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Grail bike: CO-MOTION experts help with model choice…

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Grail bike: CO-MOTION experts help with model choice…

Old 12-04-23, 11:51 PM
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Grail bike: CO-MOTION experts help with model choice…

I can finally afford my grail bike, trouble is I don’t exactly know what it is. I want one bike with a Pinion gearbox, that will be used mainly for weekly, round trip commute 46 miles with seasonal snow and ice on 3 mile section with 7-15% grade, total commute with 3,600’ elevation gain; as well as weekend rides with lots of climbing, road and gravel. But will also be using for annual protracted bike tours in US & Europe, but not planning on technical trails. I have gotten by commuting when the roads are clear with a Specialized Tarmac, which I love, but has poor clearance so I can’t put studded snow tires on it, nor could I tour with it. So I’m considering the CO-MOTION “Divide” with P18 Pinion gearbox. But there are other CO-MOTION choices as well. Not sure about BEST wheel size, frame dimensions, etc. I am 6’1”, 225 lbs.
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Old 12-05-23, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
I can finally afford my grail bike, trouble is I don’t exactly know what it is. I want one bike with a Pinion gearbox, that will be used mainly for weekly, round trip commute 46 miles with seasonal snow and ice on 3 mile section with 7-15% grade, total commute with 3,600’ elevation gain; as well as weekend rides with lots of climbing, road and gravel. But will also be using for annual protracted bike tours in US & Europe, but not planning on technical trails. I have gotten by commuting when the roads are clear with a Specialized Tarmac, which I love, but has poor clearance so I can’t put studded snow tires on it, nor could I tour with it. So I’m considering the CO-MOTION “Divide” with P18 Pinion gearbox. But there are other CO-MOTION choices as well. Not sure about BEST wheel size, frame dimensions, etc. I am 6’1”, 225 lbs.
Why do you want a pinion gearbox? The mechanical efficiency of pinion gears is significantly lower than chain drive. It seems to me you are needlessly constraining your choice due to focus on that one thing.
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Old 12-05-23, 03:26 PM
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I can finally afford my grail bike, trouble is I don't exactly know what it is!



Oh well, .....it's called =
back to the drawing board
loop back to Step 1
evaluate before test & repeat
who's in charge of the design dept?

BTW, I really like my custom Co-Mo tandem.

edit: A basic question to be answered when describing a 'do-it-all' bike is, How gravelly is the gravel? Determines tire width (and other stuff). Also, for 6'1" humans the wheel size for best tire selection is 700c, 622. But I've never checked studded.
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Old 12-05-23, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KerryIrons;[url=tel:23091744
23091744[/url]]Why do you want a pinion gearbox? The mechanical efficiency of pinion gears is significantly lower than chain drive. It seems to me you are needlessly constraining your choice due to focus on that one thing.
An excellent point; however, I don’t want to derail this thread discussing the pros and cons of Pinion gear boxes and chain drives. Feel free to start a new thread if you want that debate (which would probably go more than 10 pages on BF!). I am looking for help deciding on Co-Motion pinion gear box models here…
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Old 12-05-23, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood;[url=tel:23091759
23091759[/url]]A basic question to be answered when describing a 'do-it-all' bike is, How gravelly is the gravel? Determines tire width (and other stuff). Also, for 6'1" humans the wheel size for best tire selection is 700c, 622. But I've never checked studded.
Thanks, didn’t consider the height vs tire size. Interesting. Gravel not very gravely, dirt road with frequent motor vehicle use.
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Old 12-05-23, 07:41 PM
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I would go Divide though I like wider tire clearance. I have a Cascadia, I am quite happy with but a Pinion would be neat to try and have been looking into it.

The one thing I will say is get the Pathfinder package for sure and I would also get the stainless dropouts stupidly I did neither of these and wish I had though I did end up adding a dynamo later and drilling myself and all of that but would have been easier just to get it from them though I built mine from the frame up. The stainless dropouts aren't a huge deal but would have looked nicer and made sense for what I was building. Though I guess now the price of the dropouts has gone up but I have had mine for 11 years or so, so I am not surprised.

