Test run is complete. Yesterday, I strapped the Northwaves on my feet and popped the Kask on my noggin before mounting the Dark Horse. As I was unloading it, the bike felt alive and eager, almost like letting a dog out for the first time in the morning. It was ready. I know it sounds crazy, but some of you will understand. The temperature was 71 and sunny with fluctuating winds in direction and speed. The route I chose was only 30ish miles with rollers and a couple of punchy climbs. From the start, I could tell I was in a whole new world. The bike was eating the wind and carrying me effortlessly; however, there was a problem.
I know that minor adjustments must be made, but my saddle height was way off. I thought I had measured correctly . . . I thought wrong. I was almost doing a handstand on my bars. Although the previous saddle is Selle Italia Flite family, there are variances. So during the ride, I was making adjustments. Dropping the saddle even 1 cm at a time was huge. I think I’m pretty close to dialed in as possible. It was during these initial miles that I noticed the enormous difference in my wheel set. The Zipp 202 hubs were singing a song of launch. The ratchet system is so tight; there isn’t a breath’s bit of neutral space. Crosswinds were almost non-existent; and, at 1,450 grams, the wheel set is incredibly stiff and is a true climber’s companion. For testing purposes, on a good descent, I laid hard on the brakes to feel the “resin” braking surface. This test was in connection to the Tangente Platinum Pro Evo brake pads that came with the wheels. Result? Flawless, not even a squeak. Hey, I’ll call a spade a spade. I would be the first to speak out if what I paid for these wheels didn’t do what they claimed. I have always been against buying things for the sake of having a label. Zipps aren’t about the label. They are well made, researched, developed, and tested.
Then there is the Kask Infinity. The very first thing I noticed was the silence, and what I mean by that is without wind noise. With the areo lid closed completely, I could literally feel my head slicing through the wind, not being pulled or jostled in any way . . . no matter the direction my head was turned. As the day grew warmer, I opened the lid one section at a time. All I can say about that is that the lid was solid and stayed in the position I wanted and allowed plenty of wind to enter and escape. The helmet is comfortable in all aspects.
My feet were wrapped in Northwave Techo shoes, and some adjustments had to be made there. I’ve never had the wired BOA Retention System on a shoe and really liked the way the whole shoe tightened around my foot, not just on top. Okay, I enjoyed it too much. About an hour into my ride my feet were numbing from the arch down to my toes. Yep, I went nuts on the ratchet system and over tightened them. No problem, I reached down and touched the micro adjustment and let off a couple of clicks and blood flow was restored. The shoes are incredibly light and power transfer is great. So far, it seems like my compulsive research has paid off!
New is new. As the season progresses and the miles pile up on the equipment, I’ll keep posting any flaws or problems or lack there of. The time changes in about two weeks. The weather is warming! The spring classics are popping up on the TV!