Monday, 25 July 2011

Focus Cayo 2.0: Initial Impressions and Test Ride

Well Wiggle have lived up to their normal, great reputation. The bike was delivered on Saturday - two days earlier than expected. It came well packed but was ready assembled bar putting the handlebars on and adding some pedals. It looks great and tips the scales at 8.4 kg. I had one short ride on Sunday evening to set up my position and then did a few miles tonight.

The last time I had a road bike was as a teenager - 24 years ago. I am familiar with dual position, 'safety' brake levers and having the gear change levers on the downtube. Getting used to combined gear and brake levers on the drop bars and using SPD pedals is ensuring I am taking it quite cautiously at the moment. The brakes/shifters are very slick in action (Shimano Ultegra) but just don't feel second nature yet.

I am finding the drop position OK but am used to being more upright so know this will feel strange for the moment. Some reviewers say the bike has a 'race' rather than the slightly more relaxed 'sportive' geometry. I have no comparison to make at the moment but know if all the bikes I try are similar to this I will be using the hoods and tops for most road riding and keeping the drops for when really needed.

Anyway, onto tonights ride. I followed a route I am familiar with which includes a longish incline (the A56 through Whitefield). The bike handled the road surface really well. It delivered good feedback and the steering is very responsive. The carbon frame really damps down the crap that passes for roads around here - I generally try and avoid potholes, drain covers, etc but some just have to be ridden across. I expected to be shaken to bits and was amazed not to be.

On the climb up the road on my tourer/commuter (Santos Travelmaster 2.6 Alu) I normally settle in at 8-9 mph at the steeper start and then manage 11 mph on the longer section as the angle lessens. I was concious not to go 'hell for leather' and then try and compare performance/speeds, so I kept some power in reserve and settled into a comfortable cadence. The bike felt quicker but the speedo confirmed it as I sailed up the steep section at 12-13 mph and the faster section at 14-15 mph. Going downill was more comparable to the Santos at 22-25 mph, which is not a surprise really. 

I am hoping to get a ride of 20 miles or so at the weekend if the weather stays nice. This will really give me more of an idea if I am going to find it comfortable and a definite possible for the road bike I will finally get. As it is at the moment I really like it though.

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