Really take some time build out what you want, maybe contact them and talk with them as well. They have been quite friendly to me and very helpful and the bike has been fantastic.
I kind of rushed my build slightly and am now regretting a few decisions as you can see above but I can attribute that to not knowing as much as I do now and having differing opinions.
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Old 12-05-23, 07:48 PM
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Oh great info, thank you! I have the Pathfinder option on my list. What’s the big deal about the stainless dropouts anyway? I think they are standard with the Pinion option but I don’t understand the advantage. Please feel free to let me know wnat you learned in hindsight.
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Old 12-05-23, 07:54 PM
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I can finally afford my grail bike, trouble is I don’t exactly know what it is. I want one bike with a Pinion gearbox, that will be used mainly for weekly, round trip commute 46 miles with seasonal snow and ice on 3 mile section with 7-15% grade, total commute with 3,600’ elevation gain; as well as weekend rides with lots of climbing, road and gravel. But will also be using for annual protracted bike tours in US & Europe, but not planning on technical trails. I have gotten by commuting when the roads are clear with a Specialized Tarmac, which I love, but has poor clearance so I can’t put studded snow tires on it, nor could I tour with it. So I’m considering the CO-MOTION “Divide” with P18 Pinion gearbox. But there are other CO-MOTION choices as well. Not sure about BEST wheel size, frame dimensions, etc. I am 6’1”, 225 lbs.
I have a Co-Motion Pangea Rohloff. It has the 26" wheel size. I get the inefficiency crack occasionally also. I can use slicks or dirt tires up to a "2.125 on my bicycle with 60mm wide fenders. I Ride mostly on rode but plan to ride some gravel in the future. You are about to purchase a very expensive bicycle and careful planning is very Important. I only saw one Rohloff equipped bike in the flesh before purchasing and ordering my bicycle. You need to decide on the max width of the tires you need to run and make sure the model you chose is made for this. You need to know the max diameter rotor the manufacturer recommends and will it fit your frame. There is only room for a 180mm up front on my Pangea. You will enjoy not having a chain, although more efficient when totally sterile. Belts shed garbage and last much longer. You will not miss missing gears and those awkward stops at the bottom of a hill when you are still in high gear. When I ordered my Pangea Rohloff around this time 10 years ago. The Rohloff has had no issues. I have rode 700c and 26" wheeled bicycles most of my life and really have no opinion about one diameter being better than the other.
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Old 12-05-23, 09:12 PM
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Awesome advice. Thanks. Hadn’t considered that rotor size might be limited. Was just gonna go for the biggest rings that would work.
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Old 12-05-23, 09:32 PM
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I would go Divide though I like wider tire clearance. I have a Cascadia, I am quite happy with but a Pinion would be neat to try and have been looking into it.

The one thing I will say is get the Pathfinder package for sure and I would also get the stainless dropouts stupidly I did neither of these and wish I had though I did end up adding a dynamo later and drilling myself and all of that but would have been easier just to get it from them though I built mine from the frame up. The stainless dropouts aren't a huge deal but would have looked nicer and made sense for what I was building. Though I guess now the price of the dropouts has gone up but I have had mine for 11 years or so, so I am not surprised.

Really take some time build out what you want, maybe contact them and talk with them as well. They have been quite friendly to me and very helpful and the bike has been fantastic.
I kind of rushed my build slightly and am now regretting a few decisions as you can see above but I can attribute that to not knowing as much as I do now and having differing opinions.
"

I purchased the SS couplers, the SS dropouts, the raised headtube and the Pathfinder package. I stipulated the Son SL dino hub model so I don't need to unplug the wires when taking out the front wheel. Co-Motion didn't charge much more for the machining of the right fork dropout. I also paid for additional brazons on the fork. I spoke to Co-Motion and they didn't like the wire running inside the fork blade. A hole allowing water to pool in the bottom of the tube was a concern and I agreed with them. A taillight wasn't included in the package.
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Old 12-05-23, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Oh great info, thank you! I have the Pathfinder option on my list. What’s the big deal about the stainless dropouts anyway? I think they are standard with the Pinion option but I don’t understand the advantage. Please feel free to let me know wnat you learned in hindsight.
Get it Dynamos are awesome.

