Strengths: Great value. Good solid component for the money. The folks at the bike shop that assembled and fitted me to bike kept saying that the Fastbacks are excellent bikes (even though they were trying to sell me a trek).
If I compare it to the trek line, you basically get a 1200 for less than the price of a 1000.
Seat is pretty comfortable, shifts well, overall seems like a nice solid bike. Nothing spectacular, nothing bad.
Weaknesses: Even with the carbon fiber front fork, you will definetly notice rough paths/roads. On most routes I don't notice the road, but I have one 7 mile stretch when I commute where the path is rougher and your defintely being shook up the whole way.
I'm a newer rider so I'm still developing strength (so take this with a grain of salt), but this also doesn't feel like the fastest bike. Not slow by any means, but it does take a good bit of effort to climb and to accelerate.
Overall a very solid entry level bike at a great price. All the components seem to be of good quality, the wheels, seat, drivetrain, etc all seem pretty solid, nothing to complain about. Bike is comfortable, shifts wheels, goes to high speeds if you push it. Definetly doesn't feel like the fastest bike, but it isn't slow either.
The chain that came with the bike had a bad link so I had to change that out, but everything else has been solid.
Bike Setup: Stock version of the 2006 fastback 27, except for swapping out the chain for a dura-ace 9 speed chain, and changing the stem to a shorter one. Bike came with Shimano 105 rear and Tiagra front derailler.
Strengths: Price, components for the buck, fun...fun...fun to ride.
Weaknesses: None for the bike, but I would suggest that anyone who buys a bike at a discount store like Dicks, take their bike to a reputable bike shop immediately. No offense, but the high school kids who work at the store I bought mine from knew nothing about properly building, or tuning a bike. Belive me it is $40 to $50 bucks well spent, to get the bike to perform like it was ment to.
I purchased this bike because I was looking for a road bike to cross train on. I primarily ride my mountain bike, but I did not enjoy using it on 40 mile road rides with my friends.
The bike was originally $499.99, but it went closeout, and I could not pass it up for $349.99. I did a lot of shopping around town and on the internet, but most of the bikes in this price range were brands that I have never heard of before, and had outdated technology like downtube shifters, and no name components.
The Fastback I purchased had a mix of Ritchey, Tru-Vative, Shimano, and Selle components...all reputable brands. It does not have the carbon fork that I have read come on some versions of this model, but I personally am not a big fan of carbon fiber, after having less than good luck with a few carbon mountain components I have purchased. I like aluminum, and I guess I'm not a "purist" because I don't count every gram.
The bike itself is really pretty amazing. Fast, light and responsive. I did immediately upgrade the drive train to 105 vs. the 2200 series Shimano components that came on it standard. But that was a cheap step up...thanks to Nashbar closeouts! It has so far proven itself to be everything that a weekend warrior could ask for in a road bike, and will be perfect for my Sunday jaunts, and the MS-150 this fall.
Similar Products Used: Test rode a Specialized Allez, and a Trek 1000.
Bike Setup: Ritchey Seatpost, stem, handle bars, seatpost, and SPD pedals (pedals are ones I added). Shimano Sora STI shift/brake levers (8 spd), Shimano 105 front/rear derailleurs (I upgraded from 2200 series that came on the bike).
Strengths: Under 20 lbs., good middle level components, many Ritchey parts like stems and seatpost. Great price.
Weaknesses: None noted.
I actually purchased this bike for my son. We were shopping for an entry level road bike with the most in componentry and features for the best price. This ride has Shimano Tiagra derailers and STI shifters with Sram cassette and TruVativ Elita crank with ISIS drive and a carbon fork. It performs wonderfully, quick accereration and very nimble in all respects. It is uncommon to get a bike in this price range with these 9 speed components. Schwinn did it right on this one!