Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra

Item # NB-CR4

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Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra

Every time Nashbar introduces a new carbon road bike, it gets more tricked out, more weight weenie-ish, more race-ready, and more drool worthy--well, this time we're just getting plain ridiculous. The new Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike has no Achilles heel, no boat anchor parts, just bliss from the bar tape to the tires.

The CR4 Carbon Monocoque frame is this-season's best industry technology with a tapered head tube and full carbon fork to make the setup so responsive to your pedal stroke that you'll be inspired from the start. And speaking of pedal strokes, not one iota of your strength will go to waste with an oversize BB-30 bottom bracket anchoring the frameset. Not only is weight saved by eliminating the cups, but the stiffness is quite simply sublime. With so much more surface area up for grabs to attach the down tube, seat tube and chainstays -- plus room for a stout 30mm bottom bracket spindle -- deflection from all those watts you're producing is just not a worry. But don't let all this talk about stiffness worry you about comfort, because the wonders of carbon are evident in the stays which are shaped to further reduce road vibration.

With so much awesomeness going on with the frame, this featherweight filly deserves -- and most assuredly receives -- a component package to match. Gram for gram, dollar for dollar, you'd be hard-pressed to find a finer choice than Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-speed and we've spec'd plenty of it: shift/brake levers, crankset, front derailleur, rear derailleur, and cassette. The shifting is just perfect while the compact 50/34T crankset ensures you can both tame any climb as well as contest rip roaring county line sprints. You'll be blown away by how well this stuff works as so much functionality, precision, and reliability has trickled down from big brother Dura-Ace that Ultegra is a tour de force in its own right. Look closely at the pro peloton and you'll see ballers on budgets winning big-time races on Ultegra 11-speed equipped rigs.

Shimano also cranks out remarkable wheels and the RS11s are a paragon of versatility. Their 24mm-deep aluminum rims strike a balance between aerodynamics and handling while stainless steel bladed spokes, 16 front and 20 rear, will slice through the wind with aplomb. But these hoops aren't just for race day as they're sturdy and reliable enough to put through the paces day-in and day-out. There's no skimping regarding rubber, too, as folding Hutchinson Equinox 2 tires are a true all-around, all-weather performer with dual compound treads and a compliant, resilient casing.

It's only appropriate that a bike begging to be pushed to the limits has a plethora of Full Speed Ahead parts throughout. The renowned manufacture of high-end aluminum goodness is the perfect choice for the handlebars, stem, brakes, bottom bracket, and seatpost. FSA's Omega compact bars are ergonomic wonders that are double butted for strength while the cold forged Gossamer brakes will handle the drop out of warp drive with the utmost confidence.

All-in-all we're talking about a built-for-speed road racing machine that can climb, spin, and attack with the best of them. This bike is one of cycling's best secrets...but it won't stay under wraps for long.

  • CR4 Carbon Monocoque frame is stiff, powerful, and ultra light
  • Full carbon fork with tapered steerer for unparalleled steering response
  • Full 11-speed Ultegra drivetrain...no filler parts...all Ultegra
  • Shimano WH-RS-11 alloy wheelset is light, great for climbing/sprinting, and has 24mm height and aero spokes for reduced drag
  • Ultegra 50/34T crankset has light Hollowtech technology and is compact for better versatility
Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra
  • FRAME Full Unidirectional Carbon Monocoque 1-1/8" to 1-1/2" tapered Head tube with BB30
  • FORK Full Carbon UD Racing Fork Steerer tapered 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"
  • HEADSET FSA Orbit C-40
  • CRANKSET Shimano FC-6800, Ultegra Hollowtech, 50X34T
  • BOTTOM BRACKET FSA with BB30 Adapter
  • SHIFTERS Shimano Ultegra 6800
  • LEVERS Shimano Ultegra 6800
  • HANDLEBAR FSA Omega Compact road handlebar
  • STEM FSA OS-150
  • FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra 6800
  • REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Ultegra 6800
  • CASSETTE Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-25
  • BRAKES FSA Gossamer
  • WHEELSET Shimano WH-RS-11
  • TIRES Hutchinson Equinox II
  • PEDALS N/A
  • SEATPOST FSA SL-280-31.6mm
  • SADDLE Prologo Nago EVO T2
  • CHAIN KMC 11-speed
  • GRIPS/TAPE Velo VLT
  • RACK MOUNTS None
  • Rating 4.5

