Strengths: 1) weight vs. sturdiness: the handmade lugged carbon frame is extremely durable on any terrain it's likely to see while still maintaining a reasonable weight. It's not as light as a VXR or a Vibraser, but it costs half as much and is a more versatile machine for people who want more than just a lean racing machine.
2) Price: This bike allowed me to get a Time, hand made in France with the same RTM technology as their high-end bikes, for the same price as similar bikes from other, larger companies who outsource their production. Also, this price includes a very good set of Time pedals, a value of almost 200 EUR.
3) The standard wheelset, Fulcrum Racing 5 Evolution, is pretty good for this price level. They are a huge improvement over the old Fulcrum 5s and have served me well through several thousand kilometers and a handful of races (and it's been a very bad weather year).
4) Road chatter: it might just be because it's my first CF ride, but I'm amazed at how much less beat-up I feel after a long day (6-7 hours) in the saddle. I've never spent 6 hours on a Look 566 or other similar bike so I can't compare, but the difference from my other bikes (steel and alu) is remarkable.
Weaknesses: 1) Sizing: I don't like frames sized in S,M,L,XL, as it forces most riders to round up or down by a centimeter or two here and there. Mine is an XL, which means about a 58.5 imaginary TT; I would like it better if I could have about a 60, but that's impossible with this sort of sizing. It fits me fine, but I think if/when I get a custom rig it will probably be a bit larger.
2) The stock cranks were FSA, which has had all sorts of problems with its cranks for a few years now and shouldn't, in my opinion, be sold stock on expensive bikes. My LBS was kind enough to swap them out for an Ultegra crankset as a condition of the sale.
3) I'm not thrilled about the color scheme: there is only one choice, the grey weaved carbon look is tired, and the red and white trim is uninspiring. However, I don't really care that much and color was the factor of least importance in this purchase. It's a handsome bike from 10 meters away, but it won't win a bicycle beauty contest.
This review is for a 2009 Time Edge Pulse with the Shimano Ultegra option (it comes in a Campy Centaur version as well, for 200 EUR more). This bike is available in the United States, although I do not know the MSRP. NOTE: In order to avoid the vagaries of a shifting exchange rate, the purchase price noted is in EUR, not USD.
I bought this bike in January of this year (2009) for the upcoming riding/racing season. I've been saying "steel is real" for a long time, and it was hard to buy my first carbon ride. It has been a great experience so far: although I'm not convinced that carbon is the solution to all bike material problems, this is a fantastic ride that races as well as it goes all day. I do a lot of long, Euro-style races--usually in the mountains--and I am very happy with both the perkiness on the way up and the solid, tight handling on the way down. Any bike can go fast and sure on a flat straight road; the real test is in the mountains, and this bike is everything it should be and more.
Similar Products Used: Look 566, LaPierre S-Lite 400, Trek Madone
Bike Setup: drivetrain: Ultegra 10sp compact double with 12x27 cassette (it came standard with 12x25, but the Alps demand more teeth)
saddle: Time (for the first time in my life I kept the stock saddle!! It's quite nice, but this is obviously a personal choice)
Specialized water cages (the matching Time cages were 50 EUR each!!)
Sigma 2600HR computer with altimeter (works OK)
FSA Wingpro shallow drop bars (alu): they came stock, and I really like them. I'm not going back to deep drop bars...this allows me to have a more aggressive setup on the hoods without sacrificing the drops, which has really changed my riding.
FSA OS190 stem (stock, alu, 130mm)
Time Quickset headset and Safe+ fork (NOTE: although I haven't taken them apart yet, it seems that there is some proprietary technology in the headset that requires special knowledge to work on.)
What do you think about Time Edge Pulse (Price is around 2200$)? It is equipped with FSA SL-K compact cranck, have you any experience using it? As I understand it is the lower Time carbon frame model, what about its quality?
Thanks.Read More »