2008/07/04

19.75lbs of speed



After a first ride on the Cannondale Taurine, I thought I'd post my first impressions. But before I do, I need to express special thanks of huge proportions to Ron and Chase for helping me putting it together! Thanks again guys!

So yesterday, the plan was to do a certain climb 3 times with 2 loops after each climb to meet a set total duration of around 2H30. About mid way through, I figured I needed to add another climb and two more loops to the ride to meet the time goal as I was going much faster than I had ever been there. So with 4 climbs and 8 loops, I still was under the 2H30 mark...



Yes, the bike is that fast. Fast, fast, fast! It's like a panther or something, always ready to pounce. The stiffness, the weight and the fit makes this bike an impressive climbing and sprinting machine. It feels like all it takes to shoot forward is the intention to do so. Good thing I went with a 2x9 setup, a granny ring wouldn't get much use. The Lefty Speed Terralogic also helps the climbing and sprinting. Even when set pretty plush (which it surprisingly is), you can hammer as if a tiger was chasing you and the front wont budge even when getting out of the saddle, like the Lefty was locked out but it still eats the bumps like a starved lion. The only negative point of that fork is it's weight, while not bad compared to most XC forks, it's a bit heavy when compared with the current Lefty SL.



I will need to re-learn a few things with this bike though. First, I have spent the last few years on FS bikes that were in the category marketing people like to call All-Mountain. 130-140mm of travel front and rear means you can just pedal through the rough. A hardtail with a shorter travel fork needs more finesse, more line picking so I'll see how much I lost some or not when using the Taurine in a more rocky/rooty trail, yesterday was pretty smooth on hardpack and loose over hardpack. Second re-learning is shifting. Shifting? Yeah, I know how to shift but a while back, I was riding some SRAM Plasma Grip Shifts but mated to an inverted XTR rear derailleur. That means my brain has the instinct to twist the rear X.0 Grip Shift in the wrong direction. That should take a few rides to correct.



So the frame is excellent, the Lefty is too but the components, so far seem to be up there too! X.0 shifts are crisp, quick and clear... when I twist in the right direction. The Hollowgram SL crankset has obvious selling points with it's stiffness and lack of weight but it's also the smoothest spining crankset I have ever used. The chainline is as small as the frame permits, the big ring almost touching the chainstay, this gives a wonderful chainline to stay on the big ring as much as possible. Thanks for the semi-custom fit Chase.



The Formula Oro Puro brakes are stunning, I may just need to re-align the front (the rear was aligned first try, took seconds but for some reasons, the front is harder to align, I had to do it by eye). The Schwalbe tires are also great so far, they roll fast but are still grippy and they corner well. They surprised me positively in fast, loose cornering. The Crossmax SLR's are performing as expected, solidly. Saddle's good, grips, seatpost, pedals, all parts that, when they are good, you tend to forget.



Now I can't wait to hit some flowy, twisty, fast trails on this bike. The guys on the start line of the next races wont have the 'what the hell is he doing on his big bike' look they had when I showed up on my Prophet but a more envious look, the bike is up to it, let's just hope I am too.

9 comments:

ELLIOT said...

Congrats on the light speed beast!

Piotr said...

She definitely is a beauty :-) Have fun with it and ride it like you stole it!

Mister T. said...

Congrats!
Superbe machine! T'auras beaucoup de fun 'n trills avec ce vélo, j'en suis certain!

The Jackal said...

Very nice Dan!! Nice work gettin git all together and keeping the weight down.

Dan Gerous said...

With a Notubes wheelset, non UST tires and a Lefty SL, I would drop around 2 pounds but one of my goal was to make it durable and as trouble-free as possible. Sub 20lbs/9kg is already quite light!

Gian said...

Hi Dan,
very very Nice ! I love C'dale .
A question: saddle.. is a SLR XC 2008 model ?

Dan Gerous said...

Bingo on the saddle Gian.

TLL said...

Nice bike. The Middleburn ring is a nice touch.

Are those Formulas Postmount?

Dan Gerous said...

As far as I know, all Formula brakes are postmount, I'm using IS adaptors with mine.