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.