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Demo of Serotta Hors Catagorie - Long(3 posts)

Demo of Serotta Hors Catagorie - Longsam-g
Sep 2, 2003 10:40 AM
This weekend I was able to borrow a demo Hors Catagorie from my LBS, unfortunately the weather left few opportunities for long test rides. I was however able to put on about 50 miles over the three day weekend in between rain showers and the following are my impressions.

Set-up
The Hors Catagorie came equipped with the F1 fork, a DA double group and Spinergy Spox wheels shod with Continental 3000 25mm tires.

Reference bike
My current ride is an '96 lugged steel Stowe (Tange Prestige tubes) with a steel fork, mixed DA-Ultegra-Ritchie group and OP rims on Axial Pro 23mm tires.

My first impression was PLUSH! Road buzz from expansion joints, cracked and broken pavement receeded into the background. Even the ocassional small pot hole didn't rattle my teeth as on my Stowe. I purposely sought out a hilly course and was not disappointed. Although I didn't have a speedometer, my seat of the pants feeling was that I was faster. On one hill in particular, I was able to descend without feathering the brakes as I customarily have to do. The Hors just seemed more stable and solid. This was immeadiately apparent when I changed bikes and rode my Stowe down the same hill.

I really got a good work out riding up and down this 5% grade 7/8 mile hill a half dozen times, but it also gave me the opportunity to evaluate climbing. I noticed no flex in the frame whether in or out of the saddle on the Hors. Climbing and flats seemed smoother and actually faster. In fact my lower back which at times will tighten up on long climbs felt better. I would have liked to have done a much long ride, but believe that the Hors will be less fatiguing overall.

A major concern of mine was the effect of the cushy Spingergy Spox wheel set shod with 25 mm tires. As such I changed out the front wheel for my OP/Ultegra 32/3x wheel for a test ride. I was reluctant to change out the rear wheel due to different cassette sizes. It was real hard to descern any difference with this change, all I could notice was a slight bit more buzz in the bars, but not nearly as much as on my steel Stowe.

Now I'm spoiled, I had originally planned to test ride the Serotta Concours or Seven Axiom which are closer but still a little over my budget. My plan was to purchase a custom built Ti frame, however my LBS is offering this Hors Catagorie (very close to my size) with the F1 fork at a discount that would price it below either of these two other bikes. I also still need to test ride both of these bikes as I don't know how they will compare.

Any advice would be appreciated, especially on equipping this bike. Regardless of frame, I absolutely want a triple for a yearly trip to Colorado, either DA or Chorus, but how about wheels? As a tourer and rec rider not a racer, I'm leaning to hand built OP's with DA, Chorus or King hubs rather than fancy boutique wheels.

Sam
re: Demo of Serotta Hors Catagorie - LongPjkad
Sep 2, 2003 2:10 PM
Be careful about getting an expensive bike that is "almost my size" because of the discount. I went throught the Seven process and have a bike that truly fits me. The process (or Serrotta's) is worth the extra bucks unless you are totally sure the demo bike fits.
rear tire/wheel probably makes bigger diff than frontkenyee
Sep 2, 2003 2:15 PM
You might want to ask your LBS to swap your wheels in so you can make a good A/B comparo. Nothing wrong w/ OP wheels...