Strengths: Impervious to winter months if kept maintainced and the narrow knobs knife thru snow well and with tremendous traction to boot. Very comfortable on rough roads and berms.
Weaknesses: Since I am not truly racing this I think it would benefit from disc brakes in snow and rain/mud conditions. The purchase price but you get what you pay for I think.
Bought it as the touring bike it was built to be but upon talking to other owners I converted it to cross by adding Tufo tubular clinchers that I really have had stupendous luck with. The yellow compound tread and 23 psi allows winter traction for the rear along with Nokian studded front because you don't want that one to slip at all. I also own Tufo road clinchers that give this bike a dual purpose usage and it also handles singletrack rides as well as my hardtail. The factory Ultegra works well since it did come with a triple. Also even the steel fork works well.
Strengths: smooth and quick ride; has wide clearance for large tires; and braze on for fenders and racks
Weaknesses: trouble with vibrating front carbon fork
After riding my carbon specialized roubaix during the summer it was hard to go back to my aluminum specialized bike in the winter. The Blue Ridge takes studded Finnish snow tires, and a rack. I added carbon seat post and handlebars as the roads of Toronto are not in great condition, and this bike is supremely comfortable. While it feels slightly slower than the Roubaix, the average speed logged is comparable, which is particularly surprising considering tire and load differences. The only problem encountered were that the front brakes squealed and caused the bike to shudder. I tried rim treatments, new pads, brakes, and now I am trying new beefier carbon forks (supplied by my dealer, not Litespeed!) While pricier, and at greater risk of theft, it was a great investment. I'd like to thank the only other reviewer for recommending it.
Strengths: Comfortable predictable ride
Solid, very reliable
105 group has gotten better with age
All day bike
Weaknesses: Brakes could be stronger
Can feel a bit sluggish
Stickers are ugly
I actually have the Appalachian model, which is basically the same as the Blue Ridge. If you want one bike that can do it all, except race, this is a good choice. I fiddled with tires for the longest time and settled on 700X38 Avocet (I don't think they are made anymore) but what a difference it made. I can now tackle the roads of NYC with little fear of damaging a rim and can even ride some technical trails. I use it as a city bike or anywhere else the roads are rough. It rides wonderfully; it could be my imagination, but the titanium seems to give that "magic carpet ride" people talk about. The frame is stiff where it needs to be, compliant where it should be. It's not nearly as quick feeling as my all-out road bike and sometimes feels sluggish - but I would never take my road bike where this thing treads.
Tires really affect the bikes performance, more so than others I have. If you buy this, forget skinny, I know - I've tried - this thing was not made to be a pure road bike. The geometry is very relaxed. I should have gone a frame size larger (the dealer used a fit kit). I have some front wheel overlap - so be aware if you test ride. I put a nice mountain bike gel seat on it, well worth the slight weight increase given where this bike goes. It is very solid down hill, and you can really mash on the pedals going up. You can spend all day on this bike and not feel beat-up, which is really why I bought it - I was tired of my stiff racing bike beating the tar out of me on a long ride.
I like a triple ring set-up, but will be looking to put a 53 tooth ring on the front as it's far to easy to spin out the 52.
Personally, I think the bike is ugly. The mat titanium looks dingy after a few rides (seems to hold the dust more than painted frames). But, I don't care as I chose this in the "function over form" frame of mind. The nice thing is, you don't need to worry about scratches in the paint, you don't need to keep the frame spotless - dirty, clean, it looks the same.
Every year, our New England-based team holds a training camp in early April. Typically we stay in Bedford, VA. However, there is not a large range of accommodations there. Typically, there are 12-16 of us, and we rent two houses for a week.
One idea I had was Wintergreen, which has a ski resort, ... Read More »
Wasn't sure whether to put this here or in touring, but thought this would be the better crowd.
It has always been a dream to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway end to end. I work a job that makes it very tough to take time off, and I am getting married next year. That essentially means I have to do it ... Read More »
Ok, I narrowed down the area I am going to be cycling next week; blue ridge parkway and likely shenandoah parkway. I am going to be based out of norther Georgia for the week, but I plan on taking some day trips to go ride and / or overnight trips (hotel).
I have motorcycled the parkway in the past ... Read More »
If you've ever browsed BikeWashington.org, you've probably read the description to one of their most difficult routes, the Blue Ridge Challenge: [url=http://bikewashington.org/routes/bluerdg/index.htm]Blue Ridge Challenge[/url]
I took off work and decided to do this on my Trek FX 7.1 (cheapest tr ... Read More »
See for more info: [url=http://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/outdoor-blogs/editors-blog/blue-ridge-parkway-closed-to-cyclists/]Will the new Blue Ridge Parkway plan limit cycling on the scenic road?[/url]Read More »