Sabbath Silk Road Review
My second race on the Silk Road was a long circuit at Chelmsford: The race was both windswept and bumpy. It was my first ride on a set of Fulcrum XLR Dark Clincher 50mm carbon wheels. Deep rim carbon wheels are more likely to catch the wind – I’ve seen riders swept into ditches by an unexpected gust – while the short spokes and tall rim assure a less friendly ride than a lower profile model.
As the race began, I sat comfortably in the front 5 or 6: Despite the strong gusts the Silk Road kept the wheels in check, allowing me to keep my hands draped loosely over the hoods. Over the cracked pavement the frame absorbed much of the pounding as the wheels rolled over the surface: Even sprinting across a gap to a breakaway, the wheels stayed in contact with the pavement, allowing me to focus purely on getting across the gap rather than worrying about shifting my weight to keep the rear wheel on the ground.
I’ve been racing bicycles for a long time. Because of this, I try to smush whatever bike I’m riding into the format I’m accustomed to. I didn’t expect to be impressed by the Sabbath because of its tall front end, shortish top tube, and relaxed geometry. I slapped a long stem on it, shoved the seat back, and prepared to be unimpressed. But the Sabbath surprised me…
In fact it easily surpassed my expectations. The confident, solid handling and lively snap up the climbs were impressive, while the comfortable position on the flats allowed for hours of pain-free riding. The only weaknesses exposed were more related to this tester’s eccentricities than a flaw in the frame design. That said, I would strongly recommend considering your top tube length requirement and ordering the frame accordingly, rather than simply on seat tube, as stem length has a significant impact on the Sabbath’s behaviour.
If you’re looking for a sportive or light touring bike, I can strongly recommend the Silk Road. If you need a bike that mimics your cyclocross position with a frame material perfect for winter riding, I can also strongly recommend this Sabbath. Even better, if you’re out on a ride and stumble into the middle of a bike race, this machine won’t let you down.
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