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So I test rode this bike a couple of times, going to take it for a longer test ride, so far I am impressed with the bike. The LBS would give me a great price for the one I have on hold (2007 58cm), I was just curious what kind of rides does this bike stand out; in particular long fast rides. What kind of rides does your Soloist stand out in? This bike would be a jump in quality over other bikes I've owned. Road races, crits, club rides or other (like TT's), what are people riding?
 

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The Soloist does everything well, but if it had a 'stand out' feature it would be it's aerodynamics which make it particularly suitable for long rides where you can't get in the draft of other riders. The designers said they were making something using their experience creating aerodynamic time trial bikes, but with road bike geometry. It can even function as a 'poor man's time trial bike' by flipping the saddle mount and saddle, bringing it further forward than allowable in competition road racing, but making it better for time trials or triathlons with the addition of aero bars (where that is allowable).
The downside to that design philosophy is that with its big tubes it tends to be just a bit heavier that more conventional looking bikes with smaller tubes. Weight is almost meaningless on flat roads, but when going up hills it, and not aerodynamics (since you're usually going to slow to get much of an aerodynamic benefit), is of prime concern. Keep in mind that the Soloist Carbon is no heavyweight, just not as light as something like the R3.

In practical terms, to the average road rider, is this important? Probably not very. The aero benefits don't show up until you hit around 20MPH, and the weight penalties of a couple of hundred gram heavier frame won't be too punishing as long as you stay out of the Pyrenees and Alps. I have the aluminum Soloist, and I see a slightly higher speed in my GPS tracks on the Soloist than when on more conventional bikes. We do get some wicked winds around here, and I do feel a difference when going into them. On the older bikes, if going 19MPH a strong headwind gust would feel like someone had grabbed your brakes. On the Soloist you can feel it, but it's more like the road has pitched up slightly. I've only had mine for about a thousand miles, but it's by far the best bike I've had.
 
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