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Bike Crit-ique – First Two Subjects…

Well, my first two subjects have offered themselves up for a Bike Tart assessment.  I wouldn’t normally do these side-by-side, but given the two bikes in question you’ll probably see why I have with these.

So, first up is Adam’s Look 595 above.

Spec list is as follows:

  • Full Record 10spd
  • Corima Aero + Vittoria Corsas
  • Zero Gravity calipers
  • 1 Arundel Dave -O + 1 Arundel Sideloader bottle cages
  • Pro XLT stem
  • Easton Pro Equip bars 26mm
  • Specialized Toupe saddle
  • KMC gold chain

Has to be said, it looks fast!  It’s a racy looking setup with a big saddle-to-bar drop, a long stem and fairly low levers – a great position if you’re lucky enough to be able to get into it!

One thing I am really pleased to see is the removal of the yellow portions of the Corima wheel stickers – frankly they’d kill the look of the bike.  One thing I’d really prefer to see is a black or carbon railed saddle.  I hate seeing those silver rails, and it’s exactly why I won’t switch to a Fizik Antares Versus just yet (yes, I am that fussy!).

Those big ‘Euro’ graphics are very ‘Marmite’ in that you either love them or hate them.  Personally I’m a fan.  Generally it’s a good looking bike.

What would I like to see?  An update to the chainset, and somehow the older 10spd Campag as a whole looks too dated for me now (although it does suit this bike well).  I’m not a fan of the ‘Pro’ kit either (on account of the fact that it’s basically Shimano) so I’d like to see a different stem on it.  I’m not sure about the sideloader cage either, but it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.  I also can’t help wondering what it’d look like with a white saddle and bar tape – I don’t subscribe to white looking ‘pro’ at all (same applies to shoes in my book), but there’s something about it that feels like it needs to be lighter in colour.

Generally very good though.  7/10 I reckon.

Next up, and the reason for doing both these bikes together – Nick’s Time, the other French brand:

Those Euro graphics again!  Did you fall in love with Time at the Time-Megéve last year Nick?!  First things first, I think Time make some great looking frames, and this is one of those.  Off to a positive start then…

No spec list from Nick, but you can kind of see for yourself.  The first thing that screams at me is those Enve wheels – very nice, but I’m not sure they quite ‘feel’ right on a Time.  I think you’re getting away with it here, but somehow the US-French link isn’t working for me.  I’d prefer to see something from Mavic, and the new Exalith Cosmic Carbones would look amazing on this…  I’m afraid I’m also not a fan of FSA kit either so those cranks are a real turn-off, as are the Bontrager cages (they belong on a Trek, not a Time!).

Much like Adam’s Look, visually the older Shimano kit is starting to look too dated for me.  I know it all works exceptionally well, but being a Bike Tart I just can’t forgive on the basis of functionality.  I really think the calipers at least should go, and the front end would look so much tidier with the newer levers and hidden shift cables.

Completely oppositely from the Look above, I really think the saddle and bar tape on this should be black – against the white of the frame the dirty ones on here look old and tired.  And again, that saddle has silver rails.  Sorry…

What would I like to see?  I reckon a matching Time stem would look better, and maybe go Time for those bottle cages too.  Having used the TRP 970SL calipers for a few rides now I reckon a black set would suit this build really nicely.  Maybe also lose the wheel graphics, but that’s not the end of the world.  As I’ve already said, a black saddle and bar tape would tidy it up a bit, and maybe offset that with white cable outers?

At a glance it looks great, but the devil is in the detail… I know you’re a club mate, but it’s a 5/10 for me I’m afraid Nick.

So there you go!  You know what to expect now folks.  Of course as I said before I’m not the ‘final word’ on this so please feel free to add your comments below.  Remember though, I am about as fussy as they come when it comes down to bike visuals – it’s exactly why I’ve deliberated over every last component on my Baum.

Now, who’s next…

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