Critical Section


lust or love IV

Tuesday,  02/03/09  11:31 PM

Felt Z1RIn my ongoing quest for truth, beauty, and the ultimate bike, I test drove a Felt Z1R and another Pinarello today (the marvelous FP5), again courtesy of my new and good friends at Nytro in Encinitas.

The Felt was a fast bike, clearly, but not a comfortable bike.  I could see where a stud 25-year old racer would love it, and blast at full speed for two hours in a criterium.  For me, a 50-year amateur riding ultra centuries for hours and hours, it was not the right machine.  Just too stiff.

The Pinarello was interesting because it was a first cousin to the FP3 I rode yesterday, but distinctly different; it felt lighter and bouncier, if that makes sense, but less smooth.  The thing that was so appealing about the FP3 was the extreme sense of comfort, of effortlessly gliding over road at speed.  I can so see doing ultra centuries on it :)

Which illustrates an interesting point that these rides have exposed for me: for the average amateur, the top-of-the-line racing bike made by each company is not the bike you want.  Sure, it is the top-of-the-line, but it is designed for a young pro who rides 100+ miles a day and who needs absolute performance.  (If that's you, go for it!)  For most of us the next step down in the line is the bike we want, not the absolute fastest, but the absolute best bike for long distance riding.

As an analogy, if you're a Maserati fan you're more likely to drive around a Quattroporte than an MC12 :)

Lust or Love?  Starting to be love, I think :)  Stay tuned...

perfect sunset[ Update: should have mentioned, and will now - today was perfect, and was capped by a perfect sunset; check out the picture at right, and click to enbiggen.  Riding up the coast on PCH watching the sun set while testing an amazing bike, what could be better? ]

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