Opus bikes: Andante review
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    .je is online now
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    Aug 2012

    Smile Opus bikes: Andante review

    I was recently at a bike show looking to buy a carbon road bike, and there were a lot of shops selling off 2012 inventory. My target was $1400 or so, so that limited my options. In previous weeks I'd tried out a Tarmac Comp ($2500 heavily discounted) that was by far my fave, but more than I was going to spend. I also liked a 2011 Madone 5.2 that had some kind of Bontrager RL wheels, but at $2100, again, more than I wanted to spend (it would have been the best deal of any if I wanted to spend that, maybe I should have jumped on it). I found a Madone 3.1 with Apex (which I didn't think I could get on with, but I liked the position on), and this Opus Andante, with 105 that I wanted, in size 54.
    I liked the H2 geometry of the 3.1 of any bike I've tried, this Opus was pretty close, and I thought I'd be able to mimic it. Here is the spec for 2012, I don't think they've changed it for this year or since 2008 even. It's lighter than the other bikes I saw in this range, by at least a half to a pound, if that's important.
    Opus Bikes Andante

    They're assembled in Montreal, from parts originally made anywhere (that means China, but your Pinarello is just like that too).

    Geo chart:
    I measured the stack and reach, and to about 2mm, they're 530mm and 389mm
    Notable: The ETT is fairly long, the wheelbase is fairly long (990mm), but the head tube is not relaxed: it says 140mm, but it's 120mm, and the dust cap is the extra 20mm. There's also 30mm of spacers (since I have an alu steerer), so it can get not too far from endurance geo without the stem up.

    I've found approximately 0 reviews of riding this thing, even in French.

    It's been colder than it usually is early this year, and I don't like riding in traffic, so I only have 1200km on the bike so far since March 1

    What I like:
    • It's very stable, as promised.
    • It goes well when you pedal it, it's easy to get to speed and keep it up there. BB stiffness is plenty for the hundreds of milliwatts that I pump out on a regular basis.
    • It is more stretched than H2, in my opinion, approx. how I wanted (H2 was a little short without using a longer stem).
    • Bar position was harder to adjust to for some reason, but it might be from the short-reach bars and hood type that I wasn't used to, or the drop. When I lowered it more, I liked it more.
    • The longer wheelbase is less bumpy in the back, but the front transmits more bumps than the rear does.
    • Front end responds well when you point it.
    • I think the carbon frame is impressive to be as light as it is, but seems to lack some of the engineering for comfort and non-isometric stiffness that you might get in pricier bikes, especially at the front. It is, however, stiff enough for a fast recreational rider like me (even with BSA BB, which I think isn't a difference-maker), in fact it's probably quite stiff, just going by the ride. It's so much less jittery than the 1.1 I had before, even accounting for tire pressures.
    • It looks fantastic. People stare and nod their heads. They do, I am serious.

    What I don't like:
    • I didn't really know this beforehand, but after many hours, I think I'd prefer a bike that's more of a handler than this (probably like that 3.1)
    • It's stable, like advertised. Very stable, even on descents (straight descents). A bit like riding the cardboard box that the bike probably came in.
    • The front steers quickly enough, but the rear doesn't track it as quickly. The 1-series Trek that I had before was a lot twitchier and handled more fluidly; the web site even tells you the Andante is designed for stability. Sometimes I worry that a 2-lane subdivision road isn't wide enough to turn around in.
    • I liked the Aksium wheels, until I hit a really big pothole that un-trued both wheels, and turned the rear wheel into kind of an ellipse, now it has a 1/8" hop in it (just like this one) that can't be taken out, except hopefully by stress cycling of regular use. One can hope (to be fair, I thought I might have cracked the fork too, thankfully I didn't). Without thinking about it, it's not noticeable on regular roads. Also, these spokes never seem to be the same tension now, and they play a very pretty symphony when they roll slowly. I rather like the tires, they roll without much resistance, with comfort.
    • The provided 250mm seat post isn't long enough on this size if you have a 32.5" inseam. I mean it probably is, but there's that maximum limit line, and it's right at, or 1/4" past, the top tube, if you think that's going to explode into shrapnel (for reference: http://forums.roadbikereview.com/com...ak-302376.html)
    • The housings under the bars for the shifter cables provided are too short. If you raise the bars even 10mm, which is how it is pictured above (as much as you can with the alu steerer, without flipping the stem), they rub hard against the head tube.
    • The white bar tape is everything everyone says it is.

    Everything else is standard parts you know about. I'm pretty happy with the bike, and after a scant few months am now ready to plop down thousands more for one that more completely suits my mercurial tastes.

    If you'd like to know any more, or can suggest other things to comment on, post it here, I'll answer them.
    Last edited by .je; 06-14-2013 at 01:42 PM.

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