Black Blade R002 – Supersport | Test Day

Updated test link

03/04/2014
Testing of the R-002 Carbon Supersport continued today, with a 29 miler around Glacial Lake and Bernards Twp. I was able to sample a variety of roads with a couple of small climbs thrown in as well. So after the short initial shakedown run last week, I was able to ascertain a basic setup. My impression today was that the bike is stiffer than my Pro-Lite carbon, but the R-002 also rides slightly harsher, the frame/fork is, less ‘compliant’. Now, I don’t know if it is due to the carbon layup and/or weave or solely down to the CF wheelset or a combination of the materials, frame/wheels. The pro-Lite has aluminum wheels, so it is not a direct comparative analysis. The efficiency of the power output is noticeable without question. I’ll put that down to the beefier downtube, BB and the carbon crankset.

As I had mentioned in my last post, the R-002’s steering is what I would describe as a bit nervous or ‘twitchy’ compared to my PL. I did have more feedback today, and what I felt was that at low to lower speeds, the steering is quick and precise. But above 15-16 mph, it becomes less precise and not predictable. The front end feels a bit less stable at higher speeds, which does not inspire confidence on descents. I have concluded that the Trail on the PL is slightly longer than the R-002’s Trail. That partly explains the less stable steering feel. This is something I will need to sort out, or at least find a compromised setup that fells a bit more stable.

I think I have a good understanding of how the bike works now, so I can start to analyze the data and play with some of the settings. First, I plan to lower the stack height under the stem, (which will in effect ‘shorten the axle-to-bar distance, this is more for comfort and arm reach) I will then increase the stem length from 80mm to 90mm, which will moreover shorten the distance between the front axle and the center of handlebars. I could (and might experiment later in the year) also change to a different profile tire as well. Ultimately I have to improve the bikes setup if I want a similar feel and stability I enjoyed with the PL.

The Rake, or Offset is fixed from the steerer tube and stock fork, so even if I thought about changing to a different fork, there would be no measurable difference- unless the fork was either longer or shorter (in my situation I would want a slightly longer fork, in which case the trail would then change as well. I’m sure I will be able to affect the steering with some other above mentioned stem length/height adjustments, to what degree remains to be seen.

tt_img_00011
20140403_151905Putting the R002 Supersport through its paces…

As far as the machine ‘rolls’ I have to say, it does so with less effort than my PL. Again, I’m not sure if that is strictly due to the wheelset and hubs or the overall package. But as most riders have echoed, the bike seems to ‘spin up’ better or more efficiently. It is tough to perform a side-by-side comparative analysis of two bikes (even though they are both carbon) when the wheelsets are vastly different.

It will be very interesting to see how the bike performs on long rides with significant ascents and descents. Hopefully the weather breaks for the better, so I can get in some 40 to 60 mile jaunts and adapt to the R-002’s geometry. The first 100 mile ride will be on June 5th, in the Revolutionary Ramble out of Madison NJ. I’ll do a 500 mile review on the bike when I hit that mark. Hopefully by June. Right now, I would grade the R-002 a C+, with the hopes that it
attains a B or better…

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6 thoughts on “Black Blade R002 – Supersport | Test Day

  1. how much would you say you have in this build? I’m a big supporter of budget builds, I’ve done mostly used brand name builds, I’m curious about the Chinese frames and wheels, i know most bike companies have overseas factories that produces the composite frames, have you run in to many quality control issues?

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    • Hey buddy. Well, all in 1,748 as pictured and outlined in the technical specs. I figure it’s probably worth at least double that. As far as QC goes, a few minor issues I also outlined in another post. The bolt that screws into the ‘nut’ for the bottom plastic cable guide is broken. Solved that by using a lot of thread locker. it should not move. If it does, I can always epoxy it. Also, the seatpost opening on the frame was slightly larger than the post. (An ongoing issue with the R-002) I solved that with a shim. Easy peasy. Can’t see it, and it holds the post solid. Overall, I am pleased, once I get it dialed in to my liking it should prove to be a worthy ride for less than 1800 bucks.

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      • not bad for $1800, just spent $3500 on a scott addict, it was an insurance property damage claim zero out of pocket, my last budget build was a felt f-75 that i replaced everting i could with carbon all said and done i and about $1500 invested including a nice set of mavic ksryium elite wheels, it weighed in at just over 18lbs not bad for an aluminum frame bike. its a good looking bike what wheels did you go with?

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      • Wow, that Scott sounds really nice! The Felt project was a good deal too. My buddy has a felt, he loves it. They are some good bikes for sure. Thanks, I do think the bikes looks good if not as good a performer. Wheels are Ekay Composites. 38mmx23mm wheelset sans cassette and skewers was 1486g’s. $441 delivered from China.

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  2. Pingback: Projekt R002-Superbike (Test Session 3) | The Road to Revelation

  3. Pingback: September Testing (R-002 test session IV) | The Road to Revelation

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