|Softride Power V Review||JBergland|
May 29, 2001 3:16 PM
|I bought a used Softride Power V last week and spent a good part of the weekend 'playing' with the bike. The bike is a 98 or 97 model (1998 is the last year Power Vs were made) and came with DA except for the crank (Kooka??) and BB. Two wheel sets were included, Cane Creek & Aerospoke. The bike is made out of all carbon fiber with the exception of the drops, bb, & head-set. The one I bought is identical to this one: http://www.honesty.com/images/imageTemplate.html?img=http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/1719048/990920736385_Powerv.jpg
The bike can be adjusted and set-up for hours at a time. Because of the way the beam system works, the bike could be made to fit a variety of riders and riding styles. The 'seat tube' angle can be changed from TT to RR in a couple of minutes. The saddle height, however, can be a tough thing to figure out!! The flex of the beam has to be taken into consideration. The bike feels HUGE because it has a high stand-over height and the beam only goes UP from there.
Yes, it does bounce!! However, that is part of the way the bike is supposed to work. That 'bounce' gives a smoother ride, keeps the legs fresher, and makes even the worse roads ok. I have heard and read many Softride owners/proponents say that the 'bounce' is caused by a poor pedal stroke and not necessarily the design of the bike. Now I need to acknowlegde that I have had very little time on this bike... so my experience with Softrides is VERY limited. But... I don't believe anything will 100% stop a rider from bouncing when pushing hard on this bike. I have a pretty smooth spin from spending most of the winter months on rollers. I do agree a smooth spin helps with any bouncing, but it only helps, doesn't eliminate.
The Softride design is fast!! The single piece carbon fiber design cuts through the wind nicely. The surface area is rather large when looking at the bike from the side. Although this might be nice space for sponsors, this bike could be a hand full in a cross wind... down right scary with a disk and/or bladed spokes!!
I have used aero bars off-and-on for years, never staying with them for very long. I could never seem to get comfortable. This bike is MORE comfortable when I'm aero!! I will need to work a little on my form and tech., but this bike would be comfortable for ANY long distance ride/race... Doubles, RAAM, etc. I can see why Softrides are so popular with Ironman distance Tri-s as well.
I like my new Softride very much. It is NOT something I would suggest anyone to buy if they are first getting into cycling (unless there was a need for a very compliant ride) or looking for something that 'climbs' or is 'light'. It IS a bike that can be very confortable, can be ridden fast, and for long distances. It is a bike that is UNIQUE and should provide me with many things to 'tinker with' for a better part of the summer.