The GF-Ti vs. The posh bikes on The Cycle Show

I thought I’d save this blog until after the show was aired. Didn’t want to spoil the surprise.

Now a fair few people have asked me, how did my GF-Ti compare to the Ti Pretorius that I spent much of the weekend riding. A quick run through of the bike for you, it’s race geometry, Super Record 11, Zipp 303 Firecrests, Chris King Headset and Evne finsihing kit. Whereas the GF-Ti is more relaxed geometry, Dura-Ace with FSA SL-K cranks with Q-Rings, TRP brakes, Reynolds Assault wheels and FSA SL-K finishing kit.

Or in easier terms…you can build up a GF-Ti for a grand less!

So I’m expecting the Pretorius to be a bit more nippy, accelerate faster and be lighter. Now I don’t want to discredit it. It really is a beautiful bike, it’s smooth and stable with it’s fat headtube. However if I’m brutally honest it felt more of a mile eater than a race bike. It was weighed before it had pedals and bottle cages on at 7.25kg. The GF-Ti with pedals and cages was 7.4kg. It must be noted here that I’m a cheapskate with pedals and only ever put basic Look Keo’s on.

Not much in it then, except if you want to you can put full guards and racks on the GF-Ti and go off for an adventure.

I also took out the DeRosa Merak with Athena EPS and Fulcrum 7’s wheels. Now that was a racing bike! All carbon with beautiful flowing subtle lines, classy and quick. Same design seat post clamp as the Enve which made us all swear a bit. Apparently it’s much easier to use…yeah right! We gave up in the end an poor Matt Stevens rode along testing his child bearing hips, or lack of!

Now bike tests are tricky things as there’s very little in the way of a control. Too many different things to feel at once. I’d have liked to have swapped the wheels about to get more of a feel for the frames. Same for the tyres. The Pretorius had Schwalbe tyres on, I’m a conti girl, always have been, so when I jumped on the DeRosa with a nice sensible pair of GP4000s on I felt more like I zipped up the road even though they were on a cheaper wheelset.

The funny thing through all of the testing was thinking about my own bike. We went to ride Rosedale Chimney. Ali and I had been over this way last year but somehow managed to miss it. It’s been one for my tick list for ages. I was riding the DeRosa at this point. I’d been riding it less than 10 miles as we’d all swapped at the cafe. I really wanted my GF-Ti at this point. What puzzles me is why? Is it because I’m more used to it? Does it climb better? or is it because I built it up with climbing in mind? Whichever the answer it would have eaten that hill a lot easier!

We all chatted about which bikes we liked and didn’t and how they looked and worked. I’d spent the weekend riding bikes with Campagnolo, which for me is quite different. I grew up with Shimano. I’ve played with both Campagnolo and Shimano electric and would say, yes it does work beautifully. Auto trim is ace! The back you notice less of a difference. Shimano is smoother all round. I was naughty and avoided the bikes with SRAM on 😉 Would I buy it though if I was shopping? I’m not sure, I think I’d worry too much that something would go wrong or I wouldn’t know how to fix it (my mechanical knowledge is limited at the best of times, but I do enjoy learning).

It really made me apreciate the time that I put into researching all the pieces for the GF-Ti. The FSA SL-K bars just fit in my hands so well. Ali keeps telling me off for repeating this but it’s true! The GF-Ti is smooth and nippy, you stamp and it responds, much like the DeRosa. It’s an exciting ride and makes you want to ride more. Yet it has far more versatility than a pure race bike. Sometimes I think people are scared of selecting all the parts for a custom build or they worry they’ll get lost in a pile of components or that a fully built bike is more of a bargain. I disagree, you only get what you want that way. You’ll get a better fit which will make you want to go further. That can only be a good thing!

So three cheers for the GF-Ti, I couldn’t wait to get home and ride it! And no I wouldn’t swap it for any of the more expensive ones…except maybe to sell them, build a Kinesis and use the change to go on an adventure!  

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