Read part I to catch up, internet dweller.
We plunged into the delightful, green, wooded bowels of Chatanooga, closing in on the Quintana Roo headquarters. I was UBER pumped for this part of the weekend as it was the first time meeting with the QR crew and it was my first time in any sort of bike making facility. We arrived and were greeted by Heather Sweet and Brad DeVaney. They showed us around their offices and introduced us to the group. The 2012 line of QR bikes was lining the office. I can't say that I would mind if my office were dotted with 3 to 6 thousand dollar bikes. Some of the new paint jobs are absolutely wicked.
After we met the QR team, they walked us into the manufacturing plant where they receive their QR bikes and make the Litespeed titanium bikes. I was like a kid in a candy store. Litespeed has always been my dream bike. Something about titanium gets me in a spot that carbon never will. Seeing how they machine these bikes was incredible.
They are so far ahead of the game in titanium manufacturing it is ridiculous. The real kicker here is that, at the moment, Brad does literally all of the design work for the group. This guy is a freaking legend. He has been responsible for a great majority of the innovations since the inception of the TT bike. He is driving the industry. Lemond and Lance rode Litespeeds to tour victories. Robbie McEwen was on one. The new shift technology of the QR CD0.1 and illicito was Brad's brainchild and is probably one of the most revolutionary concepts in tri bikes in the last decade. I could pick this guy's brain for a solid week without skipping a beat. He also showed off some prototypes and molds of things he has tried in the wind tunnels and I about lost it.
After my head basically exploded, we had some lunch, snapped a million pictures, and headed out for a group ride. We noodled around the backroads. I was on a CD0.1 so I was testing it out. I was riding like a schizophrenic squirrel and popping off the front at random intervals to put the bike through its paces. That thing is snappy. It actually climbs a lot better than I would expect from a TT bike. It is really stiff and accelerates well. Not surprisingly, it is super slippery in the wind. The bike was incredibly stable pointed into the teeth of the wind and made it really easy to apply force to the pedals smoothly. I was definitely impressed. Check out Inch's new one just so you have an idea of what the CD0.1 looks like.
He looks like an idiot but that bike is so ILL.
Heather set me up with an illicito to ride for the rest of the weekend so more to come on that. After the ride, we headed back to the cabin and then onto our next stop. Hub Endurance!