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra
 
4.5

(based on 34 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (28)
  • Handles well (25)
  • Responsive (25)
  • Fast (24)
  • Comfortable (19)

Cons

  • Uncomfortable seat (11)
  • Brakes could be better (10)

Best Uses

  • Exercising (20)
  • Serious training (18)
  • Racing (16)
  • Climbing (15)
  • Casual riding (14)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid cyclist (26), Casual/ recreational (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (32)

Reviewed by 34 customers

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5.0

Great value...

By RJ

from Detroit, MI

About Me Avid Cyclist

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fast
  • Good Geometry
  • Handles Well
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive

Cons

  • Uncomfortable Seat

Best Uses

  • Exercising
  • Racing

Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

After much back and forth with my 'self proclaimed bike snob friends', I went with this bike as my first road bike (100% mountain biker previously). Couldn't be happier! Light, responsive, and with the same (or better) components as my friends for much (MUCH) cheaper.

Only comments I'd have to 'sight unseen buyers': 1) Finish is... well, unfinished. If you're expecting a beautiful bike this is not it, but it's a workhorse. You can't see the inconsistencies when you're looking from a distance, but riding you will notice them. I plan to paint this winter so not a deal breaker for me by any means. 2) Pay attention to geometry chart! I am 5'9.5" and the 52 fits me perfect since it actually measures closer to a 55. Had I got the 56 like I was thinking I'd need it would have been WAY too large, measuring at about a 59.

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  • No

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5.0

Love my new bike

By Jim

from Versailles, Ky

About Me Casual/ Recreational

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Good Geometry
  • Handles Well
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive

Cons

  • Brakes Could Be Better

Best Uses

  • Casual Riding
  • Climbing
  • Serious Training

Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

I ride 100 or so miles a week and find the bike comfortable. I took the bike to my local bike shop to be assembled; having asked first. Without thinking I left the invoice in the box. The mechanic said I got a great buy, they could not have come close to the price with the same components. I only have 300 miles on it but love it.

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  • No

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5.0

Good bike -great value

By Bob

from Florida-New York

About Me Avid Cyclist

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Fast
  • Handles Well
  • Lightweight
  • Ultegra Components

Cons

  • Plain Stealth Finish

Best Uses

  • Casual Riding
  • Climbing
  • Exercising
  • Racing
  • Serious Training

Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

I ride flat terrain (Florida) in the winter and very hilly Finger Lakes roads in the summer. I have about 400 miles on the bike now so I am just getting used to it. My other bike is a 10 SPD. Dura Ace Kestrel Carbon that was more than twice the price of the CR4. So far I am very pleased with the Cr4. The new Ultegra 11 SPD shifts beautifully. Probably better than my Dura Ace 10spd. The bike has a more relaxed riding position but absorbs bumps nicely. I have lowered the handlebars considerably and added a lighter carbon seat post. The RS11 wheels are smooth and quiet but a little on the hefty side (1848g.) I will upgrade these and keep them for back ups. Had the bike over 40 a few times and it feels secure and smooth. It was a super value when on sale with 20% additional discount. Guess I am different because I actually like the seat that came on the bike. Works for me. The bike was very well packed and arrived in perfect condition. I assembled it myself (very easy). Head tube and front dérailleur needed adjusting but the rear derailleur was spot on. The handlebars are shallow drops so it has been easier for me to ride in the drops for long periods. I am 5-9" and bought a 54 cm.which works but the bike does feel a bit bigger than my 53cm Kestrel. Maybe A 52 in the Cr4 would have worked also. Just something to question before purchasing.
I am happy with my purchase.

