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December 9, 2011

Sheldon Smart, over at the bikeridr blog, has been competing in the Alberta cross season, astride a Perfecta Cross Bike. The bike was kindly loaned by SRI Importing, and appears to have worked wonders for Sheldon. Sadly he’s had to hand the bike back, but not before he had the chance to write a review and shoot this great video, showing off the stunning Perfecta. A big thanks to Sheldon for letting me reproduce this:

“I heard it said once, that having beauty around us in our day-to-day lives greatly enhances our overall quality of life, which I would have to agree with – especially when beauty comes in the form of a bike. In my opinion, the VINER Perfecta that I rode this season, is as as nice to look at as it is to ride and race. And that goes a long way with me because admittedly I enjoy things that operate exceptionally well, but also look good do it – form and function come together in this bike like the two halves of DNA’s double helix.

There’s little question, that the fact that this bike is designed and handmade in Italy, plays into why it looks the way it does. Everything from the unique contours of the top tube, the subtly flared chainstays, to the colour scheme, all make this an unquestionable work of cycling art that literally makes me happier when I see it. And it didn’t just have this effect on me – not a race went by when I didn’t have at least one person come up and ask about that bike and comment on how nice it was. There aren’t many CX bikes out there that can do that.

Now looks, though important, do only go so far. So on the performance side, simply put, this is the best bike I’ve ever ridden and raced. I’ve become partial to the feel of the full carbon frame, which somehow delivers both the responsiveness and stiffness you want in a race, and the comfort you need to keep from having your teeth rattled free from your skull. Initially I was luke warm on the Campi set up, but as the season went on, I came to enjoy that as well – consistently precise, crisp shifting just came to be expected. To me, the only downside to this bike is the wheel set it came with. Fulcrum Racing 7 CXs, aren’t a bad wheel set; they are strong, and track high speed corners really well, but they are a heavy wheel set choice in relation to such a high-end frame as light as this one. If you put a lighter set of wheels on this bike, it would be scream like a lunatic with its hair on fire!

So, even though the CX season still rolls on strong in US right now, I lament that the race season here in Alberta is long over, and I am sitting here reluctantly concluding my review of this bike with this post. Handing this bike back over to SRI Importing will be sad affair.

For those of you looking for something a little out of the ordinary, a CX bike that’s not only fast and light, and all those good things, but also has something special about it, a level of design passion you might not find in a bike from one of the larger manufacturers, a handmade Italian VINER Perfecta just might be for you.”

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