Honey Bike Spotlight with RSC Racer Erin Faccone
by Joy Stark-Smith RSC Women's Team Co-Captain
If the RSC Cafe Racers seem particularly eager this racing season, it may be because of our new Honey Bicycles sponsorship. Many members of the team are riding Honey’s new Final 200 Meters race bike: a lightweight steel model that is purpose-built for fast criteriums and circuit races. We’re finding the stiffness and handling of the bikes make them ideal for tight corners, power climbs, and the full-on sprints needed to get on the podium.
Women’s team co-captain Erin Faccone put her new Honey to the test at the season opening Chris Hinds Memorial Criterium last Saturday. I sat down with her after the race to learn more about why she chose Honey, and how the bike performed.
What made you decide to buy a Honey?
Erin: I'd been considering a new road bike for some time - my prior bike never fit exactly right and was a bit on the heavier side. Honey offered me a stiff, light bike that, most importantly, would fit me perfectly. Add in the option of custom paint colors, and I was sold! Also, once I saw the Team Edition bike at RSC, I knew I would have major FOMO if I didn't get one.
What do you look for in a race bike?
I was looking for a bike that would be stiff and responsive. Race-wise, I tend toward flat, fast crits. I wanted a bike that would handle really well, and that would let me pedal through turns without slamming my foot into my wheel and crashing. Being "vertically challenged" makes toe overlap a genuine concern. Also, I wanted a bike that would let me get lower in the front-end than I was capable of on my prior bike, and that would actually be comfortable riding on the hoods and in the drops. With previous bikes I've either felt very stretched on the hoods/drops, or had to deal with wonky steering because of super-short stems.
How does the ride quality compare to other bikes you've raced?
I've only been on the bike a handful of times so far, but it's been beyond my expectations. It's stiffer than any bike I've ever ridden before. It felt super zippy even on the first ride. I took it through some hard cornering and a few quick sprints and felt great - like I'd been riding it forever. After my first long ride with it, I’m more pleased than ever.
As a sprinter, what qualities do you think are most important in a bike?
I have to say I'm not the most discerning in terms of frame composition, having only ridden a handful of frames before. Stiff and responsive were my two most desired attributes. I feel spoiled now, because the bike came out stiff, responsive, AND light!
As a smaller woman, has fit been an issue for you? How does the Honey feel?
Historically I've had to choose between running a "normal" length stem and feeling stretched while riding on the hoods, or running a super short stem and having weird steering issues. The Honey is the first bike I've ever felt more comfortable on the hoods and, dare I say, in the drops than on the flats. On my first ride, I did some out of the saddle efforts, and was shocked at how stable I felt sprinting from the drops. Aside from the bike itself, I had a fitting with Rob from RSC which was super thorough. We ended up changing my position pretty significantly from what I was used to. The result has been more comfort and more power, so win-win!
I see you opted for custom paint colors. What inspired your unusual selection?
A lot of my original inspiration to get a Honey came from the RSC Team Edition matte white, black, and blue edition. I went into the process wanting that same custom scheme. However, since I was already opting for custom paint, Rob and Patria encouraged me to consider adding some of my own unique flare. Red is my favorite color, so I was toying with ideas on how to incorporate red into the RSC color scheme. Then I was inspired by the recent run of Chris King purple hubs (despite that I don't actually own them) and somehow the white/purple/red scheme was born in my mind. The final paint job totally exceeded my expectations! The purple is actually a metallic, so the sun makes it shine even more. And Chip Baker told me it's scientifically proven that purple makes you faster.
Which race are you looking forward to most this season?
This is tough. I'm actually most looking forward to the Lake Sunapee Road Race, despite that I generally tend toward fast, flat races. I raced there last year thinking the course was going to be flattish (my last ever attempt to judge a course by the online "course profile") and got dropped so hard on the climbs. This year I want revenge!
Best of luck to you this season, Erin!
|Model||Final 200 Meters|
|Frame Size||50.5 Top Tube, 10.5 cm Head Tube|
Shifters, Derailleurs: SRAM Force
Brakes: SRAM Red
Crank: SRAM Quarq GXP
Bars: 3T Ergonova Pro
|Wheels||Mavic Ksyrium Elite|
|Bike Weight||17.3 lbs total (w/o pedals)|
|Unusual Aspect||The Honey accents on the seatstay and chainstay are reversed - one is red on the outside, purple in the middle. The other is purple on the outside, red in the middle.|
|Why This Bike||In her words: "My previous bike never really felt like it fit right. I decided I wanted to race more seriously this year, was looking for a bike that would be snappy and responsive, handle well in crits, and fit my small frame. The color scheme reflects my often loud personality. All in all the bike is everything I needed in a race bike."|
|Race Category||Cat 3 - Road & Cyclocross|
|Years Racing||3rd year, 2nd year racing seriously|
|Favorite Type of Race||Criteriums and flattish/rolling circuit races. She says she likes burritos and ice cream too much to truly enjoy (or excel at) the big climbing races.|
|Anything Else You'd Like to Add||It's been hard to contain my enthusiasm this year! I'm in love with the bike and never been happier in that regard. We've got a really, really great group of people on the RSC race teams this year, both on the men's and women's sides. Some of our new additions are really experienced racers and it's elevated the level of the whole team and made us all more excited about racing. Plus my fitness is much better than it was last year. We've really laid the foundation for a successful road season, and it's hard not to share that enthusiasm with everyone!|