Blue Competition R-C6, 2006
Small, as ridden 15.9 lbs
Rider 5′ 4″, 120 lbs. , inseam 30.5″
I admit that I did not want to like this bike.
I definitely didn’t want to fall in love with it, but that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t want to like it, because I’d never heard of the brand, and because I wasn’t sure about the idea of mixing frame materials. I was worried about reliabilty of the brand, the quality, and of course the feel. For the reliabilty and quality part, I was happy with their lifetime warranty. I also noted well that the Sutter home-Colavita Women’s race team ride Blue. And what does it feel like? Amazing. The R-C6 is a very tight and fast bike. It is a light, nimble, happy bike.
Last year, when I signed up to ride Aids LifeCycle 6, I realized that I would need a bike that was a little more forgiving than my 1985 Centurion Ironman, built as a fixed gear. I used to race in triathlons many moons ago, so I love a tight, aggressive position. I started testing bikes, and found that for me, road bikes with “women’s geometry” were mostly unsatisfying, uncomfortable and way too upright. NOT ONE was spry or crisp in its handling. I demo’ed some men’s bikes, and had a bit more luck (I did like the System Six by Cannondale, but found that it was out of my price range). Enter Blue Competition R-C6. A friend of mine had recommended this bike to me and arranged a demo, so I was lucky enough to ride it for a few weeks. But it didn’t take more than a few rides to fall in love with it.
There is no doubt that the R-C6 is built for speed. The first century I rode on it was the Tour de Palm Springs, in February. There was one section of the route, that had a road with a pretty clear shot; straight, with small hills and mostly downhill. I took off with a few others, and pushed as hard as I could to see just how fast I could get on this bike. My max speed at the end of the day was 58 mph. I knew that I was going over 40 mph at some points, but thought that surely 58 mph was so kind of anomoly of the computer. I’ve since found that these speeds are typical and easy to obtain on the R-C6. Thankfully it is also a point and shoot bike, so it is VERY easy to handle, very easy to control.
So how does it handle on the climbs? I’m well impressed and think it makes a fine climber’s bike. On longer climbs I love to vary in and out of the saddle climbing, and occasionally when out of the saddle, I really torque the bike. Though I’m fairly lightwieght, I’ve been able to feel softness in the bottom bracket of other bikes by torquing the bike while out of the saddle, but not the R-C6. I wasn’t sure that I would like the aluminum bottom bracket on this mostly carbon bike, but the execution of design has made me a true believer. It proves to be strong and stiff, with absolutely no give when torquing the bike. It just feels crisp. Of course, this isn’t purely the bottom bracket; it is also the result of good use of materials, and geometry of the bike frame itself.
But the way that it absorbs chatter, well that was the best surprise. Let’s face it, I live in earthquake country, so the roads here are never particularly good. As a result, there’s lots of potential for road chatter, the vibrations you feel as a result of rough road. I have felt the results of road chatter particularly well after a century; usually next day I feel a dull ache in my contact points. I was shocked how this just was not so with the R-C6. What a difference a bike makes! In June I rode in Aids LifeCycle 6, and could not believe how good my contact points felt each morning. This means so much to me, because I want to do more multi-day charity rides, and my Blue R-C6 will help me achieve that goal.
I’m very happy to say that I’ve owned this bike for around ten months, and I adore it. I would highly recommend this bike to any woman who likes a tighter more agressive bike. It is an absolute pleasure to ride.
Blue Competition at Interbike
Blue Competition had a crew at Interbike, so I had the opportunity to test two 2008 bikes: R-C8 (the new even better version of my road bike), and their carbon mtb XC Carbon. Although I did not have the oportunity to ride nearly as many bikes as I would have liked at Interbike’s Demo Days these two bikes would probably be 2 of the best in show for me. I must , however, state that the reason why I could not ride many of the mtb demo bikes was because I was way too small for most mountain bikes, including those with supposed “women’s geometry” even in size small. I’m average height.
Blue’s geometry won out, once again because they have a bike with a shorter effective top tube, and make a bike small enough to fit me. Did I mention that I’m average height? Well, Blue gets that.
Riding the 2008 XC Carbon
Most of the manufacturers right now are missing the mark when it comes to both comfortable geometry, and weight of the bike.The Blue XC Carbon is very lightweight so it is easy to handle, and is an ABSOLUTE DREAM to manipulate. As a woman who doesn’t have a great deal of upper body strength, I found it a great relief to not have to “heave the bike around”, but rather be able to “place the bike” where it needed to be, both front and rear. I would say that this has as much to do with frame weight and geometry of the bike as fork weight and rake, and Blue did a wonderful job with all of it; this adds up to a bike with great balance and a sweet disposition.
Peek at the 2008 R-C8 ( this is next year’s version of my bike)
This bike felt like I was riding a blade. carving up a road of black ice. They’ve made some nice changes in the shapes of the carbon tubing (particularly on the fork), and this has made a nice difference in the way that it handles; it’s more fun. I only had a chance to take it around the block a few times, but loved the feel of it.
Check out www.RideBlue.com
Buy the R-C6 Here
Buy the frame here