In terms of the stainless dropouts NO NEED FOR PAINT. My paint got a little flaky at the drop outs from removing the wheel to replace flats and general maintenance and such. I also think they look good and may also be a touch stronger but it was mainly the paint chipping and just the general look of them.

I learned that I love wider tires (at the time my thought was 35 was the max I ever needed and skinny tires were the best, oy was I wrong) I also learned I liked dynamos and now have realized I wouldn't mind thru-axles on my touring bike and a 3x9 is fine but for my touring 2x11 might be the jam. Also found that Dura Ace shifters are fine but I should have just gone with the Microshift that fits on the Gevenalle levers a bit better. Also square taper is not as needed and I would be fine with HTII style cranks easier to deal with (though in the past I was quite the staunch defender of square taper) Also some new parts have come out that I love but nothing crazy and I found love for an older part that I wish I had used on the build instead of the current XT 9 speed derailleur but not a huge deal or deal breaker it just doesn't have the barrel adjuster at the derailleur which is kind of nice I have found.

Also one final little thing is Koga Denham style bars are great and maybe I don't need drop bars for touring? But I do still like drop bars and the Koga Denham bars aren't quite perfect and the new version of the Velo Orange Crazy Bars improve some things from the Denhams and also ruin somethings maybe slightly. I mean I would love to have someone build a perfect set of bars for me but I don't know if that is really practical and won't be cheap and what I am using in all three drops (in particular Zipp Service Course SL-70 Ergos) and the two alt bars (Denhams, a V2 Crazy Bars and I guess Molokos as well come to think of it so three alt bars) are all quite good and no real major complaints. I guess I am wishy washy a little here on those I guess if I ran Pinion or Rohloff I would want alt bars as the drop bar converters are just not what I want and the sram style ones aren't it either.

All in all the build is great and I like Co-Motion. I just am building better bikes for me with more knowledge and time in the industry under my belt.
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Old 12-05-23, 11:15 PM
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Love the thoughts on tires. I’ve never gone larger than 28c on my Tarmac. Had a 35c on the tandem rear end.
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Old 12-05-23, 11:18 PM
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No rear dyno light eh? And mmmm, extra brazons. That’s very intriguing. I’m not accustomed to ordering a custom bike. What else can I dial in? Hmm.
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Old 12-06-23, 01:36 PM
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One advantage of the Pinion will be no dish on the rear wheel. At 225, you might appreciate the theoretical increase in strength. The P18 has an impressive range you will appreciate on that steep section.
Of course, if you can afford your 'Grail Bike' you might be able to afford your 'Grail Quiver.' Just trying to cause trouble.
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Old 12-06-23, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt
One advantage of the Pinion will be no dish on the rear wheel. At 225, you might appreciate the theoretical increase in strength. The P18 has an impressive range you will appreciate on that steep section.
Of course, if you can afford your 'Grail Bike' you might be able to afford your 'Grail Quiver.' Just trying to cause trouble.
I am all for any increase in strength I can get. YOU know, the Grail Quiver goes without saying, and I will let future tours help me decide what is obtained (of course I already have a list I maintain while watching YT's and reading BF. Before YT existed, I really leaned on BF to help me when we purchased our first tandem for touring nearly 20 years ago - and here I am again! Love this place.
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Old 12-06-23, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Love the thoughts on tires. I’ve never gone larger than 28c on my Tarmac. Had a 35c on the tandem rear end.
Originally Posted by Thigh Master
No rear dyno light eh? And mmmm, extra brazons. That’s very intriguing. I’m not accustomed to ordering a custom bike. What else can I dial in? Hmm.
Thanks, I love big tires and I cannot lie! I want a road bike that is running 30 or 32mm now and my new gravel bike is running 650bx48s and would happily run wider if they would have fit but 48 is the widest they recommend going and I want some clearance for fenders and mud. There are very few drawbacks to wider tires up to a point for most road applications you cannot go too wide. Once you start getting into fat bikes then yes but that is a special thing.

