This Propel 2014 comes equipped with Dura-Ace 11 speed mechanical groupset, which if it’s good enough for Fabian Cancellara, then it’s fine for me.
The gear action is much lighter than the 10 speed group and has been faultless over 2800 kms so far. The front derailleur is a bit tricky to set up, but has four positions which allow the mech. to be trimmed according to the chainline.
In wet weather, the cork brakes on carbon brake track do not stop as well compared to rubber on aluminium clinchers, however, in the dry I would say that they are at least as effective as ‘normal’ brakes.
The frame is designed for speed and power. When you are pushing hard, for example in a sprint or a short sharp climb, this frame responds immediately to your input of power. It’s a flying machine.
My longest ride on it to date is 140 kms. I won’t argue that it is as comfortable as my titanium bike, but considering the aggressive geometry and deep section Zipp wheels, this bike soaks up the miles…quickly… and does not leave me beaten up.
The 53/39 gearing is too high to take to the Alps or Pyrenees for my weak legs, but copes fine on most other stuff with an 11-28 sprocket, though it comes with 11-25 fitted.
It’s a bike to ride when you are feeling good and strong, and it will reward you with a feeling of speed and acceleration which is hard to match.
There is one thing to emphasise when cutting the ISP seatmast and that is ‘measure’, ‘measure’ and ‘measure’ again.