April 2011

Hi Guys -

My S3 came on Friday. With a dent in the seat tube. Ouch and darn! Amber was VERY good at dealing with the problem and has agreed to send me a new frame. She looked at the pictures and said that it was OK to ride the bike until the new frame came. SO - this weekend I took her out for her maiden voyage around the valley.

WOW - she is FAST and SOLID. The last lightweight bicycle I bought was in 1973 - a Reynolds 531 Claude Butler. I still have her - BUT - technology has improved over the last 38 years. The Rodriguez is faster, lighter, and, most importantly, more stable on the curves. She also rides like a spring. Absorbing shock to an incredible degree. The ride was smooth even though the tires were inflated to 12 BAR !!! Stiff and responsive, she climbs like a champ. I never noticed even a hint of lateral flex - despite putting my full 196 lbs of weight on her out of the saddle. The frame was well balanced and I had no problem riding her without hands. She took the curves like I was on a rail.

The components have also improved. The SRAM Force derailures were quick and smooth. The only downside was trying to get used to the "double click" when moving from the large front chainring to the small front chainring. That is going to take some getting used to. Brakes were smooth and efficient. The 50 SL wheels have some bad reviews on the 'net - but I thought they rode wonderfully. Not even a hint of instability. The FSA hollow carbon crank was wonderful - I really "felt" the transfer of power from the pedals to the road.

Smiley fitted me for the bike and he did a GREAT JOB. The bike fits like a glove. I don't remember ever riding a bicycle that felt more "built for me." Even in the drop position, the bike felt comfortable and under control.

This baby can FLY! I didn't have a cyclometer on her - but I was MOVING! Passed several racers out for their workout. I couldn't quite keep up with the cars on the 35 mph road - but I came close at times. Not bad for a 56 yo weekend warrior. I'll be using her for the first triathlon of the year this Saturday.

I read on the internet (so it must be true :-) ) that I should coat the inside of the frame with "framesaver." What is your opinion on this? Also, should I wax her?

You guys are great! Keep up the good work.

Very Truly,

Steven E. Alkire