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5.0

Great Value for themoney

By Fasteddie Park City

from Boulder City, NV

About Me Avid Cyclist

Pros

  • Fast
  • Handles Well
  • Lightweight
  • Responsive

Cons

  • Brakes Could Be Better

Best Uses

  • Climbing
  • Exercising
  • Racing
  • Serious Training

Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

Bought it with incentives. After reading other helpful reviews, used the savings for Dura Ace pedals and brakes, on sale, of course, and traded out the acceptable FSR Gossamers for more stopping power. If you upgrade, get new brake cables due to the longer articulation of Dura Ace brakes.
6'1", 190 lbs, 63 yrs old, marathoner, Mbiker etc aging athlete, and ready for the carbon. Bought the 56 inch, and adjusted seat forward but no stem replacement needed, fits fine. If I was 5'11, I'd suggest the 54 inch. This bike is not for beginners, its a serious, stiff racer, and not for rough pavement conditions. Seat is just fine despite reviews, if you are advanced. It's unpainted, so finishing touches do show in sunlight, but who cares; you'll be passing your critics. Ultegra adjusted is smooth as silk.
Arrived well cared for. With a modicum of ability and good allen wrenches, most of the setup was easy. Went slow and deliberate, took about 2hrs. High gear needed a barrel adjustment, and slight derailleur screw adjustment. A stand helps. Took another hour to get brakes changed out, got new brake cables too. Huthchinson Tires are for racing, will wear em out and replace with Gators, most likely. Geared for climbing unless you are out of shape.
The bottom bracket squeaks a bit, and others have noted too, if it persists, off to LBS for final tweaks. Hopefully Nashbar will get better at this.
So, for under 2k, I didn't have to buy used, have a new 56 mm carbon framed 16/20 wheelset, Ultegra drivetrain with Dura Ace brakes and pedals, it's got Nashbars satisfaction guarantee behind it, and I'd have to pay close for a nice used, schlep to locate, and compromise whatever. So this makes it a slam dunk deal, for those of you like me who want speed and responsiveness. If your not at the very top of the foodchain, this is a nice economical performance based sweetspot for your hard earned cash. So, buy it and come on out and ride the River Mountain Trail Loop with me here in Vegas!

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5.0

A great light-weight road bike--perfect for long days in the

By Jeff

from Mountain Home, AR

About Me Avid Cyclist

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Riding
      • Commuting
      • Racing

      Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

      When the Nashbar CR4 became available at about the same price I paid ten years ago for my road bike, I couldn't resist. Here was a chance to try a carbon frame for the price of the components that I would eventually be replacing on my current frame anyway. Then, too, I like the no-nonsense, stealth black design of the CR4. If companies want to advertise on my bike, they should pay me for wearing their labels.

      My new CR4 arrived a month ago and I've had a chance to build it up and put about 750 miles on it. My initial intention was to wait for a torque wrench from Amazon before giving all of the bolts a final tightening and taking the bike on the road--but you know how that goes. I tightened stuff as I normally do and everything has been fine . . . but I do recommend using the torque wrench to avoid over-tightening and cracking the carbon.

      I'm 6'2" and bought a size 56 cm frame (the largest). I was able to set up the bike so that it fits me perfectly with all of the measurements closely matching those on my current rig, but the frame might be too small for taller riders. The bike weighs about 17 to pounds without pedals so it is a little heavier than my Motobecane. That minor weight difference is explained by the slightly heavier wheelset and seatpost. Once I swapped out the Shimano RS11 wheels (1800 grams) for some Vuelta Corsa SLR wheels (~1400 grams) that I already owned, the weight of the bike (with pedals and two bottle cages) is hovering around 16.5 pounds. However, I quite like the Shimano RS11 wheels and don't particularly recommend replacing them. While they are heavier, the rims are true and they seem fast enough.

