First ride impressions on 2009 S Works Transition



I was really looking forward to riding this machine after I read so much about it.

There is a good amount of information out there about this slick bike and some that people do not know. This is one very smartly engineered bike. For starters this is a true triathlon bike meant to be ridden steep and aero. After I had the bike built up with the SRAM Red gruppo I realized there was a lot I didn’t know about the frame and the gruppo. The stem comes with various shims to adjust the angle. Very cool. The frame itself is uniquely designed to be very narrow. The fork and head tube all blend together to form a wind cheating frontal area which is one of the most improtant areas to be kept stealth like. The front brake was designed to run in line with the fork so there is no need to hide it behind the fork and it has a neat little straight pull design to keep those pesky wires out of the wind. The cable just runs up to a well thought out cable hanger which guides it to the handlebars. But, the rear brake is hidden under and to the rear of the bottom bracket. Nice touch and adds to clean and undisturbed lines. All the cables are run internally so BOOM no drama there and very clean looking. I really love the shape of the frame, the beautiful, flowing, sloping top tube which is free of any extra bulk or protrusions. Zipp 404’s are just that. Zippy! These are the clincher versions and all is good with the behemoth of a company that is Zipp.

SO HOW WAS THE FIRST RIDE? Not to do anything normal of course- the inaugural ride began at 4:50am. I had the fore/aft measurements and saddle height mimicked from my previous bike so all that was left to do was play with the height of the bars. Once I mounted the bike I immediatley felt the bars needed to drop down. That is easy. I rode the bike in the dark (best way to feel a bike) all the senses are on super high an easy 10 miles to the pool.

My last 13 years of riding have been strictly on Shimano so I was used to the way Shimano shifted and felt. OK, SRAM shifting is the bomb and much softer and quieter than Shimano. Sorry Shimano boys, I love your stuff but this was smooth. Every shift required just a little push on the full carbon bar end shifters and as Borat says, “Nice.” BIG ISSUE FOR ME- I do not have two things on this bike that I firmly believe improve anyone’s cycling. My Q Rings and SRM are not on yet. This is good and bad. Good as I get a true, great feeling for the features of SRAM Red and bad as I don’t like riding round rings anymore at all. It’s like having a Mustang V8 and then going to a V6. All in due time. The rear Der. mech works awesome, I love it and it’s cermaic bearings. And who doesn’t love the feel and sound of a brand new ride all perfectly greased and singing like the opera. All went well for the ten miles and as soon as I got to the pool I dropped the handlebars down another 1.5 cm.s. AHHHH Much better.

After a quick dip I put on another hour and one thing I do really love are the Easton one piece bars. They are surprisingly light and minimalistic. The reach was perfect as well (not giraffe neck long) like others. My only issue is the reach to the brake levers could be less. I have normal to large size hands and even for me it was a litle far but I might be picky. Anyone else find that? These bars are not for men or women with small hands. Everything felt great on the one proper ride so far. I like the adjustable rear dropouts very much. This is a very sweet feature to adjust for different courses and ride feels as much as for various race wheels. The seatpost could not be any simpler and easy to adjust. There aren’t too many bolts and things that you have to hold while you tighten or loosen for height or fore/aft.

So far so great with the Transition and I will post a 500 mile review in what do you think, a week or two? HAHAHAHAHA

Coffee of the day: Double Tall Lavazza Intenso

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