I’d been looking to buy a new bike for a while but was really struggling to find a bike that excited me. With the Giro and the Tour behind us I had beenÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â lured inÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â by the pretty road bikes the pros were using. However they all had some feature that was putting me off. A different Bottom Bracket standard (Cannondale), a different steerer tube dimension (Giant/Canyon) or an integrated handlebar and stem (BMC).
My penchant for fettling and fiddling meant these bikes would be a major pain to work on and not being a lightweight roadie I wouldn’t really be able to do them justice. I also want to get back off-road so any bike that can take big fat tyres is a bonus.
When Ribble announced their new CGR Ti, an evolution of their venerable CGR, a few months ago for a very reasonable price it only took me a few days to place my order, and most of that time was a back and forth with Ribble’s customer service to get a few specification changes.
A few weeks later a box arrived…
Set up was very easy. The bike was almost fully assembled. All I had to do was get the bike out of the box without dropping it, turn the handlebars so they were in the right place and fit a saddle. The fabric saddle I’d chosen was in the accessories box in retail packaging so I’m unsure if this would be standard fare with the other saddle options soÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â be aware if you’ve not got experience setting up your saddle.
As I’d gone for Ultegra Di2 (splashed out!) I did give the thing a charge before heading out on my first ride, although the battery did stop charging after about 10 minutes so didn’t really need it.
Out of the box the complete bike with aÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 58cm frame weighed 9.8KG.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â I did change theÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Mavic Aksium Disc wheelsÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â to my much loved Hunt 4Seasons Gravel Discs. This dropped 600g from the total weight immediately. Weight’s not a primary consideration of mine, especially as I intend to strap bikepacking bags full of kit to it in a weeks time, but it’s still a decent weight for the spec.
Simply put, sublime.
I’veÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â read a lot in bike reviews of frames thatÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â are “compliant”ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â or “take the edge off” big hits and until this bike I had never really experienced that. Rolling along the same awful roads I normally do on my way to work I was surprised at how smooth they felt.
Now, it’s never going to make any UK road feel velvety smooth but it does take enough of an edge off the big hits when you accidentally hit a pot hole that I’ve never felt in danger of being thrown off the bike.
Compared to my Pinnacle Dolomite where I’ve felt exhausted and numbedÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â by road vibration after 50-60 miles, I’ve been able to enjoy all-day epics on the CGR and felt a lot fresher at the end of them.
Well, I’ve got a lot planned for the next few weeks. The CGR will be seeing a lot of miles, both on, and off-road and I’m really looking forward to spending more time with it.