Sunday, October 6, 2013

Time For a Change - Day One: Road Configuration

In the first installment of Time for a Change I stated that one of the things I was going to change on the bike was to stop paying attention to my speed and enjoy riding more - well I lied.  This morning was the first day out on a new Moots Psychlo X set up as a road, off-road and gravel grinder bike.  All I could sneak in today was a 20 mile out and back course and I wanted to see how it compared speed-wise to my Madone:

First, more about the bike:

Frame/Fork: 2014 Moots Psychlo X with an Enve Composites CX  Disc Carbon Fork.  Make no mistake, this bike is all CX, but comes as close to an all-around bike as any out there.

Drive train: Dura Ace 7900 Di2 with a compact crank and 11-28 Ultegra 10-speed cassette.

Battery mount is secured on the down-tube just above bottom bracket and protected by the crank and chain ring.  Dura Ace 9000 Di2 has the battery in the seat tube option.

Yes, that is a 44 mm head tube with a 1-1/8" to 1-1/2" full carbon steer tube.  This was an option last year and is standard for 2014.  The frame does have the Di2 internal wiring option to keep the wires hidden and protected in the frame tubes.

Braking is controlled by Avid BB7 Road S Mechanical Brakes mated with 160mm rotors.

Finally, the cross/gravel/sometimes road wheels are stock Stan's No Tubes Iron Cross Team Edition in a 24/28 spoke configuration with alloy hubs and DT spokes.  Here is my Do Not Try This at Home Disclaimer on Wheels:  The manufacturer has a 185 pound rider weight limitation - I am a good 12 pounds over that weight.  There is also a tire pressure limit of 45 psi which does not work too well with the road tires installed so I had to fudge on that as well.  Please heed all manufacturer recommendations and limitations.

The build weight was estimated to be in the 17 pound range and came in at 18 pounds, 1 ounce without pedals.  This is almost a pound less than the new carbon Specialized CruX Pro Race Red Disc with aluminum clinchers. I expect with some fiddling I will be able to get the weight down closer to 17 pounds if not just below.

First ride impressions: Fast, stiff and refined.  The Titanium tubing and construction provide a ride quality that is hard to describe other than magical.  The average speed was close to the Madone at 18.2 mph and was respectable given that it was 38 degrees and I was bundled-up against the elements.

The geometry is slightly more slack than the Madone but still very quick and playful on the road - I look forward to seeing how it handles on the dirt though expect no surprises.  

Braking performance is smooth and linear with plenty of quiet stopping power.  The drive train was flawless, but I am already re-thinking the 11-28 cassette for road riding - the jumps are just too large for my preferences in some ratios and I found myself hunting a lot so I will probably go back to 11-23 for the road. 

Yes, I lied about not watching the speed on the very first ride. In doing so I realized the habits from the last 7 -1/2 years are going to be hard to change. I think I am up for the task, but may need a support group for the first few months.  Speed watching does not mean I enjoyed the ride any less - the crisp air, soft light and fall colors made every second on the bike a joy.

See you on road.


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