      The bicycle was packaged well and arrived with no damage. Everything is almost exactly as I expected. The only surprise--and a pleasant one--is that the specs on the website list an 11x25 cassette, but my bike arrived with an 11x28. I live in a hilly area, and it is definitely nice to stay in the saddle spinning a high cadence over the small hills and rollers.

      The wheelbase of the Nashbar is a slightly shorter 98 cm, compared with 102 cm on my Motobecane. The reach to the hoods and drops is also a little shorter (about 3 cm), which gives me a slightly more erect posture on the bike. This is desirable for comfort on long rides; perhaps less so for time trials or racing. All in all, I'd say this is the most comfortable road bike I have ridden. And if I should want a racing position, I can easily lower the handlebars by changing the stacking of the spacers.

      The paintless, matte-black carbon frame is attractive in a decidedly subdued way. There are slight variations in the carbon finish, but the frame is stylish in its refusal to be showy. Reviewers often comment on the shock absorption of carbon fiber frames. Maybe the minor vibrations of chip-and-seal roads are somewhat muted, but bumpy pavement still feels bumpy. The cushiony new handlebar tape and slightly less weight on the bars (because of my more upright position) may contribute more to the comfortable ride than the frame material.

      The new Ultegra components and new cables lead to quick shifting. The eleven-speed cassette offers a nice range of gears. I love having the 28 on the steepest of sections (even if I try not to use it). The internal cable routing is aerodynamic and attractive, but I can't yet say how much I like it.

      One problem I've already encountered is that my frame arrived with crossed cables in the downtube, leading to slightly "mushy" or imprecise shifting. The way to test for this is to flip the bike over so that it rests on the handlebars and saddle. Then shift into the biggest chainring and the biggest cassette ring and turn the crank arms a few times while also putting a little resistance on the rear tire. Now, put your finger on the exposed cassette shift cable where it passes over the bottom bracket. Without turning the crank arms at all, shift down from the big ring. This releases the tension on the front derailleur cable, but it should have no effect at all on the cassette cable. If you feel a slight movement in the cassette cable, it means that the cables are crossed inside the downtube. To fix that you need to remove the cassette cable, tighten the front derailleur cable, and re-thread the cassette cable. You'll have to "fish" for the end of the cable inside the downtube. To do that, remove the plastic piece near the bottom bracket (through which the end of the cable will eventually pass). This exposes a 1/2" x 1/4" opening into the downtube. Bend the end of a paper clip into a little hook that you can slide into this gap and fish out the cable as you feed it through the frame. You may not snag it on your first try. Be patient.

      Some previous reviewers have complained about a creaking bottom bracket. I have not had that problem. In fact, when I first unpacked my new bike, I could see see a bead of grease that had been squeezed out from the threads of the bottom bracket.

      The handlebars are a bit narrower and more compact than those on my other two road bikes. No doubt this leads to some savings in weight. There is little affect on performance.

      The Prologo saddle is superb. When speaking of road bikes, it is, perhaps an oxymoron to use the phrase "comfortable saddle," but the Prologo is light while still providing a bit of cushioning.

      All in all, this is a great light-weight road bike--perfect for long days in the saddle but probably also suitable for racing.

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      5.0

      Nice Bike

      By Dolph

      from Summit, NJ

      About Me Avid Cyclist

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • Fast
      • Good Geometry
      • Handles Well
      • Lightweight
      • Responsive

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Climbing
        • Exercising

        Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

        Like several others, I was eyeing this bike for a while and purchased it at a hefty discount. Great bike for the $.

        I'm 5'11" 180 lbs and purchased the 54cm. The stem was a bit long so I replaced it with an 80mm. Now it fits me very well.

