Juan Carlos Viñolo
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: September 21, 2012
Strengths: Astonishingly beautiful, light, comfortable, well balanced, perfect angels, awesome paint job with windows to the carbon skin, comfortable, great road feel and feedback, superb rear lateral stiffness, excellent all around vertical compliance. Great all all-rounder, with the exception of powerful sprints. Very practical and precise headset adjustment.
Weaknesses: Front lateral flex under extreme stress, specifically during high power sprints.
I have logged about 10,000 miles on my Time RXR Ulteam. It is a superb road bike. This bike can be used by serous road racers to any cyclist that loves the sport and a good ride. It is an excellent comfortable bike for long rides, centuries and the such. It is important to note that I have ridden race bikes for almost 30 years and I am well accustomed to the race position, to the point that a too vertical position results uncomfortable to me. That being said, this bike is not for a casual or amateur rider, but I assume that anyone willing to spend 5K+ on a frame is someone that is well into the sport. Just staring at it is satisfying, without a doubt one of the most beautiful ever built. Aerodynamic tubes and a trans-link seat post that cuts into the rear wheel are also to blame for the superb looks. The detail and quality of the paint job is poetic. I own a white color version which has windows in the paint in the shape of the letters which actually are not stickers but the black real skin of the carbon below properly protected by a clear coat. From the distance it is eye catching, but up close it is a work of art. The road feel is superb as all TIME bikes with vectran (or whatever they call it now) seem to be. It perfectly transmits the road conditions, not too much that it will be uncomfortable and just enough that it does not kill it all (mutter). Vibrations are absorbed by the frame extremely nice, even with very stiff deep section carbon wheels. With aluminum shallow section (traditional) wheels it is very comfortable. All this while being very laterally stiff on the rear triangle which naturally translates into awesome power transfer. This stiffness combined with the lightness of the frame makes it also a superb climbing machine. It is also very well balanced, with perfect angles and distances making it a great descended that corners beautifully. It will obey your cornering demands even if you must correct the line halfway through.
The only drawback would be that I do detect front lateral flex under heavy loads during sprints. I must clarify that I am a heavy rider (227 lbs.) that can easily put out over 1,200 watts in a sprint, all this while out of the saddle and pulling very hard at the handlebars. This results in slight flex and combined with a very light front end makes the front wheel skip from left to right at a bit, which at more than 35 mi/hr. is a scary thing. Most people, however, do not detect this flex and do not even sprint under such conditions, so I would only recommend against it if you are a strong, heavy competitive sprinter. If you have the dough and love great handling and beautiful looking bikes this one will definitely make you happy every time you throw your leg over it and even by just staring at it hanging it in your living room.
Similar Products Used: Ridley Noah 2008 with Shimano Ultegra
Time VXR 2004 with Shimano DA
Airborne Zeppelin 2002 with Shimano DA
Trek Y Foil 1999 with Shimano DA
Miele Latina 1991, columbus SL tubing, with Campagnollo Athena
Centurion Expert 1988 with Shimano 105
Bike Setup: Shimano Dura Ace 7900. Zipp 404 firecrest clincher carbon wheels. At times Mavic Ksyrium SL. FSA K-Wing carbon handlebar. Fizic Aliante Saddle. iClic 2 pedals.
Strengths: Outstanding strength, smoothness and handling in a sexy French-built package.
Weaknesses: Cable routing might be cleaner; a spendy ride, for sure.
Let me preface this review by saying that I don’t deserve this bike based on riding ability, nor can I really afford it. I started to learn about TIME, their total manufacturing process in France, including weaving their own carbon fiber, and got very interested. The fully lugged RXR, with gorgeous lines and slick graphics was overwhelming. With a major birthday coming up, I plotted with my local, superb bike shop, Powerhouse, in Hailey, Idaho. I plunked down a hefty deposit on the full 2011 RXRS Ulteam gray module and waited impatiently for a few months. I figured I’d move my existing SRAM Red group onto it, but the deeper I got into it, the more I reasoned that I should keep the bike all-euro, and in a moment of seeming insanity went all-in, ordering the 2011 Super Record group before coming back to earth and finishing out the order with Fulcrum Race 1 wheels. I was now in really deep and starting to freak out – again, I’m a piker and had no business ordering this bike. I have numerous friends who crush me on their $2,500 Taiwanese rigs.
Permit me to state the obvious: there is no substitute for a really good fit from a shop that gets the right size ordered and then fits it to you correctly. Mark at Powerhouse took the time and care to “build up” both a Large and Extra Large on his bike-fitting jig so that we could determine the right size for me, and then requested a non-stock (for size ordered) stem. Sounds simple, but it required his care and passion to get it right the first time.
