This ride belongs to Steve Toze of Shred Magazine and is featured in the first issue of the new Westcountry Shred Magazine released next week. Check out www.shredwest.com [sounds a bit like Fred West… – ed.] for more info.
I’ve been pedalling a DeRosa Merak around for a couple of years and really love that bike, so much so that I was starting to panic in races at the thought of crashing it. The answer was to build up a rig that is perfect for fast crit races and road races that is stiff, tough and fast in a straight line. Whilst I could have spent a few quid more and probably gone carbon there wasn’t really anything on the market that fitted the bill better than a Cervelo Soloist and as I couldn’t quite stretch to a Soloist Carbon this seemed like the perfect option. Here’s the rundown.
First race for this bike was the Pittards road race in Yeovil, a fast course with a long climb and heaps of sweeping bends, the bike felt awesome and kept me comfortably in the bunch and even gave me the confidence to have a go at the sprint despite being a few rows too far back from the front. I pedalled it 100 miles in Taunton last weekend with the Somerset Road club and again the bike felt way more comfortable than a 54cm super tight aluminium frame should feel.
A word on the choice of parts. I know RaceFace and Bontrager kit is a hark to my mtb riding roots but people should take notice of this kit.
The bars are a really nice drop, the chainset is stiff and shifts well, the Bontrager wheels alter the ride of the bike so dramatically that I wonder how I ever raced with normal wheels, they are perhaps not the ideal choice for some of the slow speed tough climbs down here in Devon but on the flat they are stunning. The Bontrager brakes integrate perfectly with my Campag levers and the carbon pads work well on the carbon wheels and equally as well on my alloy training wheels so no need to keep changing pads!
In short the people at Cervelo know how to make a frame that performs a range of roles, next year I’ll probably have a crack at a few TTs on this bike. The build kit is a bit of a mix n match but it is great to know that you don’t have to go down the all Shimano / Campag path to get a nicely running race bike.
My goal is pretty simple for the season with this bike, to try and get out of 4th cat, but if i don’t then I will stick by our shred team motto – “we are too busy looking good!”