I don't write many ride reports but after the Demo last night I thought I would share. (Enter shameless plug) Thanks to Turner Bikes and Doug at North of the Border for setting up the opportunity to ride the new CZAR.
At first seeing the bike in the shop it didn't pop out and scream at me with its subdued natural carbon finish, the orange is a bit more subtle also and is more of a honey orange color. As soon as I picked this up I was surprised at how close the weight was to my hardtail. You can tell these bikes were meant for speed.
For those thinking about sizing I am 6' with a long inseam (~34") and short torso. I hoped on a black large and quickly found myself raising the seatpost. The demo model had a shorter length Thompson post on it and I ended up near the max extension but still had the 4" minimum, a longer post length would have given me a little more wiggle room but it turned out I didn't need it. The large ended up being the perfect size and would have plenty of bar/stem adjustment to accommodate different rider types.
Pretty much straight from Sea Otter the bikes were setup with the 1x11 and what looked like a more aggressive race position with the stem at a -10 degree drop. I was concerned the longer top tube would stretch me out too much with my shorter torso but throughout the ride I never had any back pain and felt very stable.
I'm no pro but have ridden a number of bikes over the last 20 years, I am currently racing on a Marin 29er carbon hardtail, so moving into longer races a FS racer is certainly of interest.
In short I think the CZAR is everything the hype makes it out to be. I felt like climbing rough patches were improved - the bike was quicker through tight twisty singletrack and overall just seemed planted. I was able to put the power down and accelerate and pound out hills without any noticeable bob in the rear. I did have more bob on the front than I would have liked and missed my lockout option but I can't fault the CZAR for that. As for 1x11 it was fun had plenty of range and didn't drop the chain. Would I move to 1X11 from my current 2X10 setup? - not sure - I do like the ability to quickly change the range up front when cresting from a climb to short descent. All in all the ride was buttery smooth and the bike makes a great light weight all day bike or racer!
Can't wait to take one of these home - sounds like the rumor is end of June for the M/L...
After putting in 13 or so miles I was ready to toss this race machine in the truck and stash it in my garage!
My attempt at cutting some iphone video together using the new Hitcase. Enjoy
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