Well last weekend saw my longest 2 rides to date on my recently acquired 2014 BMC Racemachine slr03.
The only other ride I had used it for was a 12 mile loop just after I got it , so I hadn’t fitted my saddle of choice, the Selle SMP lite 209 and I hadn’t really set the bar height up either . With a dry weekend forecast I prepped the BMC so it was ready to go Saturday morning . I had a choice of either a red or black saddle and opted for the red one and I think it was a wise decision .
After only five miles on Saturday I felt the set up was far from ideal and stopped to have a quick look to see if I could notice anything obvious. As I had expected the saddle had crept all the way back so was sitting about an inch and half further back than it was originally . I decided the best option was to press on regardless and try and perch myself further forward than normal to compensate and this seemed to work fine . I had half expected this to happen as the same kind of seat post was fitted on my Simoncini , not sure how you would describe it but the front clamp bolt allows a degree of setting saddle angle up whilst the rear does the majority of clamping .
The rest of the bike felt fine and certainly rode well enough in my mind , it amazed me how nicely the Shimano 5800 model 11 speed 105 sti units worked and gave a reassuring clunk when gear changes were chosen. It reminded me of shutting a good quality built car door compared to shutting a lesser quality one . I just need to get use to turning a higher cadence rather than settling for a higher gear and sitting there just gently turning the cranks which is my normal style .
The carbon 40 – 60 Gipiemme aero wheel set didn’t seem to be effected by the occasional blast of wind that I had been warned about as this is the first bike I have ever ridden that is equipped with a higher rim depth than 15 – 20 mm . These wheels have an alloy brake track which allows the 105 calipers to work very efficiently when required . The slick treaded Hutchinson tyres gave a good level of grip on the mainly dry road surfaces which always surprise me.
There is lots on the internet about how stiff the Slr03’s frame is and I certainly found it very forgiving on the different road surfaces I rode over from smooth freshly laid tarmac to stretches that were so rutted and uneven an off road bike would have been more suited . The look of the frame and its finish were one of the first things that attracted me to the bike when I first saw it . Its matt black and red colour scheme is quite tasteful in my mind and the red bar tape and red saddle only help to improve its looks .
The seat post was swapped for a more conventional clamping affair one ready for Sunday morning’s ride and the saddle was lifted slightly as I felt I was not getting my leg straight enough whilst peddling . This change to the seat post worked wonders as it never moved back during Sunday’s 32 mile ride at all, I still feel the saddle needs to go up a bit more so will try that next time out .
I am slowly getting use to the mechanical ticking noise that the rear free hub makes when not being turned via the pedals at first I found it quite loud and rather disconcerting but as the miles progressed I didn’t find myself listening to it so much and just got on with enjoying my ride .
All in all I found the Slr03 to be a very nice bike to ride that seemed to cope with all I have asked of it so far over the 80+ miles I have covered on it . It’s a bike I certainly look forward to riding again .