With a custom bike you can dial in whatever you desire up until the limits of the frame builders skills or the materials properties. You can go as wild or mild as you want with everything. If you get a fit and tell the fitter what you want you can send that info directly to Co-Motion or whomever is building your frame and say this is what I want and they can generally do it or can recommend someone who can. Lennard Zinn who writes for VeloNews and his own books and also runs Zinn Cycles built a custom titanium banana seat bike (the seat was carbon) with SRAM Red for a customer who had some health/body issues but wanted to still do triathlons. Unfortunately I was dumb as a sack of bricks and didn't save those pictures of it and cannot find it again but it was a truly neat unique bike. Point is you get the right builder they can build basically whatever you want. Heck Surly has braze-ons all over their bikes you could cover it in as many zits as you wanted. You want a 690mm top tube go for it.

I have a rear dynamo on everything that has a dynamo in my fleet aside from an e-bike I am building but that has lights plugged into the system. The dynamo is so I can run the front light I want and two rear lights/radar without overloading the system with powerful lights now that Supernova has the M99 Dynamo front light. The previous owner of the bike and the shop I worked at had two front lights I wanted two rear lights and I may add a lower power front light in the system and have the more powerful one be the dynamo light.
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Old 12-06-23, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes;[url=tel:23092963
23092963[/url]]Thanks, I love big tires and I cannot lie! I want a road bike that is running 30 or 32mm now and my new gravel bike is running 650bx48s and would happily run wider if they would have fit but 48 is the widest they recommend going and I want some clearance for fenders and mud. There are very few drawbacks to wider tires up to a point for most road applications you cannot go too wide. Once you start getting into fat bikes then yes but that is a special thing.

With a custom bike you can dial in whatever you desire up until the limits of the frame builders skills or the materials properties. You can go as wild or mild as you want with everything. If you get a fit and tell the fitter what you want you can send that info directly to Co-Motion or whomever is building your frame and say this is what I want and they can generally do it or can recommend someone who can. Lennard Zinn who writes for VeloNews and his own books and also runs Zinn Cycles built a custom titanium banana seat bike (the seat was carbon) with SRAM Red for a customer who had some health/body issues but wanted to still do triathlons. Unfortunately I was dumb as a sack of bricks and didn't save those pictures of it and cannot find it again but it was a truly neat unique bike. Point is you get the right builder they can build basically whatever you want. Heck Surly has braze-ons all over their bikes you could cover it in as many zits as you wanted. You want a 690mm top tube go for it.

I have a rear dynamo on everything that has a dynamo in my fleet aside from an e-bike I am building but that has lights plugged into the system. The dynamo is so I can run the front light I want and two rear lights/radar without overloading the system with powerful lights now that Supernova has the M99 Dynamo front light. The previous owner of the bike and the shop I worked at had two front lights I wanted two rear lights and I may add a lower power front light in the system and have the more powerful one be the dynamo light.
Those are wonderful insights. I will check with co-motion about what it would take to dyno rear as well. I am familiar with Mr. Zinn, we have mutual close friends in Boulder. I know him but he doesn’t know me! Apparently after his arrhythmia episode he must use an e-bike to get around with his old gang in order to keep his heart rate down. So he is designing e-bikes as well now.
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Old 12-06-23, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Those are wonderful insights. I will check with co-motion about what it would take to dyno rear as well. I am familiar with Mr. Zinn, we have mutual close friends in Boulder. I know him but he doesn’t know me! Apparently after his arrhythmia episode he must use an e-bike to get around with his old gang in order to keep his heart rate down. So he is designing e-bikes as well now.
If you want a rear dynamo you just need a rack at the back, I recommend some variation on a Tubus rack and the Busch and Müller Toplight Line Plus Brake (or whatever combination of words it is) however if you want a more minimalist light the SON rear light would work well. I don't recall if the package comes with a rear light or not I had bought some other stuff from them and asked for a hub because Peter White was out of stock or something odd I cannot recall.

