Of all the bikes I rode in Boise – including Novara’s Urban bikes – I liked the Squadra and the Fusion the most. Both are remarkably nice bikes, well equipped, with thoughtful attention to details. It’s not shown in the photos, but I rode the Squadra up and down Bogus Basin most of the day.
During a photoshoot, the Art Director finds a sexy spot and you ride the same area over and over again, but at full-on efforts for the action shots. I was riding with Ed Ewing (racer, coach, sportsmodel-dude). We’re both competitive, so that means it was the Ed v. Byron sprint championships, all-day long. Ed won most of them and the next day, I felt like I just completed a stage race.
It’s not often that you can test a full line of bikes and note the differences between the models. The acceleration, lightness, and ride was immediately noticeable on the Squadra. It’s like a scrappy underdog racing along with other highly-marketed and better-known models. I’d add it to my stable of bikes and bring it out for crit season. The bike proved itself during the long day and performs as well as any high-end carbon bike. Besides the aggressive climbing, it descends on rails because of the stout fork and stays.
The SRAM the Squadra ships with is another matter. I’ve written about SRAM in the past and understand why cyclists dig it. I’d like to dig it as well, but some issues remain. I covered those in this updated post. I wouldn’t let the SRAM group prevent a purchase, but just recognize the issues and note that every group has them in some form.
I’ve got a few more posts to write about Boise, including more on the urban scene.