"Bikes I Love" will be an ongoing feature of Bike World. I'll be posting overviews of race bikes, and trying to look at a variety of news sources and reviews to give a good overall impression of the bike. I'm calling these overviews, not reviews, as I'm not in the position to get my hands on most bikes at this point.
That said, I'm going to start this feature with a review of the Flyte SRS-2. In this case, I can call it a review as I actually own and ride this bike.
Here's how I have the bike set up:
54 cm Flyte SRS-2
Reynolds Ouzo Comp fork
Flyte stem (90mm)
Airborne OS anatomic handlebar
Tacx bottle cages
Ultegra front derailleur
105 rear derailleur
Generic carbon fiber seatpost
Selle Italia saddle
Look Keo Classic pedals
Alex DA-28 wheelset
Michelin Dynamic tires
I purchased my SRS-2 frame directly from Flyte in the Spring of 2006. I was fortunate to work about 4 miles from their former office. The frame was on sale in their "Clearance Hangar" for a minor finish blemish (barely noticeable) and the price included the FSA internal headset and the seatpost collar. I purchased a Reynolds Ouzo Comp fork from them as well. I feel that for my $300 investment, I got a very nice frame and fork.
I had the frame tucked away for a little while as I needed to get a new front derailleur to start the build-up and I didn't want to start pulling parts off of my old bike as I was training for a ride. Once the derailleur came in, I started to build in earnest. The bike built up very easily. The guys at Flyte even helped me with cutting down the fork and installing the star nut. I ended up having to get some new cables as the frame was just slightly longer than my old one. Once everything was installed, I took it down to the LBS for a tune up and waited for what seemed like forever for them to complete it.
The day that the bike was ready, I got out for a 6 mile "shakedown cruise". The bike was smooth, stiff and stable and I put it away itching for a longer ride. The next day I got out for a 15 mile ride. I was able to subject the bike to a wide variety of conditions and it performed admirably in all. The most fun was a twisty, rolling road that takes me down to the Great Miami River. I was cranking in the big ring and there was no loss of power in the transitions from all out speed to climbing. The road also tossed several very fun turns at me, and the bike turned like it was on rails.
The best way that I can describe the bike it the acceleration and handling of a sports car, with the refined ride of an autobahn burner. The carbon fiber seat and chain stays greatly improve compliance while still providing a nice comfortable ride. This was the bike that they provided to the teams that they sponsored and it is easy to see why. I'm looking forward to the next ride... and the one after that, and the one after that.
Light and stiff
The guys at Flyte were generally great with customer service, though I had difficulty getting them to answer the phone a couple of times.
The jury is still out on this one, but I feel that the matte finish of the frame may not hold up well to dirt and grease over time.
Additional reviews of the Flyte SRS-2 can be found at RoadBikeReview.com