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It took us only a few pedal strokes to get the sense that the Framed Rodez rides well above its price point. Sure, the 150-millimeter head tube (size 54cm) places the rider noticeably upright. And the 415-millimeter chainstays, 68-millimeter bottom bracket drop, and 73-degree head tube angle all point to a stable, forgiving ride. Yet this frame is up to the task of pushing through tough climbs and hard sprints.
The stiffness numbers don’t compare to top-of-the-line bikes, but the Rodez costs less than a high-end set of wheels. We’re tallking huge bang:buck ratio here.
The Rodez is ready for a day in the mountains and some fun sprints to the stop signs with friends, and with a wheel upgrade, it could be category 4 race-ready. (We’d suggest something like Campagnolo’s Zonda wheels, for their stiffness and low weight; they will be available in a disc-ready version in 2017.)
The bottom bracket junction is burly and the chainstays are fairly short, at 415 millimeters, contributing to a short 979-millimeter wheelbase. That likely has something to do with the bike’s surprising peppiness. It gets up to speed quickly and stays there. Honestly, this is exactly the sort of first bike that can make someone fall in love with cycling—sporty, forgiving, and affordable.
The workhorse SRAM Rival drivetrain shifts reliably and with a positive snap, a benefit for newer riders who might otherwise be tempted to look down to make sure they shifted properly. Gearing is forgiving, too, with a compact 50/34-tooth crankset and 11-26 cassette. The Avid BB7-S mechanical road disc brakes are a curious addition; they provide reliable stopping power in dry conditions and just okay braking power in wet weather. But the characteristic Avid squeal remains. We’d take a higher price tag in exchange for more reliable hydraulic power. Quick-releases front and rear keep things simple for new riders.
The bright yellow paint job and blocky text isn’t exactly subtle. But the sleek lines and internal cable routing clean things up a bit. Plus, the high-vis yellow might make newer riders feel a bit safer out on the road.
Bottom line: The Rodez isn’t a race bike. It’s an entry-level endurance bike that just might turn a lot of people who buy it into racers.