Monday, December 26, 2016

Vitus Chrono TT

I have done many crazy bike things in the past but nothing beats this. A TT bike? I must be mad. But the temptation was just too much to resist. Chain Reaction Cycles was having a sale and the Vitus Chrono TT was going for half price. Could I resist such an offer? Obviously not because I ended up buying it. Truth be told, it was a really good deal. The bike came with practically everything except for wheels and groupset. But still, a TT bike was an adventure into unknown territory. I have seen cyclists crouched over the handlebar, wearing funny-looking aero helmets and weird looking water bottles sticking out from the handlebar and I wondered, "What's wrong with these people?". Certainly, that must be the most uncomfortable riding position. I had to find out. 


With the click of the mouse, I ordered the frame and since there were wheels on offer too, I ordered them too. These are Bergamont Dolce Team wheelset shod with Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, V-Guard, folding, 23-622, 700 x 23C tyres. While these wheels are not actually designed for TT bikes, I figured they should be good enough to start with and if the bike does not turn out well, I can always transfer them to another bike. The groupset is a 10-speed Shimano Ultegra; 53/39 crankset and 11-23 cassette. Its an aggressive set-up but my thinking is that since speed is the whole point of a TT bike, why not go all the way? 


Putting the bike together was not an easy task as it appears, even though most of the major parts have already been assembled. The first problem encountered was a loose headset. After countless hours of adjustments, tightening, etc...the wobble was finally removed by the placement of a headset washer. To be on the safe side, I ordered a new headset in case the wobbling comes back. I suspect the headset used is not the best. As usual, the internal routed cables are a nightmare to put together. One wrong move meant hours spent trying to route the cable to its proper position. On top of that, cable length had to be precise or else, shifting or braking efficiency will be affected. 

The next major adjustment was the cockpit. The variations were endless and being new to TT cycling, this took a lot of time to sort out. I had to checked various sources on the proper position to make sure I was doing the right thing. In the end, I settled for a compromised position but comfort was certainly not high. Since this is a new domain, perhaps my body was not prepared sufficiently for it. During the test ride on the trainer, I discovered truly how uncomfortable a crouched position is. I salute those who enjoy doing this because I certainly am not. Never mind, I told myself, give it a shot. 

With all the work done and final adjustments made, it was time for a road test ride. I have to say this is the most frightening bike I have ridden on. It's unstable and uncomfortable when you go into a tucked position, you can hardly see anything beyond the front wheels but it is bloody fast! So, where do we go from here? I am really not sure. Perhaps my set-up is not proper or maybe my body is not conditioned enough for such a ride. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I decided that it is probably safer to use it on the trainer until I am confident of hitting the road again with it. 





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