I left work slightly early- well it was friday after all
I was wearing lycra but I didn’t hop on my bike
I walked to the station and spent 30 minutes on a train that smelt of toilets
In Bristol I walked towards the centre. I used to work in Bristol a few years back. It was a pleasant evening, Bristol looked good.
I was heading towards Evans Cycles for a bike test ride. A lot of the talk about Evans Cycles is quite negative. They aren’t as attentive or well informed as a small specialist, people say. But I had worked out that they carried one of the bikes I was interested in trying out and after a fairly easy process had arranged a test ride. To test ride a bike at Evans all you have to do is: find the bike in the right size on the website, phone up the branch you want to do the test at and put down a £50 deposit on a credit card. The bike is transfered to the branch and they call you when the bike arrives.
The model I was interested in was the Eddy Merckx EMX1. This is a full carbon fibre frame. It has a 105 groupset. The geometry has a “long” head tube which is better for long distance rides as previously described in the blog
At Evans the bike duly appeared. The shop assistant was surprised that I had actually brought my own pedals and a large allen key to fit them with. She offered white grease and the pedals were on. An adjustment of the saddle height was made. Quick check of brakes/ tyre pressure. I signed a disclaimer against me crashing myself. My photo id and credit card were held in the till so I was off.
The immediate impression of the bike was that it was very light. The size seemed pretty good for me. It was nice to be on a new bike with a nice new drive train. The bars seemed wide but not in a bad way. The saddle was white
Bikes are supposed to do a curious trick. They have to be stiff to transmit powers from the pedals to the wheel without the frame flexing. At the same time the frame is supposed to be soft to stop buzz from the road rattling the rider. The Eddy Merckx EMX1 can do these two contradictory things pretty well.
I climbed some steepish hills ( 20% I’d guess ) pretty easily as the bike was so light. I put a bit of speed going across the flat Westbury, it does going fast well.
I noticed a nasty rattle in the front end of the bike. When I got back to the shop I realised that the headset was very loose. It hadn’t been noticeably loose when I left the shop, just one of those things with a brand new bike.
So apart from the headset rattle a nice spin around Bristol on a loverly bike. Will I buy it? Well, I didn’t get my deposit refunded there and then but I am not going to decide right away….