Handling — What does that mean, anyway?
As a race car driver, I mean something very particular when I talk about handling. For me, handling is about how (and how quickly) the car responds to driver inputs while at the limits of grip on the racetrack. Does the front end tend to wash out upon the entry to a corner? Does the rear end increase its slide if the throttle is reduced?
Race car drivers obsess about these things and how race car suspension changes — springs, shocks, tire pressure, wheel alignment — will affect them.
At Vendetta, we know how to build a bicycle that optimizes specific handling traits.
When I went car shopping with my mom a few years ago, I was shocked to hear that one thing she wanted was a “good handling” car. After a bit of conversation, I discovered that what she meant by handling was completely different than what I meant.
She wanted a car that was easy to maneuver into a parking spot at the store. She wanted a combination of small size, tight turning circle, and light steering effort. None of these attributes even registered on my race-oriented definition of handling.
So the first rule of handling is that different people mean different things. This is just as true for bikes as it is for cars, if not more so.
One of the best things about building custom bicycles is that we can start with a specific riders desires and build a unique bike around those needs. Handling often involves tradeoffs, and it is important that these tradeoffs be optimized for the rider and intended use.
A great example is the handling decisions we made when building a track bike for Conor. He has a lot of track riding and bike handling experience, and he likes a responsive bike.
This responsiveness comes at the expense of some loss of stability, but this is a perfect tradeoff for a bike that needs to slice through the pack on the track but will never freewheel downhill at 50 mph.
At Vendetta, we know how to build a bicycle that optimizes specific handling traits, and we take the time to get to know you and your riding style so that you get the handling that you want.