Hi Scott,

Well, it's been almost a month, and I've got over 1200 kilometers on the new Rodriguez frame, and I am very happy with it, I just wanted you to know.

I had forgotten just how lively a good steel frame can be. After 37 years of riding good bicycles, I can only conclude that the only really viable frame materials out there are steel and carbon fiber. Aluminum has no threshold for bending without work-hardening the material, so Al frames tend to be way too rigid. I've also heard horror stories about the flex in Vitus forks under hard braking. You don't see too many Vitus frames around nowadays. My experience with Ti has been bad - three broken frames, one replaced after the other on warranty.

I'm really impressed with the steel tubing on my new frame. Carbon fiber can be lighter, but I think that its "shock-absorbing" qualities can also be interpreted as "dead feeling." My carbon fiber Trek feels nice for a while, but then this changes to a sort of sluggishness. The steel frame with a carbon fork, seatpost, and handlebars seems to be the best approach. I love the way a steel frame vibrates underneath you on various hard road surfaces, from chip seal to smooth asphalt.

I forgot to commend you guys on the smoothness of the welds. The tubes just blend into each other. I am really impressed.

Thanks for getting the bike built on time and pretty much to spec. I'll drop in next time I'm in the area, as well as some time before next June when I'll be flying down to LA and will need to buy the case and learn how to pack the bike. Ciao!

Luis Bernhardt