This past weekend, our estimable head mechanic, BW, finished the Hg build. The bike came together clean, sharp, and beautiful -- and also light (finished out at 19 lbs 10 oz). I think I've mentioned that I try not too be too much of a weight weenie, but this bike is making that endeavour kind of hard :)
This afternoon, I got to take Hg for a spin. I left QS (who is now fully tuned-up) at the shop and rode Hg home. Because I'm still getting to know the new bike, I wasn't really trying to ride fast -- my time over the 7 mile distance (including stoplights) was 32 minutes.
I'm really impressed with the way Hg handles. Because we've set him up with a less aggressive riding position than QS, I was expecting the handling to feel a little sluggish. Boy, was I wrong about that. The handling is smooth but sharp, and the bike sticks to the turns like a burr ... a greased burr on rails :D I found myself wishing the ride was curvier, just so I could relish the turns a bit more. Likewise, I am inclined to think that the slightly-more-upright position on the hoods will prove to be a boon on the really long rides.
I was also seriously enlightened by the responsiveness of this particular bike. The only non-steel bike I've ridden with any frequency in the past was Traveller -- 100% aluminum, 39 lbs, and chattery as all heck, though still a fun ride. The carbon fork and seat stays really do seem to kill the road chatter entirely, and the power transfer (if you can call it 'power transfer' when your legs are in Puny Mode) is solid. Whereas you definitely do notice lateral flex when sprinting on QS, you really don't on Hg. I simply had no idea how noticeable the lateral flex factor on QS was until today. This doesn't mean I like QS any less -- there's something special about a really good steel frame -- but it's neat to ride a bike that feels so very different.
Likewise, I'm glad I decided to spring for the STI levers. It will be interesting, of course, to see how many times I have to ride both bikes within a few hours of each-other before I stop reaching down for non-existent down-tube shifters on Hg. Here's hoping I won't try to shift from the levers while riding QS. That could get interesting.
There's still a little fine-tuning to be done -- there's a little bit of hinkiness in the large-cog range -- but thus far I'm delighted with the new bike. Tomorrow, I think I'll probably take Hg for a spin in Iroquois Park and see how he climbs, unless there's some kind of biblical deluge or something.
Full finished spec and pictures to follow ^-^