, on a trainer like this, would result in a clunk when you re-apply pressure to the pedals. This shouldn't hurt the machine, but if it annoys you enough (or if you want to just work on your form), you can turn up the resistance a bit, which should help out (slowing down the pedaling cadence will help, too). If neither of these work for you, I believe they can convert the trainer to a fixed gear style, which would prevent this altogether. Let me know, and I hope it's not too late to salvage the experience, as these are really nice trainers.

Thanks!

Zephyr,

I just heard back from Saris/CycleOps, and these are not coming with a computer. These are designed to work (wireless) with a computer or tablet, from which you can pull from a plethora of routes from around the world (complete with videos in a lot of cases). Sorry for the confusion with the spec! If you have any additional questions with this, please feel free to email us at sales@competitivecyclist.com

Chad,

I have had mine since last winter, and have used it a good amount. The trainer, itself, is really nice (same frame etc as all of the nicer Cycleops trainers. The setup was pretty simple, but the old VirtualTrainer software was pretty dated (this is now updated with an ITunes version that's super easy to use). The functionality is great, and being able to ride actual routes (around the world) keeps you motivated. I despise riding a trainer (usually stick to rollers - almost as bad - but it's just not the same workout) and this is as tolerable as I've found.

Negatives:
The old software was just lousy. The new ITunes version let's you stream routes, so you don't have to download 2gig maps off the web.
The powertap resistance unit doesn't react instantaneously. It can take a few seconds to respond to a steep pitch during a ride. This doesn't affect anything, other than it helps you cheat the route a bit!

Overall, I'm extremely pleased. I've used some of the other VR trainers that are out there, and this is the most solid/stable/"it just works"-ish version I've seen. If you have to ride the trainer a fair amount, it's a worthwhile investment, especially since Saris/CycleOps is so great with standing behind their product.

Just solid, everywhere, all the time
5 5

I spent a summer on this frame, and there were lots of qualities that were great, but one thing always stood out - it's just solid. It feels almost weirdly-solid in corners, out of the saddle climbing/sprinting, over rough ground, etc. It seems so simple (and not exotic like you'd expect a Dogma review to read), but after you ride one, you look back at all the previous bikes you've owned and realize they just weren't that solid. One big grin and two thumbs up.

0 Comments

Modern-technology be damned, sometimes
4 5

I've loved the idea of a steel bike since the beginning. There are (literally) millions of threads and blog postings talking about why steel is still a relevant (and good) material to use for bike frames, so I won't delve into all of that. I came off a Pivot LES, and a Highball Carbon before that, so I've had my fair share of creme de la creme carbon hardtails. To feed my never-ending lust for steel, I decided to give the new SIR9 a try. The stereotypes are true - it's pretty heavy, it is really smooth (smoother in the rear than either of my previous carbon hardtails), and is relatively heavy (yep, it's like a pound or two heavier than my other frames were). But for me, especially this time of year, I don't really care all that much. I don't have to worry about damaging the frame (I suppose I need to be conscious of rusting, but FrameSaver should take care of that), and it's pretty inexpensive. And it's fun, and different. And it's easy to make it single speed or geared. I dig it - when spring rolls around and I go back to slogging up thousands of feet of vertical, my tune my change a bit, but as a cool all-around hardtail (especially for midwest riding), this thing is rad.

0 Comments

4 5

The typical "call-outs" of a nice stowaway vest: windproof, very compact/smooshable (technical term), breathable, etc. This has all of that, plus the fabric is QUIET - ie there is none of that deafening-nylon-flapping that is so prevalent come spring and fall... It is super-light, so don't plan on it offering much insulation to your layering, but as an emergency "keep the wind off during a big descent" or an "doh, I'm lost and the sun just went down," it's about as good as I've found.

0 Comments

5 5

Having ridden a plethora of deeper-depth wheels, I'm all too familiar with the "getting blown around" feeling you ALWAYS get. It's a trade-off that is, often, worth the hours of white-knuckled riding. Enter the Aero series - the profile is a lot different than what most are using, but that's not really important. What's important is how amazingly stable these are in crosswinds, while cornering hard down mountain descents, and out of the saddle. They are straight-up unbelievable. Reynolds may have lost some of the sexy that was Reynolds a decade ago, but these more than make up for it.

0 Comments

Hi Jay, thanks for the question. Pinarello doesn't offer the FP Quattro as a frameset, but they do offer the Paris as both a complete bike and a frameset. Are you looking for a particular component build or are you looking to just upgrade your frame? We'd be happy to go into more detail if you have any further questions or interest in either of these options. You can reach us at (866) 995-7623 or by using the "contact us" link at the bottom of the page. Thanks, Andrew