as promised some feedback on my R30 now that I've had some time to try it out. Photo of the bike at the top of Passo Giau also attached! Thanks so much and all the best, Sonya
After some 7500 m of climbing in the Dolomites and 18-plus hours in the saddle over the past few days I think I can safely say that the Epoca R30 is just a pleasure to ride. It represents such a massive improvement, I really couldn't be happier.
Long rides on mountain passes could have been a painful way to break in a new bike, but the Epoca is comfortable, responsive and handles well. The biggest difference was in the descents - I'm cornering better and going faster while feeling more secure and more in control. It's not just my impression, my ride data confirms that I was descending much faster on average, even hitting speeds over 80 kmh down from Fedaia, which for me at least is just unheard of (I'm very cautious). The pass roads were good for the most part but there was a fair amount of frost damage to ride around and over, and the bike managed it all smoothly.
The customer service and expert advice from Epoca and Ali were fantastic. I was initially hesitant about the suggestion to get 650c wheels (I don't know why really, there were fewer wheel options but with online shops it's not a problem to get parts). But now it's clear that my old size 44 stock bike was simply too big for someone with just 152 cm, and that the geometry was compromised in a way that made for poor handling. I am also really happy with the R30's classic, clean looks, and with the components proposed by Ali. As promised, the Campagnolo brake levers are more ergonomic and work better for small hands (same goes for the EPS).
I've generally had to buy stock bikes without trying them first (shops rarely have smaller sizes in store), so really getting the R30 sight unseen wasn't any different in this respect. But with Epoca I received a bike tailor-made for me, swift, informed responses to my questions and regular status updates. I especially appreciated the continued support with making small adjustments to the saddle height, handlebars etc even after the bike was paid for and delivered. Overall I feel that I got the bike that is right for me, for great value.