As the smooth road transitions into the pavé that marks the beginning of the Oude Kwaremont, the fearsome 2.2km cobbled road that features not once, not twice, but three times in the Tour of Flanders professional race (just once in the sportive, mercifully), the steel-framed Stoemper shows impressive smoothness, control and speed.
Legend's very lovely HT 7.5 is one of those rare things, a custom carbon frameset that's made in Europe. In Italy to be precise. Legend are one of a small band of manufacturers that haven't outsourced frame production to the Far East, a shift that has seen the biggest revolution in bicycle production in the past couple of decades.
The look on their face is priceless, a mix of shock and disbelief that something without an engine can really cost the best part of ten grand. Whether it's a seasoned roadie or a non-cyclist, once they've asked 'How much is that worth then?' the rabbit-in-headlights facial expression is the only response you're going to get to the Passoni Top Force W.
Historically, the approach to travelling with a bike has always been either a case of semi-dismantling your pride and joy and packaging it up in a bike bag or box, then leaving it nervously to the vagaries of airport baggage handling, or taking a folder instead - enter, the Qoroz Travel Won. The Qoroz Travel Won was designed by ingenious types to try and address that issue, to make a bike that's genuinely good to ride and suitable for travelling with as well.
Now, I'm a roadie through and through – I like speed, I've never ridden anything with tyres wider than 25mm and certainly never used a rack so when I arrived at road.cc to collect the Kinesis Decade Tripster I wasn't quite sure what I'd let myself in for. It turns out though that the last couple of months of riding have been some of the most fun and carefree I've ever known.
Whoosh! There you go. That's my review distilled into one word – the new Wilier TwinFoil is one fast bike.
Although when viewed from the side the TwinFoil looks vaguely similar to a bunch of other time trial bikes, the front end is very unusual and the frame boasts several innovative features all designed to reduce drag and maximize your speed. Even as pro-level TT bikes go, this is seriously quick.
It's a lovely looking thing, the Singular Osprey. More than likely you'll buy it on the strength of those looks, hoping it'll build up into a comfy road bike for some classy and leisurely miles. And you won't be disappointed: the frame and fork gives you a nice traditional steel ride with the geometry and overall weight making it more of a long-distance cruiser than a speed machine.
The Kinesis Gran Fondo Sc is part of the eight frame Racelight road range which has something for the racer, distance rider, sportive rider, TT'er, commuter and tourer – pretty much every type of road cyclist then. The Gran Fondo is designed to ride like a race bike but with the geometry tweaked a bit to give a slightly more forgiving ride. I tested it alongside the new Gran Fondo Ti and it was interesting to compare the Easton alloy tubing with the renowned comfort of a titanium frame.
New for 2011/12 a titanium Gran Fondo frameset enters Kinesis's Racelight range, using the tried and tested geometry of the scandium version which we're testing alongside the GF_Ti as an experiment in comparing frame materials directly. The GF_Ti is all about taking advantage of titanium's ability to deliver a frame that's comfortable, durable, and long lasting.
Wilier - or Wilier Triestina, if you want to get all proper about it - have been making bikes since 1906. That's - what? - ages. But the Italian brand isn't one to rely on its heritage; it's big on innovation too, and that's clear in the brand new Zero .7.