After much deliberation and consultation with Nick F and Dave at CycleWorks a decision was made to go with a Kinesis Racelight KR-810, with Chorus group set, Mavic Open Pro wheels with Record hubs.
Not only did the decision take sometime, but as those who have ever built a bespoke bike or anything for that matter will know, you will end up waiting for something. Firstly it was the seat post, didn't ship with the bike, no matter,it would get here. Then the choice of wheels caused another delay, no matter, getting what I want the way I want it.
CycleWorks kept me abreast of all the bits arriving and built it rapidly and then the wheel wait began. I went in to the shop several times for other reasons and had to stare at it on the shop floor. In time it would be done.
I lost track of the actual wait, but was excited to get the call that the wheels were in and they would be built soon. In fact they were built and on the bike several days quicker than Dave suggested.
The bike was ready, that it below.
So the obvious questions now start to get asked, how light is Racelight? extremely so much so that I am surprised and smile smuggly when folks with their extremely expensive bikes pick it up. It is very white and a bit different and has got a lot of attention at the groups rides and New Forest Rattler.
But more importantly, how does it ride? Well I had my hopes up and I wasn't disappointed. Dave and the guys had done a great job on the bike. Just like the Guildford boys had done on my Single Speed. the bike fitted perfectly and was a dream to ride.
It accelerates like a startled hare, you can't beat hand built wheels and the job done on these is second to none. The frame, fork and crank combo wastes no energy, everything goes through the drive train and to the tarmac. The speed has been demonstrated a few times now. :-)
Climbing, it is fast and agile, and I can dance on the pedals or sit in the saddle comfortably dependent on the gradient. It even provides Schleck like acceleration when you gun it sat in the saddle, pitty about the rider.
Descending, wow. I didn't expect it to descend like this, fast stable and reliable. Responsive to every tweak of the bars and sound over the dodgy parts of a quick descent, the bars Easton SLX's, dampen the rough stuff just enough without giving anything away when I get out of the saddle and give the cranks a hammering, pulling on the bars like a mad man.
With already a few 100k's under its belt on longer rides and the New Forest Rattler and my short hilly TT loop with sprints to finish, this bike seems to be delivering in all areas. Obviously a long sit in the saddle TT and I would not enjoy it. But TT's are for "interesting people" to say the least, give me hills and descents please.
Top bike, love riding it!!!
Dave, Nick and the CW crew, cheers.