Monday, 18 November 2013

Custom Enigma Etape Update: Final Set-Up

I think the fit set-up is now pretty much final: 

10mm set-back seatpost has been fitted to accommodate the "sitting further back" effects of the... 

This is a new saddle I've been riding since July, which has completely resolved the intermittent-torture-sessions experienced with previous saddles.

I had planned to write a separate post about this saddle. I'm still not sure if I will or not. It's a very unusual saddle. Whether it works for you is really down to personal requirements and preferences. I've discussed the pros and cons of this saddle with a number of real-life friends who have, to date, not had much success in their mission to solve saddle pain. Each conversation has been so specific and tailored that I've decided a write-up may not be of much help to someone seeking my views on this saddle over the Internet.

On the other hand, there is so little information available on-line about this saddle -- particularly in the form of a product review by an 'ordinary' cyclist -- that perhaps I should get something out there just so that something potentially useful comes up in a Google(TM) search -- even if only to enable someone to rule it out as a possible. 

Meanwhile, what I can and will say is, if you're searching for a solution and interested in more information about this particular saddle and the types of problems it can help with, one thing you really 'must' read (carefully and more than once) is this post by Steve Hogg, a renowned fitter in Australia. (FYI, the relevance of this saddle's particular fit to the custom design of my Etape is set out in paragraph 8 under General Info.)

Various anodised red bits of bling!

The Chris King headset sets the stage here. Unfortunately, I've not found any other accessories in that same dark shade of red, so there's a fair bit of variation in the colours of the different parts. None of them lean towards pink or orange, though... which is what really matters!

Speedplay Light Action pedals, as previously discussed here


This is a hybrid Specialties TA / Shimano drivechain, with a triple crankset (52/39/28 - TA rings), Specialities TA Vega crank arms (160mm in length), Shimano 105 shifters and front derailleur, Shimano CS-HG62 10 speed cassette 11-36T with a Shimano Deore XT 10-speed rear derailleur. Some minor tweaks are still required to get this system working as smoothly as possible [EDIT: mostly done now!], but it does work reliably. 

I'm still not 100% happy with the feel of the 105 STI levers but on a long ride last Saturday, I found (to my surprise when I realised it afterwards) that my hands and wrists don't hurt, so something about them must be okay! 

The bike is a lovely ride: smooth, quite responsive to maneuver, no slouch going uphill but dead predictable and sure-footed going downhill veeeerrryyyyy fast! I still haven't fitted any kind of computer to it so I don't have any idea if I perform any better on it than on my Pacer, but the overall experience is very like the Pacer, only slightly better on just about any criteria you care to name, adding up to a very positive riding experience.

I think I'll keep it. ;)


  1. Thanks for posting so much info on your fitting process, build, and subsequent tweaks. You've given me the courage to take the plunge and order a custom bike. My frame will probably look a lot like yours except smaller.


    1. Hi Kiyomi, thanks! I'm glad things I've written have been helpful. Please do let me know how things work out with your own custom bicycle.


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