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  #121  
Old 06-07-2019, 08:27 AM
Keith A's Avatar
Keith A Keith A is offline
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That turned out great. I'll be interested in your thoughts on the bike and Shimano after you put some miles on them.
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  #122  
Old 06-07-2019, 10:38 AM
8aaron8 8aaron8 is offline
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What a jaw dropper! I too look forward to reading more on your impressions.
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  #123  
Old 06-07-2019, 11:04 PM
EliteVelo EliteVelo is offline
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Thanks for looking. Learning curve for me, as I raced on Campagnolo as a junior, and have been using for longer than I can remember. The last Shimano product I rode was a Colnago C40 Mapei edition equipped with Dura-Ace.

Back in the day, the norm was Campy was just breaking in while Shimano wore out.

Fast forward to today......I have the opportunity to have EPS12 and Di2, which I'll provide a candid overview of both, along with a frame comparison as best I can.

Initial ride on Shimano Di2 is for lack of a better word, amazing! While I love the ergonomics of Campy, as it fits my hands, along with the new lower thumb lever, Shimano has left an impression I'll exacerbate on later after more miles.

This being said by a traditionalist, as far as function, both electronic groupsets work so well, I'll never go back to mech. Yes, I cannot believe I said it........... "I'LL NEVER GO BACK."

Braking.....I use brakes to slow me down. No need to stop on a dime. Go fast, brake last....period. I have Record, SuperRecord, and CaneCreek EE brakes. That said, the Dura-Ace brakes are my new standard. The modulation is as good as Cane Creek, if not better.

Anyway.....I'll attempt to provide a better review after more miles on both Campy EPS12 and Di2, along with overviews of Titanium vs Carbon vs Aluminium. I'll attempt to provide a comparison vs steel, but the last steel frame I rode was a Bilenky Reynolds 753. With any luck I'll have Aaron or Kirk build me something in today's timeframe to lend an overview of all materials.
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  #124  
Old 06-12-2019, 09:01 PM
EliteVelo EliteVelo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith A View Post
That turned out great. I'll be interested in your thoughts on the bike and Shimano after you put some miles on them.
Let me start by saying I’m in no means a professional writer, and of course this is just an opinion.

Frame:

Cryptic CC1 by builder Kevin Fickling
Molded Carbon with boron fiber, innegra, and kevlar used throughout the build process, pre-impregnated with a two part epoxy. Tubes are all made in house, allowing Kevin complete control over fiber orientation, wall thickness, and tube diameter based on my requirements. Bonded together in a frame fixture, each junction receives an overlay of carbon to build strength where needed.
*
Build:

Shimano 11 sp Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 36-52 front 11-30 rear
Shimano Dura-Ace C24 clincher wheelset with Vittoria 25mm tires
External rear brake cabling
Enve fork
Enve seatpost
MCFK stem custom wrapped to an Enve bar eliminating all hardware.
Cane Creek headset
Berk Lupina saddle
Elite cages


I’ll start by saying that everything I’ve ridden in the past, until a recent Campagnolo SR EPS12 gruppo, all my frames have been mechanical by choice. I never felt the need for disc brakes on a road bike, nor electronic shifting as a properly built mechanical setup works perfectly.

Well…..after I’ve ridden EPS and Di2, I cannot go back to mechanical. Call it “new bike syndrome” or yeah….”it’s only because it’s new” is not the case. This stuff works so amazingly well, and given the fact there are no cables, other than brake, I’m sold. I’ve killed enough derailleur cables in my day…..

Braking…..I’ve read and heard from many others that all brakes manufactured today are compared to Shimano. I never particularly read too much into that, as I use brakes to slow me down, as I have no need to stop on a dime. Go fast, brake last so to speak. Interestingly enough, now I know, and believe first hand what all the rage is about. These damn brakes are amazing! The engineering and modulation you get from these is second to none.

My opinion and those interested to know the difference between the aforementioned, other than braking, there are none. Both do what they are meant to do…..effortlessly. For me, and I’ll assume others, it comes down to ergonomics and aesthetics. That being said, I’ll give the nod to Campy for two reasons. First, the brake hoods fit my hands, and second, the entire gruppo is “arte in movemento” Plain and simple, just elegant.

Ride report:

I’ll skip all the re-written/ half plagiarized dialogue of those paid to write reports.

