A few weeks ago I posted a set of pictures and a rambling description of my new bike, a Pedal Force CG2 on the Century bike thread.
I decided to have two bikes that could be used for century events and fitness riding. My other bike is a Soma Double Cross. I had a Lynskey made Titanium bike. This bike was sold earlier this year. The Titanium bike was not up to expectations, the largest frame size was too small, and at 210 lbs, I found some unwanted flex in the frame and fork.
This summer, Pedal Force announced a group -buy on a new generation road bike. The CG2 was advertised with this description “Designed for tackling fast and hard long days in the saddle, the CG2 features a full carbon frame, tapered head tube, BB30 bottom bracket, internal cable routing, and a balanced geometry for a confidence-inspiring ride. It is available in eight sizes so you won't need to compromise on getting the perfect bike fit.” More importantly the Geometry was perfect for me with a 59cm VTT and a 210mm head-tube. So I took the plunge. At $450 for the frame and $100 for the fork, it was not a huge gamble.
When it arrived I was impressed. Very robust and large diameter head-tube, down-tube, BB area and chain-stays. The internal routing of the cabling was super-neat and the over-all quality was excellent. I built it up with my what-works-for-me Shimano 105 & Ultegra triple drivetrain and Velocity A23 rims on 32 hole Shimano hubs. The frame might fit an actual 700x26 size tire, but I’ll be using 700x24 tires on the 23mm wide rims.
I’ve has a chance to complete several rides, including a 105 mile solo ride. My impressions are as follows;
Handling: Great stability using FSA compact bars. I’m also using a Profile Designs Stryke Aero-bars, and the bike remains very stable with excellent control with the aero-bars. I noticed some handling sluggishness at speeds of less than 15 mph. So this is more of a sports-bike than Criterion or Cyclocross racer.
Ride: Putting a big rider on a big frame-size will often produce a complaint ride with some unwanted flex. The ride of the CG2 is generally complaint with an acceptable amount of filtered road feel. The frame has a slightly springy feel that I did not expect, the frame is not cast iron stiff. No unwanted flex, ever. The ride overall is better than the Soma steel bike made of Tange Prestige, and I feel less fatigue on the CG2 at 100 miles than with my prior Titanium or steel bikes. It really is a substantial difference. Is the CG2 as good as the best Carbon bikes from Specialized, Trek or other famous builders? I can’t say, but I have no complaints in the ride comfort of the CG2.
Having said all that, the bike might be too stiff for a light rider on a smaller frame.
Acceleration and maintaining speed: this is what it is all about. The bike has added about 2 mph to the pace of my 60 mile fitness ride. The Aero-bars provide much of that improvement. However, the bike picks up speed with much less effort than my prior bikes. The bike holds speed with less effort also. I’m confident I could hold 19 mph for 6 hours as a solo rider. That’s fast enough for me.
People often expect a carbon bike to be excessively expensive or not comfortable enough for longer rides. That might have been true 5 years ago, but carbon fiber is now better designed, provides great performance and is less expensive than expected.