Strengths: Short top tube
Fits like a suit
Corners well-- perfect for crits.
The paintjob is way tougher than I thought possible-- not a scratch!
People go, "What kind of bike is that?"
Weaknesses: If you're a name-brand sort of person, go be a sucker and get a Trek. Because that's what Lance rides, and with his bike, you'll be just as good as him, right? You pathetic loser.
Fort is a great company. I found their ad in the back of VeloNews, next to all the other custom framebuilders like Zinn, Hot Tubes, and Calfee, and looked on their website. Though their stuff is not custom, it's still great-- made of Columbus tubes, same stuff as Colnagos and Orbeas. I bought the Altec 2+ version in a 62cm size (c-t). They have shortish top tubes, perfect for someone with my body. Greg, the guy who runs Fort America, was very helpful and I found myself talking to him for long periods of time about bikes-- he's quite knowledagble and friendly, and actually, it was the best customer service experience I have ever had, and not just with bikes. As for the frame, it feels great-- mated with an Ouzo Pro fork, it's smooth and stiff, so much better than the old heavy GT I used to have (but hey, that's a given.) My rig has Chorus on it, with a Forgie stem, Deda handlebars, and Reflex rims for training/ Cane Creek Aerohead Ti Team wheels for racing. I love this bike. It was kinda scary to never have rideen it and then spend all my summer money on it, but when it was built up at the shop and time for my inaugural ride, it was sublime. And 18.5 lbs for a 62cm!
Similar Products Used: Cannondale CAAD 5, Colnago Technos.
Bike Setup: Full Campy, Look fork, Campy Protons for general use and Ambrosio tubulars for racing.
a Road Racer
from Niles, OH
Date Reviewed: May 2, 2002
Strengths: Stiff, responsive, light, cheap, integrated headset, fully customizable paint jobs and build kits available, great customer service.
Weaknesses: If you don't want to feel the road, get a carbon fiber frame, not aluminum
This is a great bike for not a lot of money. The bike is very stiff and responsive, especially in the sprint or up a standing climb. The ride becomes a little uncomfortable on the really long rides (5+ hours) but that is true of any all aluminum bike. The bike is light, and the paint job is pretty.