150 Words on the Cervelo R5

In this weekly series Wyatt and Jesse will give their opinion on various subjects. Please keep in mind that these opinions are solely theirs and do not represent the opinion of any of 613 Cycling’s sponsors or members. Last week we looked at the Trek Madone 9. This week we’ll be looking at the Cervelo R5:

 

Wyatt’s Opinion on the Cervelo R5:

Cervelo R5 – The best all-around road bike. It is light and the most confident cornering bike I have ridden. It is incredibly stiff and efficient as a result of its super stiff bottom bracket. Every bit of effort you put into the bike translates into forward motion. Because of its light weight and stiff BB, it also climbs like a goat. At the same time, it is keeps a very comfortable, smooth ride that connects well to the road. The super thin seat-stays make a world of difference in keeping the ride smooth and comfortable. An upgrade to this R5 from previous generations was Squoval 3 tubing that is touted to be more aerodynamic. Personally I think this is quite marginal and the other features of this bike are what made it the “pro-bike of the peloton” twice. Having extensively ridden the S3, S5, R3, and previous R5 VWD, I can say the R5 is the ultimate offering from Cervelo.

Jesse’s Opinion on the Cervelo R5:

I’ve always lusted after the R5. I remember years ago standing in Alter Ego Sports (Winnipeg) drooling over one. To make matters worse, I had just received a student loan big enough to cover the price. It took everything I had to not spend my tuition money on that beautiful machine. In hindsight I wish I had just bought the bike. I would have gotten more enjoyment out of it than my Economics degree.
Having strived for this bike for half a decade, would it meet my lofty expectations? I’ve owned the R5 for almost a year now, and I can say it is a perfect allround bike. It’s light, comfortable, and stiff. What makes this bike great isn’t its lightness, comfort, or stiffness. It’s more than the sum of all its “-nesses”. It’s that this bike has character – the balance of each of it’s attributes in the right proportions. 

Do you agree with what Wyatt and Jesse think of the R5? Let us know on Facebook

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150 Words on the Trek Madone 9

In this weekly series Wyatt and Jesse will give their opinion on various subjects. Please keep in mind that these opinions are solely theirs and do not represent the opinion of any of 613 Cycling sponsor or member. Let us begin:

Jesse’s opinion of the new Trek Madone 9 

How do you explain the perfect bike in 150 words? Even worse how do you explain it without using the common over abused drivel such as laterally stiff yet vertically blah. You can’t explain it in 150 words, but you can in three. It. Is. Perfect.

I’ve got 100 more words so let me elaborate. This bike is perfect in every way. It’s as aero as any aero bike, probably more. It is light enough (light bikes are passé). It’s even comfortable. The “IsoSpeed Decoupler” (Google it) takes just enough sting out of potholes and rough roads without ruining the ride quality.

I have two gripes on this bike. Both relate to the handlebar. First, it limits the computer that one can use (however why would you run anything other than a Garmin 520?). Second the bar has a long reach and drop which can be a fit issue for some.

 

Wyatt’s opinion of the New Trek Madone 9

High up on my list of dream bikes and definitely a “want” for me, hopefully Jesse doesn’t read this though as he doesn’t need any more increase in his ego. It’s an awesome and fast looking machine built for all out speed. I would be curious to see how it climbs though as I have not had the pleasure to try one yet.

The 1 piece, fully integrated handlebar/stem is also an awesome touch on the bike. There are no cables visible on the entire bike except for the rear derailleur cable (or wire for di2) connecting to the RD out of the chain stay, which is very aesthetically pleasing (noticing a pattern here?). The inclusion of the “rear isospeed” to create a more comfortable ride is great step towards adding a form of comfort to notoriously harsh and aero race bikes. With all the good there is some “bad” that make me cautious about the bike. Full internal routing would definitely be a pain at some points of owning the bike when the bike requires work. The “vector” wings around the front brake look like a sketchy, proprietary part that is probably expensive and costly to replace. The proprietary bontrager brakes (noticing the next pattern?) are center pull and not going to brake as well as standard brakes.

To sum up, the Madone is an aesthetically beautiful bike designed for all out speed (and is probably very fast), but a lot of proprietariness (new word) would make me a touch hesitant on taking the plunge, oh and its extremely high price point… $7999 for ultegra mechanical… damn….

 

That’s our opinion, how about yours? Feel free to share your comments on our Facebook page.

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150 Words on the Garmin Edge 520

In this weekly series Wyatt and Jesse will give their opinion on various subjects. Please keep in mind that these opinions are solely theirs and do not represent the opinion of any of 613 Cycling’s sponsors or members. Last time we looked at the Cervelo R5. This week we’ll be looking at the Garmin Edge 520:

Jesse’s Opinion on the Garmin Edge 520:

I know these are supposed to be 150 words but really what is there to say? When you have a product so ubiquitous as the Edge 520 I wonder why people even bother to review it. All other brands shouldn’t even try to compete. I do hear the new Wahoo computer is pretty awesome though. And I’m pretty partial to the Pioneer SGX-CA500 but really they hold a tiny market share compared to the Edge.

You see the Edge 520 everywhere because it is basically perfect. It does everything, you can even hack it to give you navigation. It’s layout is almost perfect other than the unbelievably dumb placement of the lap button (I really hope they fired the guy behind that). Unless you need a giant colour screen to give you perfect directions (Edge 1000/820) or want a tiny low profile unit (Edge 20/25) just do yourself a favor and buy an Edge 520.

