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Old 08-05-18, 10:59 AM
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First Ride Review

If anyone's considering buying this bike then here's a first-ride review. I only have my previous carbon Specialized Roubaix Comp Disc to compare to as the Roubaix was a road bike.

Firstly, the Roubaix felt a bit lighter. This may just be feel though as the Blue Prosecco EX-Gravel Di2 bike weighs 9.20 KG (= 20.28 lbs) with the following accessories installed on it: front light, rear light, bell, bottle cage. So, not too heavy for a gravel bike. My 2016 Roubaix SL4 Comp Disc was 9.80KG.

Since I bought the bike I've removed the factory stickers on it, installed the above-mentioned accessories and updated the Di2 software. I've also reset the brake pads and adjusted the brake lever free play and reach. All of this was so much easier to do as the bike has standard off-the-shelf parts for drivetrain and brakes, so I could download the Shimano manuals easily enough.

For initial tyre pressures I chose 70 PSI at the rear, and 60 PSI at the front. The tyre pressure range is 43 PSI to 80 PSI.

Compared to the Roubaix, the Prosecco seems more sure-footed and a little less twitchy. The Di2 gear changes are sublime. Braking is astonishing and at least on a par with the Roubaix. Steering is slightly more relaxed.

The overall feel instills confidence and grip from the tyres on tarmac and cycle paths is reassuring.

I didn't try to go fast as I wanted to get adjusted to the bike but there is plenty of potential for some decent pace.

It's a very quiet bike to ride and feels silky smooth. In fact, I prefer the ride quality of the Prosecco compared to the Roubaix, which had the excellent CG-R seatpost and Zertz frame inserts. I found the Prosecco to glide along better and this may be down to the wider tyres with lower pressures.

The FSA SLK Carbon handlebar soaks up road buzz quite nicely and my hands never went numb or got tired. The handlebar is very compact so will take some getting used to. The saddle was actually fine and I hardly noticed it during the ride, although I think it needs to be moved back a touch. A Specialized Romin Evo Expert Gel saddle will replace the stock saddle in a few days time.

I was using Crank Brothers Stamp 7 flat pedals so grip was extremely good and my shoes (regular gym trainers) never slipped off once.

Here in the UK the roads where I live are quite terrible and I noticed that the Prosecco was able to cope with the bumps and dips very well. The only time it felt out of its league was when I intentionally rode along a ribbed painted line that separates the walking lane from the cycling lane. The ride was quite jarring but then any bike would struggle - even my fatbike struggles on that painted line.

Slowing down and stopping, and remounting was very easy on the bike.

In terms of build quality, the frame feels quite strong and more robust compared to my previous Roubaix. The finishing kit is excellent for the price I paid. At no point did I think something was going to break, despite riding over small potholes in the road. In fact, with the meatier tyres, I didn't have to worry too much about what I rode over. Here in the UK it's not unusual to find broken glass on cycle paths.

Some bad points: the handlebar is extremely compact width-wise. It already feels cramped with a small bell, a tiny light and my Garmin cycle computer. I guess I'll get used to it. Saddle height and tilt makes a very big difference to ride quality (this is fairly common though). The bike has a 99KG weight limit - not an issue for me as I'm well under that weight limit, but may be an issue for heavier riders.

Some updates from stock:

- Moon Meteor front light
- Moon Ring rear light
- Orange bottle cage bolts
- SpurCycle Bell - Chris King Edition
- Elite Sior Mio Bottle Cage
- Camelbak Podium Chill Bottle 610ml

Last edited by taz777; 08-05-18 at 11:03 AM.
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