Here is an insight to Iain’s thoughts on his Legend Fedaia
Before “reviewing” my Legend Fedaia it’s important to convey to you the psychological journey I went on up to purchasing it.
Basically a few years ago I went to Belgium and raced some Kermises (anyone can do it if they have a plane ticket and a yearning for adventure/ have watched too much TDF).I had a fantastic fortnight in Belgium, but I also got completely flogged by old, young, fat, skinny, entry-level clincher wheels, 5 yr old chorus groupsets, carbon, alloy, everything. I had bought into the hype of flashy bicycle products with my heart-soul and wallet and it was painfully obvious dangling off the back of each race that it was not about the bike. A bicycle might be a more significant part of the sporting equation in cycling than say the shoes worn in football, but not by as much as you might hope.So when I came to buy my next bike the vitals of the purchase were no-longer “fast, stiff, vertically compliant, blah blah blah”. I wanted a bike that was, aesthetically pleasing, durable (i.e not going to make lots of funny sounds, and will maintain it’s ride quality for much longer than 1 year), and nice to ride.
I had bought a steel single-speed a little while before and had enjoyed the way the bike rode immensely. The Fedaia was steel and fell well-within my price range, even though it would be custom made for me, so I made the leap of faith and ordered it.
Some time later the bike arrived in Perth and was built up with all the parts i chose (campagnolo chorus groupset, h-plus son rims laced to White Industry Hubs, fisi:k bars/stem).
Firstly having the bike made for me in relation to the geometry of the frame was and is fantastic. Instead of having to get used to the bike I got on it and straight away is felt right, and having my body-weight distributed over the right area of the bike is something I can say tangibly helped me handle the bike more confidently.
I wanted a frame that looked a pretty specific way, and it came out possibly better that I desired. The frame looked totally classic, and simple and was the exact blend of Meckx-era style with modern features that I was after. E.g. internally routed rear brake cable, but with an old-school-colnago-lug-style exit port. It was also the colour I chose with the decals I chose as well.
In terms of ride quality, it’s a well made steel frame, with good-quality steel. So it’s stiff (when I push hard on the pedals there is a swift and noticeable change in speed), but it also has all the attributes that come with a steel bike, it is smooth and gives you that sortof dull road feedback. Like if carbon is being hit with a rolled-up newspaper, steel is being hit with a wet rolled-up newspaper, you still know that you’re being hit by a newspaper, but it’s not really an issue.
But essentially, it doesn’t matter what the bike I bought looks like or rides like because you can decide these things for yourself. As a consumer I completely understand that getting a custom bicycle from a small brand can seem like a gamble, when could easily get the same bike ridden by any number of cycling superstars and know that it will be of a certain standard. But from my experience I can tell you it is not a gamble it is like discarding the cookie cutter to make my own far-more-delicious biscuit.