I have now been out four times and logged about 100 miles. Hardly through the shake down period, but the bike is stupendous. No surprise given the care Mark put into it and the quality of the whole bike. The frame, fork, stem and bars (full module) are so beautifully fabricated and finished – I have not seen another carbon frame set with this level of quality, period. And the new Super Record group does not disappoint – it is indeed lighter and quicker shifting. Mark and I joke about the TIME motto, “You won’t recognize your performance” – that I would be the one to defy that claim through my lack of ability, but it’s early season here and I am already outpacing last season times on my familiar training routes. The bike is so responsive, so rigid yet smooth, and rolls like nothing I’ve been on, including the Dogma, C-50, etc. The power transfer is awesome and the handling is like I’m on rails, but there is no harshness to the ride, something I couldn’t say about the C-50 and others I tested. Best of all, it is so damn comfortable. Not a hint of discomfort or numbness, things I’ve dealt with on previous bikes, even after a post-purchase fitting. Again, there is no substitute for getting the fit right ahead of ordering whatever one chooses. I am really looking forward to a season of fun rides, local races, and a few centuries, and I’m confident that the RXRS will meet every situation with aplomb. Sometimes you do get what you pay for, even if you can’t really afford it.
Bike Setup: 2011 RXRS Ulteam full module, full Super Record group, Fizik Allante saddle, Speedplay pedals, Garmin 500 computer
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: October 23, 2010
Strengths: Weight, compliant, stiff, compact geometry, aesthetics. Smile factor is bar none.
Weaknesses: none thus far
Butter smooth. This frame is deceiving, fast, stiff but smooth. I have owned a Cannondale Super Six, Colnago C50, Giant TCR, Cannondale System Six and a Cannondale CADD 5, by far this is the best all around bike thus far. One of the important factors about this bike frame is the weight, light! You can really feel it on long climbs. The aero tube shapes do make a difference over long rides. Another factor is, Time does not have to use a huge down tube to make the frame torsionaly stiff, like so many other manufactures use. The carbon layup is why this frame is so expensive. The Vibraser weave makes a significant difference in ride quality, smooth yet stiff.
Having a stocky build, the compact geometry of this frame fits me well, versus a traditional build, plus it shaves a great amount of weight off the frame. The frame fits like a glove which equates to greater transfer of power. The quality, time and passion put into this frame is very evident. The RXR is a little twitchy on descents due to its race geometry, the rake angle is steep compared to other bikes but it is manageable. The bottom bracket is not a trendy BB30 setup which in my opinion is not necessary, I'm not a pro level tour rider who needs all that support in the bottom end. Not having a BB30 setup keeps the tubes nice and appealing to the eye, just my opinion. Buy one, I promise you will not be disappointed.
Bike Setup: Record 10 drive train, Bora wheels, FSA K-Wing bar, Selle Italia saddle, Look KEO HM pedals, Conti. tires.
a Road Racer
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2010
Strengths: Smooth ride, build quality, power transfer
Weaknesses: Not a weakness but not perfection, handling
Amazing I was told that they where better than Colnago C50 and EPS which I could not accept because ho could you improve on perfection, but as hard as it is I think this maybe. The power transfer is perfect you feel like nothing is lost in flex, there is a notable improvement over the C50. As you would expect the frame is firm on the road but is not harsh. Being truthful I must say that the Colnago C50 handles better which I think has something to do with the short rear end and longer stem on the RXR. But the handling is still well above what you would expect just a little twitcher. The build quality is exceptional.
Strengths: Aero, smooth, great road feedback, no BB flex. Best strength is high speed handling. Also you don't see that many on the road so bling factor.
Weaknesses: Price but when you consider that it is handmade in France by higher cost labor vs. low labor cost high MSRP frames from Taiwan then not a bad deal. Pinarello Prince cost same and made in Taiwan. Lifetime warranty is included.
Although I bought it on leap of faith due to lack of reviews I am glad about the purchase. There was a 7 week backorder in March 2009.
It is a very good climber but where it really excels is at high speed downhills and sharp turns. I live in an urban area and where my ride starts the road surface is pretty bad. This frameset combined w/ carbon handlebar, carbon rail saddle and wheelset really smooth everything out. I noticed strong cross winds pushing the frame side to side using 27mm profile wheels but I got used to it quickly. My previous bike had small classic round tubes. I added 46mm wheels recently and I have to make conscious effort to hold on to bar at all times during windy rides. It is not the lightest setup(15.5lbs w/DA pedals) with Di2 and 1500g clinchers but she feels solid under by 175lbs body. I do not feel any flex at all from BB or frame but somehow it gives great feedback on road feel. I noticed that I am not so beat up after my 50-60 miles rides anymore.
I added a small saddle bag (30g) (continental) with a 60g tube, 2 levers(20g) and a 80g multi-tool and noticed a big handling difference. I took the tool and put it in jersey pocket and great handling is back.
For weightweenies: frame weighed 1100g and set was 1700g for XS(cage,stem,headset) as advertised. Seatpost piece that attaches to saddle and goes into ISP was another 110g.
Similar Products Used: Closest product tested was a 2008 Cervelo SLC-SL with zipp 404 wheels. Loved the aero wheels on flats but felt its clincher 1800g weight on hills. SLC-SL frame feedback was dead. It was Aero but a bit rough and bouncy ride vs. RXR
Bike Setup: Red in size XS. Time Ergo bar, Time(SI SLR carboni rebadged) saddle. DA compact groupset w/ Di2. Reynolds DV3KC 46mm wheels. Conti 4000S tires.