Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Project One -Sneaky Pete cracks a ton on a Project One

Wiktionary definition:

   A slow or difficult journey.

Hmmm, we'll have to see about that....

Goods Received I took delivery of my Trek Project One merely hours before riding it.
Set up Strapped on a Garmin, dropped a couple of bottles in the cages: that's it:
then rode it 160+ kilometres through the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Never
before had I, or would I have, considered doing somehthing like this; no
preparation, no adjustment, just ride.
Jump in The 2012 Noosa Century Ride has it all, the perfect opportunity to get
acquainted with Trek's Flagship, equipped with SRAM Red and Aeolus 6.5
Wheelset. Hills and flats; rough and smooth; group riding and smashing a
headwind; brain-numbing straights and twisting descents; even a bit of
dirt, some gravel, and a few potholes.
The Ride If I had to sum the experience up in one word I would say, "compliant".
There's a reason why Levi Leipheimer reckons it's the most comfortable bike
he's ridden. And it's the same reason that during the ride and after, there
was no back pain or fatigue associated with dealing with the hammering Queensland road surfaces give you on a bike, despite the front end being 'slammed'.
Looks But this Trek Project One, is more than that...
One thing is, it gets noticed, "Nice Bike," as they pass by.
Leggy It's fast, even standing still. Just rolling along you notice it's speed. The
effort required to keep it at speed is less; it's gotta be - at least it
feels that way. I imagine the wheels and tyres help out here too. But climbing and accelerating is where you really notice it's speed. Power transfer sneaks up on you; pressure on the pedals converts
directly to forward motion almost unnoticed. A glance at the speedo and you know you're hooking along.
Handling is just short of twitchy, and yet it is unnerving at how sure-footed it is. It's got to be because of it's compliance; not only with the road surface, but under high steering loads too. Riding mass rides, with thousands of others, with some, not so experienced riders, calls for attentiveness and sometimes quick changes in direction. I've never experienced a bike that steers like this. Actually in situations like this it won't be the bike that lets you down, it'll be the riders skill and experience and ability to read what's going on. Sweeping descents are like on rails, no loss of speed or feeling of insecurity, and massive grin factor.
Components This bike doesn't feel like the sum of it's components, it feel like one unit. It just feels like you're riding a bike, it simply works. Except for SRAM Red, if you're coming from a Shimano Dura Ace/Di2 past, it takes a bit of swearing and some getting used to. And I don't think I'll ever come to terms with what I call the "Over-Under-shift", especially when climbing. You go to grab an extra gear as the grade increases upwards and if you're already in the smallest gear, it penalises your lack of attention by shiftin up a gear. Ta, thanks for that.

Trek have spent a lot of time and money on refining and producing this bike and it's long palmares shows this. Trek may very well have made the best multi day stage race bike in the world, but it's for this reason it's also a bike for the weekend warrior on a mission. You can cover a lot of k's in a short amount of time, without fuss and fatigue; day after day. A pretty good combination to have under you, I reckon.
Maybe we need to get Wiktionary to change their definition for 'Trek'?