I have always compared every carbon frame I’ve ever owned to Colnago’s C40. The C40 was so far ahead of its time it was always my favorite frame. I’ve ridden multiple examples of the C40, an E1, C59, and C60, and always revert back to the C40. For me, Kevin’s Cryptic exceeds the C40. Not only is it built for my requirements in mind, and extends my belief that a custom frame is far better than any off the shelf example, it has all the characteristics of the C40 that I enjoyed. Comfort, stiffness where needed, acceleration, descending confidence, and all while being lighter. Trust me, I am not by any means a “weight conscious” guy. I would rather be confident on what’s underneath me than be worried about weight or product failure. This frame just did everything well. A lot of people mention that carbon has a “dead feeling” to it. Not the case here. The Cryptic was so spirited it allowed me the feeling that I could race a crit on it. Trust me…..I won’t…..but I could. It’s as stiff as a monocoque frame without the harshness of one. The full carbon cockpit up front gives you the maximum shock absorbing characteristics that carbon fiber allows. I can’t say enough about the MCFK stem and Enve bar wrapped by Kevin, eliminating all hardware. The up front handling is by far the most compliant/stiffest setup I’ve ever ridden.

Most everyone can agree that wheels will add or subtract from the inherent ride quality of a frame. Personally, I’m in the top percent that agree that they can make or break your ride. Since I’m a tubular junkie, I was reluctant, yet intrigued as to how clinchers would react/feel. Long story short, I was impressed. The C24 wheels spin forever, while the Vittoria tyres where plenty soft at 90 PSI. I plan on using a custom 35mm profile tubular rim from DSD Composites mounted with Veloflex in the near future.

The frequent question I get from forum members and those I have the opportunity to ride with on group rides is “What frame do you like the best?” Great question, and I’ll attempt an unbiased approach to the answer as follows:

After selling and giving away multiple frames/complete bikes, my stable consists of 1 carbon Bertoletti, 1 carbon Cryptic, 1 Titanium Bertoletti IL RE, and 1 Aluminium Bertoletti Giau.

Long story short and not to bore anyone any longer, every one of the aforementioned has a purpose for what I need now. Carbon for training rides over 2 hours when the elevation gets steep with 2-4K ft of climbing, Titanium for 2 plus hours of steady pace in a group over rolling terrain, and Aluminium for the occasional training criterium, or short, fast solo efforts when you just want to suffer.

Last edited by EliteVelo; 06-12-2019 at 09:12 PM.
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  #125  
Old 06-12-2019, 10:07 PM
Lanternrouge Lanternrouge is offline
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FWIW, these are among the few carbon bikes I find particularly lustful. Maybe you will have a 2020 Black Friday Sale
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  #126  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:21 PM
Keith A's Avatar
Keith A Keith A is offline
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Thanks for the review and awesome pictures. Too bad Kevin is getting out of the bike building business, but it sounds like you have a winner. I hope you have many happy miles on it.
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  #127  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:42 PM
EliteVelo EliteVelo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanternrouge View Post
FWIW, these are among the few carbon bikes I find particularly lustful. Maybe you will have a 2020 Black Friday Sale
Thank you for saying. I particularly like the traditional round tubes myself. As far as sale, it's a tough market......there's always a sale in my book. I'll help out whenever you're ready.
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  #128  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:44 PM
EliteVelo EliteVelo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith A View Post
Thanks for the review and awesome pictures. Too bad Kevin is getting out of the bike building business, but it sounds like you have a winner. I hope you have many happy miles on it.
Thanks Keith. It is a shame, but I'm happy for him since he's following his passion with photography. The guy is super talented in that department as well.
I know of 1 left in a 54cm TT that is ready for paint if anyone is interested.
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  #129  
Old 06-14-2019, 02:40 PM
Lanternrouge Lanternrouge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliteVelo View Post
Thank you for saying. I particularly like the traditional round tubes myself. As far as sale, it's a tough market......there's always a sale in my book. I'll help out whenever you're ready.
These are actually a great value when you compare them to the molded offerings from some of the big brands. Unfortunately major house expenses have killed my bike budget for a while. Part of those expenses have at least gone to properly curating the bikes I already have built. If my wife manages to win some mega millions, I will be ordering something right away.
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