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Test rides on four "new" ones....finally.

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Test rides on four "new" ones....finally.

Old 04-04-21, 08:34 AM
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jamesdak 
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Test rides on four "new" ones....finally.

Well after last week's issues I managed Friday and Saturday to get out the 4 bikes I hadn't had on the road yet.

Friday was the Team Z Lemond for 30 miles. It was a truly beautiful day out and I just enjoyed being out more than I did worrying about speed or anything. Bike worked pretty much flawlessly once I tweeked the RD a bit. Normal in my book on a first ride. The really good news was that the 3 pivot Delta brakes with old pads didn't kill me, LOL! They actually seemed to work just fine although you do need to get on them a bit. I'm suspecting that new pads on these would make a difference but I honestly can't say they ever worried me. The bike itself felt fine under me as expected with an Italian built Lemond. A tad harsh on the bad sections of road but this one does have smaller tires than I normally run and as such I ran them at a higher psi. All in all no surprises. This is essentially the same bike as my blue Maillot Jaune just one size smaller with "better" components and that oh so cool paint job. Never made sense buying this one, yet it did....LOL!


Out on the ride. I actually put red electrical tape at all three contact points for the pump. First time ever doing that on a bike but the paint is just sooooooo nice.

Then Saturday I finally got that David Kirk built Fishlips bike out. It still isn't done as am waiting on some silver rimmed wheels to be fixed and then they'll go on it. But for the initial ride I took it out with the ones I had on it. They had some Veloflex 700 x 25 tires mounted they really measure closer to 23mm. So once again higher psi than normal in the tires. I'm also running a Flite saddle on this one right now which I can tolerate but is not one of my normal choices. Took this out for a 30 mile shakedown also. Pretty much the same route as I had did Friday on the Lemond. This bike rode much harsher to the point of being uncomfortable on the really bad sections of chipseal. In the bike's defense this is true of many bikes I've had. We are the "resort" area of the county and pay higher taxes than everyone else but we get the crappiest roads. On the few short stretches of real smooth pavement this bike felt swift and very responsive. It just beat me up on the rough stuff and made me go slower. Now in fairness I haven't been riding much and am the heaviest (fattest) I've been in years. My legs were tired from the ride Friday and I'm sure I was riding heavier in the saddle than normal. I'm hoping that the Continental GP 4000s II 700 x 28 tires I plan to run on those silver rims will take out the harshness. And I'm actively looking for a white Fizik Kurve saddle to run on this one. I think those two changes should make this a totally different bike. For sure it's a really beauty and man was it shining under the sun.


This one is such a beauty! But those round, beefy chainstays are too solid for bad roads. This is one stiff frame overall compared to many I have. Or at least seemed it on this ride.

After I got back on the Fishlips I just right on that Ochser SL bike I've been toying with. Took it out on my normal 5 mile "shakedown" loop. It was obvious right away that this frame was not as stiff as the Fishlips and that was a good thing for comfort. Everything worked fine on this one although I could tell that the rims were not machined like modern ones for the brakes. Totally different feel there when braking. The only real negative was chain rub on the FD when I stood to pedal up a small hill. Perfectly normal though for a SL tubed bike when subjected to my massive power....well really fatness but power sounds better. LOL! There is one area bout a mile and a half long where I like to open the bikes up and see how they feel at higher speeds. This responded well, got up to speed and didn't seem hard to keep going. I totally liked this on the first ride and look forward to some more time on it. That said, with the decision to downsize the collection I may just move this one on too.


After the test as I was swapping it for the Softride.

Finally I grabbed the Softride to take on the same route I had just done on the Ochsner. I really haven't done much with this one as I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it and what way to go with a build. The label for the beam's weight limit was gone so I don't know what rating the beam has. I bought another frame locally with a beam more for my weight but so have haven't been able to drive the pin out of the mount so I can swap beams. Anyway so right now this bike was just cleaned up and given a basic service. It came with both the original Shimano wheels and some funky Campagnolo ones totally incompatible with the index shifting on this. For now I put on a set of Zonda wheels that had a Shimano freehub. 4.5 spacer and the 7 speed cassette went on just fine. Indexing seems spot on. Saddle adjustment is a challenge as the beam does sag when weighted. The saddle still felt too low on this test ride so I need to change that a bit. On the road I really had to concentrate on my spin or I was bouncing. Legs were really tired by now so even more of a challenge. But for most of the ride it was pretty smooth and to be honest no matter what the road imperfections were, you did not feel them in the saddle. That part was really cool. Now the few times I reached for the water bottle I could not keep smooth and started to bounce. I'm thinking the heavier rated ( I hope at least) beam will help some with the bounce as well as getting the proper height dialed in. When I reached that mile and a half speed section this old beast took off like a scared rabbit. This is where this bike really started to shine. I didn't detect any bounce and it just felt eager to fly. When I got home and recorded all the rides I found I hit a top speed 3 mph faster in that section than I did on the Ochsner, even with this being the final ride on the tired legs. Curious to see what I can really get out of this one....if I keep it. Here too with the collection being so crazy it may make sense to move this one on before I put any real money in it. Still I'm very curious as to what this bike is capable of.


After the test. Still need to dial in the position if I'm keep this one. If so it'll get a proper stem, bars, and some STI shifters with more gears in the back.

So there's my initial impression of all four bikes. I'll got back out on something today but my knees feel like crap and my legs are heavy. Not sure yet what I'll take. Still haven't had the Martelly (Ribble) out since switching that cockpit all out and going with the 8 Speed STI shifters on it. Tempted to take it but I really want my first ride on that to be a day when I have fresh legs and can really make it fly as it deserves. May just take out one of the bikes that will coddle the tired old body better today.
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Old 04-04-21, 02:30 PM
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Though I have never ridden one of these, the image is darn near perfect in my opinion. Wow and well done...
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Old 04-04-21, 03:13 PM
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I always enjoy your posts.
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Old 04-04-21, 04:08 PM
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[QUOTE=jamesdak;21999613]




For those of us brought into cycling by Lemond in '89, that's the bike right there. Team Z.
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Old 04-05-21, 12:05 AM
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Possible implication that the saddle when weighted on the beam bike is a better height for performance? Resulting in a better speed in that one stretch?
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Old 04-05-21, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
Possible implication that the saddle when weighted on the beam bike is a better height for performance? Resulting in a better speed in that one stretch?
Maybe but since my saddle height is based on a pro fit years ago and pretty much also matches the Lemond formula, IDK...

I do know my bad knees don't like it lower, LOL!
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Old 04-05-21, 07:57 AM
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I should be inspired (or shamed) into finishing the last few 'new' bikes for Spring riding.

Congrats on the bikes, exquisite as usual.

I had access to a Softride beam bike one summer. As much as I tried to like it, ultimately I decided not to buy my own. I did get a beam on the back of the Co-Motion tandem.
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Old 04-05-21, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I should be inspired (or shamed) into finishing the last few 'new' bikes for Spring riding.

Congrats on the bikes, exquisite as usual.

I had access to a Softride beam bike one summer. As much as I tried to like it, ultimately I decided not to buy my own. I did get a beam on the back of the Co-Motion tandem.
Yeah, I'm not sold on mine yet either. I wish I could get the pin out swap beams to see if it makes a difference. The Trek Y-Foils seem to be "beam" design in that they seem to isolate you well but don't give that bouncy feeling.
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