Yes he is. He is working with Schwift/Vapor Propulsion Labs to make them and Zach who runs that is really a fantastic guy. He couldn't build my dream bike but I was asking something of the materials that just isn't possible but had a solution that I may bring to him and a non-bicycle titanium fabricator to see if they can replicate it but honestly not a need anymore as I got the same basic bike in aluminum and with the massive 140mm fork and wide tires and the stiffness added with the batteries the actual ti properties would be kind of negated but would still be neat.

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Old 12-07-23, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes;[url=tel:23093091
23093091[/url]]If you want a rear dynamo you just need a rack at the back, I recommend some variation on a Tubus rack and the Busch and Müller Toplight Line Plus Brake (or whatever combination of words it is) however if you want a more minimalist light the SON rear light would work well. I don't recall if the package comes with a rear light or not I had bought some other stuff from them and asked for a hub because Peter White was out of stock or something odd I cannot recall.

Yes he is. He is working with Schwift/Vapor Propulsion Labs to make them and Zach who runs that is really a fantastic guy. He couldn't build my dream bike but I was asking something of the materials that just isn't possible but had a solution that I may bring to him and a non-bicycle titanium fabricator to see if they can replicate it but honestly not a need anymore as I got the same basic bike in aluminum and with the massive 140mm fork and wide tires and the stiffness added with the batteries the actual ti properties would be kind of negated but would still be neat.
Does the rear light power come from the front dyno as well or is a rear hub dyno also required?
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Old 12-07-23, 09:35 AM
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Does the rear light power come from the front dyno as well or is a rear hub dyno also required?
Co-Motion sales the Edelux II headlight and the Sun 28 dino hub with there pathfinder package. I purchased the Busch & Müller Toplight Line Plus Brake Tail Light. It plugs into the headlight. You also need the wiring harness for it.
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Old 12-07-23, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Thigh Master
Does the rear light power come from the front dyno as well or is a rear hub dyno also required?
Nope all from the front hub or just from the front light in some cases (typically it is wired into the light). I haven't seen any rear hub dynamos that I can think of at least nothing in recent design. I feel like maybe there was something vintage but I could just be imagining it.
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Old 12-07-23, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick;[url=tel:23093346
23093346[/url]]Co-Motion sales the Edelux II headlight and the Sun 28 dino hub with there pathfinder package. I purchased the Busch & Müller Toplight Line Plus Brake Tail Light. It plugs into the headlight. You also need the wiring harness for it.
This sounds good. I’ll learn how many watts it can pass over that length of wire.
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Old 12-07-23, 10:33 PM
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Chrome dropouts - visually nice but absolutely not necessary. I've been riding a very long time and have owned bikes and ridden them year round in Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington and Oregon, never wiping bikes dry after riding and never having any issues with dropouts other than the paint ships early on and that small part of the bike looks bad. Also chrome is very hard. Considerably more clamping force is needed to secure the rear wheel. (Rarely an issue, but it is a fact.)

I currently have a bike with chromed dropouts but it's the first in my half century plus of riding. I have no issue with the chromed dropouts other than I have to remember to set QRs tighter. If this bike is thru-axle, I suppose no diff.
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Old 12-08-23, 03:46 PM
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Chrome dropouts - visually nice but absolutely not necessary. I've been riding a very long time and have owned bikes and ridden them year round in Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington and Oregon, never wiping bikes dry after riding and never having any issues with dropouts other than the paint ships early on and that small part of the bike looks bad. Also chrome is very hard. Considerably more clamping force is needed to secure the rear wheel. (Rarely an issue, but it is a fact.)

I currently have a bike with chromed dropouts but it's the first in my half century plus of riding. I have no issue with the chromed dropouts other than I have to remember to set QRs tighter. If this bike is thru-axle, I suppose no diff.
Co-Motion has the SS dropout option. I purchased it when I ordered my bicycle.

Last edited by Rick; 12-08-23 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 12-08-23, 04:14 PM
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This may be redundant, but here goes: I went into my Gunnar with data from a medical professional's fitting on a previous bike. Vecchio’s incorporated that into their fitting decisions, along with what they saw on their fitting stand. As a result I have the most comfortable bike I’ve ever ridden. Everything else about the Gunnar is stellar, but the fit is the thing that I notice the most.
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