It seemed like a good idea at the time: Strada Bianca tubing and geometry, sweet steel fork, limited sizes and color options, lower price. It didn't work out quite that way, of course, but it was fun while it lasted.
Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated with a 73mi ride with a lunch stop in New Glarus, at the Fat Cat Coffee house, which wasn't there in your day, but which is excellent and has just expanded to become a very nice lunch and light diner spot. I hope they make a go of it. The ride was particularly noticeable because it marked the transition into winter riding. The temp never got above 41F under cloudy skies, stiff little breeze and the first time this fall I've worn the full kit ( heavy jacket, shoe covers, lobster mitts, skull cap). Felt a little much for about an hour, but then the sun started going down... Monday night there's a couple of inches of snow predicted, and then there's no above-freezing temps in the rest of the long range forecast.
So I started my season about mid-May after our move, and now have about 3000km on the SB for the season but given the late start it's about typical for me and I'm pretty satisfied. I'm also pretty satisfied that the SB is everything I need it to be. It's a nice bike. At some level it's just a bike, as opposed to a XXXXXXX bike. It's not specialized which means it will do just about anything decently, and that's what I wanted. On some spiritual level, it's my first bike revisited: with a second wheel-set it'll do anything you care to do and do it well. But it's about 7lb lighter, it's got 19 more gears, the brakes and gears work miraculously well, I'm not riding a Brooks I can't get broken in, and the tires don't flat every week (no flats at all so far). Other than that, they're the same.
Well done. Most of the bikes now appearing that will take larger tires are now specialized in their own way (adventure bikes, gravel grinders, endurance bikes) and seem to have missed that sweet spot that a lot of bikes used to hit 40 years ago, that you have re-discovered. I suppose if you keep your bikes in niches you can hope people will need more bikes, and you'll be able to sell more bikes. I'm also glad I didn't wander off into all that disk brake nonsense, or the forest of exploding bottom bracket standards. The TRPs you sold me work great, and they're simplicity itself to get set up. The SB is great. Just a bike.
Fork: Alpha Q CS25 (no longer available)
Paint: New Off-White
Kit: SRAM Force
Brakes: TRP RG957 prototype
Wheels: Hed Ardennes FR
Tires: Vittoria Pave 25mm
Fenders: Honjo 35mm
Bars: Deda Zero100
Stem: PRO Vibe
Post: Moots Cinchpost
Saddle: Fizik Aliante Leather
Yes, it's the same MAX frame I've had for several years - a keeper, as it were. In the summer this bike generally wears 27mm (30mm, really) Challenge Parigi-Roubaix tires but the skinny Paves and fenders suit it well in our drearier Seattle months. This bike has a nice bomb-proof feel to it without feeling heavy - it seems to shrug off the all the crappy pot-holed roads I can aim it down. If I was actually racing a MAX frame with Enve fork would likely be my pick. The bars have since been rotated down in the interests of good taste.