One of the problems with trying to buy a carbon-drive bike is that typically frames come only in Men’s sizes. Frames usually have dimensions measured something like this:
Trying a friends Scott Sub-like carbon-belt model in early January 2016 indicated that while A was good, the top frame size (B) was a problem. It was actually a little uncomfortable even on a S Mens frame: men are typically proportionately longer through the torso and arms. The B measurement is critical: for me, anything which is more than 54 cm would just feel wrong. But frame proportions also vary substantially between models; so trying before buying is worthwhile.
So, I visited the Cambridge branch of Evans. The upshot of the shop visit was that, out of the hundreds of frames in there, there were no similar frames in size S. This is a shame. Carbon-belts are maintenance free, clean, and a lovely smooth ride. But if there are no S sizes most women, and many men, cant even try them.
I could at least ask for one to try – it should arrive in about 7 days. The Scott Sub wasn’t available. So I’ve ordered the more muesli-themed Alpenchallenge, which is roughly equivalent to a high-end Scott Sub.
Its less aggressive than the Stoater in terms of ride position. In an urban bike this may well be a good thing. But its apparently a fast and enjoyable ride. Looking forward to seeing if it lives up to its online blurb.