It goes up. It goes down. That is what Stelvio was built for. Climbing like a bike possessed and descending with all the vengeance you care to apply. Tolerable on smooth paved roads for at least a century, on 25 mm tires. It wastes none of your time and energy on the flats. But at the expense of certain parts of your body. That is the price you pay for the ultimate stiff and power efficient ride. Make sure you have a comfortable saddle, well padded bar tape and gloves, and are properly fitted for power and what ever comfort you can find.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear. This is a road bike. A smooth paved-road bike with a predilection for hills and mountains. And it shines as such. My average speeds of 12.9 and 12.3 mph yesterday and today on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail out and back confirmed that. With screaming back pain both days I still rode 2ish mph faster than I usually do on a non-power assist bike. Perhaps it’s a new personal record on a conventional bike, I’ll have to check my ride records.
If you’re looking for a bike that can double as enduro or gravel bike, forget about it. No way.
Now Liege-Bastogne-Liege (the repeat of which I am watching now on Sunday afternoon because I was out riding during the live broadcast), the Queen of the Classics, is a course on which Stelvio would shine. As well as climbing Stelvio itself. For what it is built for, I give it 5 out of 5. Buy it for what it is. But don’t buy it and expect it to ride otherwise.
P.S. I’m watching the Giro live Monday morning as riders head for the finish on Mt. Etna, which is not Stelvio, but then what compares with Aetna? Marin Stelvio was built to conquer both.
At 11:30 I will load Stelvio into the truck and take it back to the Farm where it will be put up for sale to some lucky buyer who will hopefully appreciate Stelvio for what it is.