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Finally - Light Chinabike ride review...Ford ain't an Edsel

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Finally - Light Chinabike ride review...Ford ain't an Edsel

Old 10-12-15, 01:01 PM
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Finally - Light Chinabike ride review...Ford ain't an Edsel

So I have enough miles under my belt on the new light Workswell R-066 Chinese CF frame (discussed in other threads) to report to you all about the ride. I'm no expert reviewer though and have a rather mundane cycling experience so don't expect a lot of talk about flying up hills and cornering tightly on 50 mph descents.

The best thing I can say about the bike is that it is completely competent. It does everything it should and very little it should not. The steering is a bit quicker than my previous Giant TCR Advanced, but it isn't "nervous" or unstable. Nice quick response. Nothing scary. I don't have much in the way of hills in Houston, but long overpass descents (~30 mph) were just fine.

The bike is plenty stiff. I am a poor judge of power transmission from the pedals to the wheels, but I honestly couldn't detect any obvious power losses. Nothing soft or squishy at the BB or head tube either. I pedaled. I went.

As for comfort, well it could be a little better. It is not as forgiving as the Giant was and certainly not as much as my Merlin CR Werks Ti frame. Nothing horrible, just a bit more road coming up through the frame on broken pavement, railroad tracks, pavement seams, etc. I don't have any chip seal nearby in the city to try it out on so I can't comment about that.

Regarding liveliness, I honestly don't know what that does or doesn't feel like. But I would say there is a definite feeling of unity about the frame, one piece moving down the road. Nothing sluggish or boring at all. I don't feel like I am riding through grass or sand, that's for sure. Nice easy ride.

All in all I think competent is the best description. Good all purpose bike, maybe a tiny bit harsh for a century, but nothing like '80s Cannondale aluminum. The Giant and Merlin just have me spoiled.
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Old 10-12-15, 01:04 PM
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Is it laterally stiff, but vertically compliant?
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Old 10-12-15, 01:09 PM
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I didn't follow your other thread too closely. What are the specs on this bike?

It's a gratifying feeling to envision something, put it together yourself, and then reaps the fruits of your labour. Nice going.
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Old 10-12-15, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
Is it laterally stiff, but vertically compliant?
Wait a minute, while I visualize those directions...

Damned if I know.
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Old 10-12-15, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I didn't follow your other thread too closely. What are the specs on this bike?

It's a gratifying feeling to envision something, put it together yourself, and then reaps the fruits of your labour. Nice going.
Thanks. I agree.

Sorry to not want to go through it all again. Here is the link to the second thread (of three). In the first post of that thread is a link to the first thread. It's all in there. http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ld-i-call.html
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Old 10-12-15, 02:18 PM
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That's very impressive. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-12-15, 02:41 PM
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Huh... no asplosion yet?
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Old 10-12-15, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Huh... no asplosion yet?
I heard a noise in the garage a little while ago. Scared to go check.
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Old 10-12-15, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I heard a noise in the garage a little while ago. Scared to go check.
True story: I was on travel a few weeks ago when I get a notification from the motion sensor in my garage. All the entry sensors show secure so all I could think of was "Chinese carbon asplosion?" Turns out, flat tire on my kickstand supported commuter bike caused it to topple over. Asplosion: 0, Kickstand: -1.
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Old 10-12-15, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kopsis View Post
True story: I was on travel a few weeks ago when I get a notification from the motion sensor in my garage. All the entry sensors show secure so all I could think of was "Chinese carbon asplosion?" Turns out, flat tire on my kickstand supported commuter bike caused it to topple over. Asplosion: 0, Kickstand: -1.
those damned chinese carbon knockoff kickstands...
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Old 10-13-15, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
Is it laterally stiff, but vertically compliant?
Literally rockets from ones feet with every pedal stroke! Literally.
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Old 10-13-15, 08:27 AM
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Is it "faster" than your other bikes? I love that description as if the motor changed at all.
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Old 10-13-15, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Is it "faster" than your other bikes? I love that description as if the motor changed at all.
Why, is a bike supposed to be fast?

Nah, not at all. How could it be?
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Old 10-13-15, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Is it "faster" than your other bikes? I love that description as if the motor changed at all.
Hah, Robert plods he doesn't go fast. I'm surprised he didn't go 1x11 on this build.
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Old 10-13-15, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RPK79 View Post
Hah, Robert plods he doesn't go fast. I'm surprised he didn't go 1x11 on this build.
Oh, that's harsh. If I hadn't already had the crank and FD, I just might have gone 1X11...or even 1X10. As long as I have the 39 up front and the 19, 17, 15, and 14 in the back, I'm golden.
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Old 10-13-15, 10:02 AM
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Ooooo.... sorry to hear that it's just competent. Imaginer if someone said that about their wife- "She's competent". Where's the love?!

Did you drope the hamer?
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Old 10-13-15, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Ooooo.... sorry to hear that it's just competent. Imaginer if someone said that about their wife- "She's competent". Where's the love?!

Did you drope the hamer?
Yeah, I should have said all kinds of stuff about it that isn't true like they do in the magazines.

