Foundry Harrow Initial Review

Let me start this off by saying that I’ve been riding the same cross bike for a long time.  I’ve been using a Redline Conquest with a custom build for all of my cyclocross and road riding since 2009.  A buddy asked me how many km’s I have on it and I have no idea, but it’s a lot.

At first I was a little sentimental about the bike and even asked myself if I really needed a new one (it worked flawlessly).  But after Kettle Cross, the Canmore CX race and Cupcake Cross this weekend, I was happy to see the Harrow show up after my race on Saturday (all very rough races).  The Cupcake Cross course was so bumpy I DNF’d when my back started to seize up.  At this point I was thinking about bailing on the next day’s race, but 2 hot laps on the Harrow and I was coming out for sure.

I basically adjusted the seatpost, threw some pedals on, and hit the course.  The guys at Redbike built the Harrow for me and, as always, everything was absolutely perfect.  The first thing that I noticed was that the lateral and pedaling stiffness are considerable but the vertical compliance is outstanding.  The engineers at Foundry didn’t just lay some sticky carbon fiber up in an open mold, this frame is dialed.  With the addition of the whiskey through-axle 15mm fork, the bike goes exactly where you point it and holds a line until the tires don’t (might have happened a few times).

I’ve never really ridden a cross, or road, bike with disc brakes but the Avid BB7’s with 140mm rotors were flawless after a little bedding in.  I’m a big guy (195lb) and being able to single-finger brake from the hoods is something that I’ll now never give up (amazing on bumpy courses).

The drivetrain, being SRAM Red with FSA SL-K BB30 crank, performed flawlessly as expected from such high-end components with the Red shifting being noticeably crisper that SRAM Force. The FSA cranks are super stiff and the BB didn’t make a peep.

The wheels were one thing that I was originally unsure of;  I’m pretty committed to my Stan’s rims with Michelin Mud 2 tires run tubeless. But the Velocity disc hubs with A23 rims felt laterally stiff but not harsh. The biggest eye opener for me were the Clement PDX tires. These things have some serious grip in dry grass and gravel and still feel fast on the straights.  During the next day’s race I really tested the cornering traction and was very impressed.

So, after one very bumpy race, I’d say that I’m extremely happy with the Foundry Harrow. Weight is right around 18lb stock (for a 59) and everything works well together. I originally had plans to convert it to single ring and replace the rims with Stan’s Iron Cross right away. But after feeling how dialed the bike is I think I’m going to leave things stock and really get familiar.

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Josh testing the limits of his new carbon steed on the Rodeo Grounds in Airdrie. (Photo: Masa Higuchi)

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