Wyatt’s Opinion on the Garmin Edge 520:

In my opinion, the best-must have cycling computer for avid riders interested in data. I had the Garmin 500, which was awesome and I wasn’t personally interested in the 510 because of the size increase. The decrease in size on the 520 is awesome and I like that they went back to buttons versus touch screen. The buttons are much easier to manage in more conditions like wet/cold weather when the unit is very cold or your wearing gloves. It also connects to satellites lightening fast (mainly comparing to my 500 though which was quite dated). The auto-upload to Strava and option for live Strava segments are quite cool too. Although, if you do not use heart rate, a power meter, Strava (or some form of online ride analysis platform), then it is definitely overkill. Also, it is very expensive, but worth it in the long run as it will be a great device for a number of years.

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The Rock Crit and Gran Fondo

A few years ago while on my way to a family camping trip in the Finger Lakes region of New York I happened on a cute little town called Mount Morris. As I was exploring the town I noticed a banner strung up across the main street “The Rock Criterium” it said. Saddly I had missed the event but I vowed to come back and eventually do it.

Fast forward to the present and I had convinced my girlfriend and parents to take our two dogs and go “camping” (RVing) in the Finger Lakes region once more. The camping trip just happened to coincide with this year’s running of The Rock Criterium and Grand Fondo. What a coincidence. Traveling to a race in an RV was a whole new experience. I got to put my feet up and relax the whole ~5 hour drive. This was especially nice as we were delayed leaving and I didn’t have any time to shake my legs out after the long drive. Generally I would really feel that long in a car, especially in my hips, but being able to lie down much of the way negated the negative effects.

Our camp site was about 7 miles North of the start line of the crit. A little short for a good warm up. I planned to leave an hour before my race, pick up my numbers and ride around for 20-30 minutes then catch the end of the Cat 4/5 race to get an idea of the course. I’m glad I gave myself the extra time because I had underestimated how much we had climbed up to our campsite. The entire 7 mile ride to the start line was a down hill and a relatively steep one at that. It was slightly chilly too so I arrived in town with a bad case of the shivers.

Arriving in town  picked up my numbers and got a nice warm up in. The roads around Mt. Morris are pristine and there was a big should no matter which direction I went. After warming up I went and recon’ed the course while the 4/5s were riding (being very careful not to assume their lines were the correct ones). The course had 8 corners and was relatively technical. It started on an uphill, wide street, turned right followed by a quick left/right “S” turn and a steep downhill. It quickly climbed back up with a short power climb followed by a right hander and a gradual downhill. Next was “corner 5” which we were warned about multiple times. Apparently it had taken a few to the hospital. Corner 5 was on a downhill so speed was a bit of an issue, the main issue though was that it was slightly off camber and went from a wide road to a narrow road and there was a good size pothole right at the apex. Again we had another steep downhill followed by a power climb. Lastly was a left/right/right combo all very wide, the last turn putting us on the start/finish straight which was an uphill drag.

During my warmup on course I somehow dropped my chain inside of my chain catcher. This really sucked. I was able to wrangle it free but almost missed the start of my race! I had to queue up way back in the field so I picked a side and gunned it right off the start. Mostly aided by my Speedplay pedals which are so easy to clip into I went from last to the front of the group in 20 meters. Two riders went off the front right away and I jumped with them. I didn’t anticipate the move going but I knew I would be more comfortable figuring out the corners in smaller group. We were brought back after a couple laps but I could tell the group was already hurting. I decided to put in a hard effort and see what happened. As the riders in front of me pulled off I got ready to go deep. I came to the front right at one of the short hard climbs and hammer it. I gauged my output to an effort I knew I could hold for 3-4 minutes but would put a lot of hurt on everybody (including me). This was really effective on such a technical course and it stretched the field out substantially. RIght after my hard effort there was a bit of lull which I appreciated as I knew being on the front had likely hurt me more than many. After a few minutes of easier riding two riders jumped off the front. I knew the field was hurting so I let them get a bit of a gap then jumped hard. Nobody came with. The three of us worked well together and built a gap.

Due to the technicality of the course it was difficult to asses the size of the gap. After each turn at the front I tried to look back and see where the group was but with all the corners I could only confirm that we had 5-10 seconds but no more. Seeing my parents and girlfriend on the back half of the course, I yelled to them for a time check. This was the coolest part of my day. My parents have been to 3-bike races in their life but immediately knew what I was asking for. Knowing it was too late to start counting my Dad ran the next block over to catch us on the front straight. He was able to take a time mark, asses the gap and run back over to catch us a few minutes later as we came through the back end of the course. My Mom thoughtfully signaled “Two-Three” 23-seconds with 4 laps to go. I’m pretty sure nobody else in the group caught this. I yelled to the group that we only had 10-seconds and that they need to pull hard. They each dutifully stepped up their pulls.

Coming into the final laps I knew it would be tough for me to do any better than 3rd. I had probably worked too hard establishing the gap and I was regretting my early effort at the front. Both the riders had a size advantage on me. In hindsight with it being an uphill finish, I might have not been as outgunned in a three up sprint as I thought. Regardless I thought my best option would be to attack on the steepest part of the course and try to hold the gap to the finish. I was hoping I would be able to do this from two aps out so coming into the hill I went all out. I got a good gap but overcooked corner five and almost crashed. I had to scrub some speed to stop from slamming into the curb. The other two caught me soon after. I figured that since it worked with two laps left I could likely pull it off on the final lap so as we came around to the steep hill again I skipped my pull, took a deep breath and went all out. The other two were onto me and closed the gap almost immediately. Worse yet they counter attacked and dropped me like a stone! I was stuck settling for 3rd.

 


3rd place on the podium but first place in sock game.

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Kit Design

Our kit order is on it’s way. The final design went through a number of iterations and we’d like to thank the folks over at Louis Garneau, as well as Kelly Wojnarski and Cam Stewart for their patience and their help. Tell us what you think about the design.

                          

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