I’ve dubbed my R3D the "Ballerina in Combat boots." Classic R3/R5 frame (super quick and speedy) with a massively strong set of HED wheels & Shimano brakes worthy of Sonoma County roads! The R3D is by far the favorite of all the road bikes I've ridden in Sonoma and Napa County roads (and there have been several).
By now, I have a total of 850 miles on the R3D and here’s what I’ve learned...
The R3D is awesome for:
- Rough Roads, the light frame and burly wheel set-up allows you to power through anything and still retain a stable, smooth feeling ride.
- Group rides, I nailed my fair share of un-called out pot holes today. R3D made my ride feel like I was wrapped in velvet.
- Braking/going down hill, not much needs to be said here. It’s an R3 (strong fork for excellent handling) with really really good (DISC!) brakes.
- Weight of disc brake addition is almost not noticeable. Because the weight is mainly centered around the hubs, I can barely feel the it while riding. (It climbs really well)
- Style, an all black bike? Yes please!
- This bike is PERFECT for people that like a snappy, fast bike, that's tons of FUN
Reasons I might hesitate to recommend this to certain customers:
- Geometry: it’s a little aggressive with a shorter wheel base, which makes for quick handling. I love that about it, some people may want a wider wheel base for a bit more stability.
- Not a true "gravel bike", don't assume that disc brakes = gravel machine. I’ve spent a little time off road on it, and the bike is great in a pinch or for infrequent gravel trips, but that short wheel base keeps it from really settling down, and the recommended tire width on the stock HED wheels is 25. For folks who plan ride gravel or fire roads often, the C3 or C5 will be a much better choice.
- Components: The bike is only offered with Ultegra mechanical. So folks that want to spec it with a higher-end drivetrain would end up with some spare components. I would possibly suggest Dura-Ace Di2 or Ultegra Di2.
Putting in these miles has answered a ton of questions I had about the R3D, I think this bike is exactly what people are looking for! This things rips, I suggest you purchase one for yourself!