Project Carbon: Welcome to the Modern World

For the entirety of last road season I raced on a steel bike. One brilliantly crafted by a local builder. Sometime last March I crashed said bike and it needed some repairs. Not willing to wait for the notoriously long wait time for a repaint I through some primer on my once beautiful bike and continued to try to race the shit out of it.  Which was fine because it was summer and not raining. Then September came and with it rain and cross racing, then December came and I put fenders and 28c tires and road pedals on the cross bike. Then finally I took the steel frame to get repainted.

Funny thing about riding  bikes with Cantis is that they don’t stop in the wet, or stop that well really. Which of course was the whole point since I was using said brakes too much. At any rate my desire to be back on a road bike and be able to stop grew and there was a deal on a Taiwanese carbon frame, other wise known as Deng Fu. This is my first carbon bike.

I had been on one before, a Felt AR-4, or whatever their areo bike is. It was stiff, and rolled smoothly over the rough roads near the shop, but there was a dead feeling to it. I had decided to go with something not plastic, or carbon… whatever.

Having now spent two long rides aboard this carbon steed I still feel this is true. The bike is a tiny one, but it still works since I run a low saddle height and a short reach. The first thing I noticed was that the bike spins up quickly, and descends faster but without the stability of my steel bike. Granted, some of this is due to geometry (the BB on the steel bike is LOW).

My steel bike is like a coiled spring, and when I rise from saddle the tension is released and I spring forward, at least that’s how it feels to me. There is no spring to the bike, but there is an immediate reaction. But that’s only based on a couple of rides. Next week I plan on testing (at my new job) testing a few of the bigger named carbon bikes to get a feel for how they are different than my steel and carbon rigs.

Deng Fu Weight

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