By the way, most folks would be very pleased for their bikes...and their significant others...to be just competent. Think about how sweet that would be.
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Old 10-13-15, 11:02 AM
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Your review makes me question if my bike is merely competent. I road 17 miles and about 1300 feet climbing this morning before work and set a couple of strava pr on climbing segments. I still love the bike. A lot of what I love is light weight and stiffness while climbing so different use case. I also had a Giant TCR Advanced SL in the past. The Giant was one size bigger than my Workswell (and one size bigger than I like) so it's not apples to apples. The Giant was more compliant and it had more of a feeling of being on rails when descending (probably that proprietary OD2 head tube !). But my expectations for a $450 frame where not the same as a $3475 frame set. I still feel like it exceeds my expectations for a $450 carbon frame set. I'm also running a 120mm stem which probably removes some of the twitchy handling and I'm running 25mm rims with 23mm tires at 90psi in rear and 80 psi in front which may be smoothing out the ride for me. I do agree that it is stiffer than my Giant or my CAAD9 or CAAD10 where and if I was running higher psi it may be jarring under some terrain. But I did want stiffness and I got it. I have also had the bike on some short stretches of dirt fire roads and broken pavement and still found it comfortable enough. I am not someone that is going to be riding 50-100 miles at a time so comfort isn't a huge concern to me
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Old 10-13-15, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Why, is a bike supposed to be fast?

Nah, not at all. How could it be?
I just see so many reviews where the person says this bike is "faster" than their other bike, or some other bike is faster, but not by much. I've never understood that descriptor for a bike. It may be more aero so it's less effort to go fast, or somehow more fun so that you want to go fast and don't perceive the same effort, but I just don't understand how bikes can be inherrently fast when people describe them as that way. Any bike you put under my ass will automatically not be fast.
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Old 10-13-15, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Your review makes me question if my bike is merely competent. I road 17 miles and about 1300 feet climbing this morning before work and set a couple of strava pr on climbing segments. I still love the bike. A lot of what I love is light weight and stiffness while climbing so different use case. I also had a Giant TCR Advanced SL in the past. The Giant was one size bigger than my Workswell (and one size bigger than I like) so it's not apples to apples. The Giant was more compliant and it had more of a feeling of being on rails when descending (probably that proprietary OD2 head tube !). But my expectations for a $450 frame where not the same as a $3475 frame set. I still feel like it exceeds my expectations for a $450 carbon frame set. I'm also running a 120mm stem which probably removes some of the twitchy handling and I'm running 25mm rims with 23mm tires at 90psi in rear and 80 psi in front which may be smoothing out the ride for me. I do agree that it is stiffer than my Giant or my CAAD9 or CAAD10 where and if I was running higher psi it may be jarring under some terrain. But I did want stiffness and I got it. I have also had the bike on some short stretches of dirt fire roads and broken pavement and still found it comfortable enough. I am not someone that is going to be riding 50-100 miles at a time so comfort isn't a huge concern to me
I'm glad to hear it is working so sell for you. And I never meant to imply I don't like mine. I like it ver much. I'm just trying extra careful not to BS anyone with magazine review crapola.
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Old 10-13-15, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I'm glad to hear it is working so sell for you. And I never meant to imply I don't like mine. I like it ver much. I'm just trying extra careful not to BS anyone with magazine review crapola.
I agree. I'm not going to oversell it but for a 15 lb $1800 bike it's meets my expectations. I'm also a little lost on the Edsel comparison

Maybe Ford vs BMW would be more relevant although I guess you are still using the Model T as your Ford in the comparison
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Old 10-13-15, 12:13 PM
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I second that you need to go find a comparable cervelo to ride to compare the ride quality against.
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Old 10-13-15, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
I'm glad to hear it is working so sell for you. And I never meant to imply I don't like mine. I like it ver much. I'm just trying extra careful not to BS anyone with magazine review crapola.
It's a quality review and greatly appreciated.

How would you rate the bike overall, on a 1 to 10 scale?
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Old 10-13-15, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I just see so many reviews where the person says this bike is "faster" than their other bike, or some other bike is faster, but not by much. I've never understood that descriptor for a bike. It may be more aero so it's less effort to go fast, or somehow more fun so that you want to go fast and don't perceive the same effort, but I just don't understand how bikes can be inherrently fast when people describe them as that way. Any bike you put under my ass will automatically not be fast.
You have to drop 12 lbs of weight from bike + rider + loaded gear in order to go 1 mph faster.

So, that would be the difference between, say an entry level allez with 8 speed (23.5 lbs) at $800 to a 11.5 lbs wunderbike at $15,000 to $18,000 holding rider weight as a constant.

If you spend very little like rpen did, you're still going to spend around $4500 minimum for a bike which is not quite 12 lbs. lighter.

The heavier bike however has a few advantages: a bit faster downhill, and a bit easier to maintain momentum once up to speed.
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Old 10-13-15, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Yeah, I should have said all kinds of stuff about it that isn't true like they do in the magazines.

By the way, most folks would be very pleased for their bikes...and their significant others...to be just competent. Think about how sweet that would be.
NOoooo!!! I appreciate the honesty- I'm just kind of sad that a new bike doesn't thrill you. My Venge was competent- so I sold it. My Klein, on the other hand, is not just competent, but has that extra little "something" which makes me love it. Just like a woman: Although even competent wives are becoming rare, I want more than merely competent- there's gotta be that extra something that makes 'em special- whether it be a woman or a bike- IMO opinion, without that, the search continues, because mere competence becomes boring, real quick.

And no amount of bicycle-magazine BSing is going to make up for what you feel when you build a great bike and ride it, and say to yourself "Oh yeah, this is SWEET!". "Meh, it's good enough" just isn't the same.
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