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VTFerg

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Reply with quote  #1 
Wanted to share a build I just finished, since I know some folks are curious about this frame. I picked one up just a few days after they were available on the site and finally got around to finishing the build yesterday. It's built up with 10-speed SRAM Force from another bike, Hunt 650B wheels, WTB Byway tires, and Salsa Cowbell bars (which are fantastic). With everything on it, it sits at right about 22 pounds for a 58cm frame.

I took a 10-mile shakedown ride on it this morning to try to beat the Nor'easter headed for northern New England (or more particularly, Central Vermont).

A few quick thoughts: first, it really feels great. The downtube's even beefier than I expected, so the BB will definitely be nice and stiff. I need to dial the fit in, but it's just one of those bikes that feels natural right from the start, like classic steel should. The build went together perfectly, and the QA on the frame was excellent. The BB was nicely chased and faced, integrated HS dropped right in, and the bike also included thru-axles, which the site doesn't say are included. I was considering one of the Chinese carbon frames for a while, but the combination of some of the QA issues I read about and the indeterminate wait times definitely sealed the deal for the Rockitship once it became available. Fairdale was quick and responsive to questions, as well.

The bike itself feels much more like a regular road bike than some of the newer ride-anywhere bikes that'll take mountain tires (and make me swoon with memories of the Bridgestone MB-0). The angles are a bit steeper and it straddles the line between quick and stable perfectly. I spend probably 60-70% of my time on dirt and gravel roads, some of them pretty chunky, so I was really looking for an endurance-ish geometry that could fit Road Plus tires and this feels like exactly what I was looking for.

Even after a quick ride when I'm totally out of shape, the 650B wheels feel amazing. I was running 700x40c Panaracer Gravel King SKs on my previous bike (a Salsa Vaya,. and the combination of the light Hunt wheels and smaller size feel really quick. I'm already totally sold on the Road Plus thing. Really looking forward to some long gravel rides with the combination of the steel frame and wheel size.

IMG_20180307_102906.jpg

Chainstay clearance: it looks perfectly designed for the WTB Road Plus tires; there's plenty of room, but I definitely wouldn't go any bigger.

  IMG_20180307_100128.jpg 

Part of today's ride. The bike was rock solid in some sections that got a little slippery.

IMG_20180307_101514.jpg

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chas

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Reply with quote  #2 
Looks Sweet, thanks for sharing!
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rocthrower

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Reply with quote  #3 
Wow, that's very nice, and I love that green color!  I knew these were rumored to come out, but I didn't know when.  If I hadn't just purchased a new Space Horse Disc frame, I would have strongly considered this one.  Thanks for sharing!

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cpark

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Reply with quote  #4 
Nice looking bike!👍
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jruhlen1980

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Reply with quote  #5 
Nice build. What's the verdict after 4 months?
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VTFerg

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Reply with quote  #6 
Still pretty damn happy with it, although honestly I've barely had to think about it. It fits me well and the ride and handling are great over some pretty chunky gravel road. I have about 900ish miles on it so far, mostly on VT farm roads which can get washed out and rutted up very quickly given the combination of weather and heavy farm equipment. Feels super stable over loose gravel but still nice and fast on pavement without being heavy.

Longest ride so far was about three and a half hours, mostly on dirt with a bit of pavement and had no complaints whatsoever. Or not about the bike, at least.

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