        A couple of things. Have put a couple hundred miles on it and I think the saddle is great -the most comfortable I have ever ridden. And the brakes are fine. The first time I rode the bike they were quite stiff but after several rides they have broken in and perform comparably to the Shimano brakes (Dura Ace and 105) that I have on my other bikes. I'd suggest that you take a couple of rides before you decide to swap out the brakes (unless of course you just want a full Ultegra set).

        The bike is light and stiff. Compared to my old Titanium bike it is noticably stiffer on climbs. I like the oversized BB. Handles very well too and is relatively comfortable on the rough Jersey roads.

        Shifts very well - no problems there (would not expect any with Ultegra.)

        The bike was packed well and adjusted well. Did some minor truing up with the front brake and the front derallieur but nothing major.

        The only downsides are that the wheels are bit heavy (but bulletproof) and the frame's color is a bit splotchy. But all in all a great bike with very nice components and a screaming value!

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        • No

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        4.0

        Great bike for the price

        By jeller

        from Ohio

        About Me Avid Cyclist

        Pros

        • Comfortable
        • Fast
        • Good Geometry
        • Handles Well
        • Lightweight
        • Responsive

        Cons

        • Uncomfortable Seat

        Best Uses

        • Casual Riding
        • Serious Training

        Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

        I have had this bike for two years now with an earlier version. The frame is beautiful and the ride is smooth. I changed the seat immediately and soon after put on better tires. It's a great bike and well worth the price.

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        • No

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        (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        love it

        By cubabella

        from Englewood nj

        About Me Competitive Cyclist

        See all my reviews

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Racing

          Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

          Hello I'm bay this bike last month is very lightweight and the components is great love in general, bad the only complaint is about the color in the picture looks black, bad is like brown color I not like this color for the rest is great bike ...

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          Great buy!

          By Bad Joe

          from Silver Spring, MD

          About Me Avid Cyclist

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast
          • Good Geometry
          • Handles Well
          • Lightweight
          • Responsive

          Cons

          • Uncomfortable Seat

          Best Uses

          • Exercising

          Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

          I have been following this bike waiting for it to go on sale. I had checked around to numerous other sites as well as our local stores. This had the best bang for the buck. The other reviews were correct about the seat and the brakes. I replaced them both. I love the bike, I like the black matt finish. Everybody asks me what brand it is. I am only giving this a 4 because of the seat and brakes.

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          • No

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          4.0

          Worth every penny

          By Gator Josh

          from Tallahassee Fl

          About Me Avid Cyclist

          Pros

          • Fast
          • Lightweight
          • Responsive

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Nashbar CR4 Carbon Road Bike - 11 Speed Ultegra:

              I ride about 40-50 miles a week at about 18mph. I wanted a carbon ultegra bike and this was the only way I would ever get on one. Waited for a sale and got a deal on the CR-4. The bike showed up packaged well but had a couple bent spokes on the front rim. Nashbar offered to send a new bike but I had been waiting on this one for a while so I just declined and replaced the spokes. I took the bike to a local shop to have it tuned, torqued, trued, and lubed. Also had it fitted. The shop commented that it was a large 54 and could be measured a 55+. I'm 5'8.5" and I rode a 54 giant with 105 and the geometry was a bit larger on the CR-4. Luckily the shop was willing to swap stems because the stock stem was too long, as a matter of fact after the first ride I'll have to go down another stem size. It's hard to say if the 52 would have fit better. I suspect I'd be somewhere in the middle. Now, onto the first ride. 25 mile shake down this morning. No creaks squeaks or anything. Ride is smooth but stiff. When you step on the gas the bike responds. Shifting is incredible, butter smooth. I'd like to have ultegra brakes but the FSA brakes did just fine. Didn't get a chance to weigh it yet but it's pretty close to my dad's Giant TCR with 105. I would not hesitate recommending the CR-4. It's the best way I see an average person to get on a full carbon ultegra bike. Finish is as has been previously mentioned but quality is very nice. Saddles are personal preference and I'm not sure if this one is right for me. I've been riding a cut out and may have to go back to one.

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