Tulsa Tough competitor says Wabi RE has him rethinking steel frames

Photo by Celia Silk

Tulsa Tough wrapped up another year of bike racing Sunday with more than 100 racers in each field.

Local cyclist Shane McElravy has participated in nearly 150 races during the past eight years, but never on a Wabi. This year McElravy brought a Wabi Lightning RE—made in Tulsa—to his hometown race.

We chatted with McElravy after the three-day event about his first race experience on a Wabi. Here’s what he had to say.

Tell us about Tulsa Tough.

“Malcolm McCollam and Chris Zenthoefer go above and beyond for this weekend. Tulsa Tough is the premier crit race for most professional and amateur teams in the U.S. Every year seems to get better; more teams, larger payouts, and the most fun anyone can pack into three days of racing. I raced men’s category III. With 110 racers in each field, this was the strongest field I have ever competed against by far.”

Photo by Celia Silk

What were you riding?

“The Wabi Lightning RE (52cm) with 1×10 Sram kit. Velocity A23 rims laced to Chris King hubs with Sapim spokes (20/24). FSA compact bars, Thomson seatpost.”

How did the Wabi handle?

“The Wabi handled excellent this weekend. The lightweight steel frame is super compliant through rough turns and snappy out of the saddle. The geometry is tight, offering quick input and lively handling. This frame is ideal for fast, flat races that require quick responses from a rider.

“I am very pleased with how well it handled at speed throughout the courses. As a racer, I am always looking for new and different parts that may help me gain a second or add comfort or control to my bikes. I have raced carbon bikes for years, but I always come back to steel for its incredible ride quality. Riders often sacrifice comfort for weight savings and stiffness. In the past, I have ridden steel bikes when training and carbon when racing. The Wabi RE offers the best of both—lightweight steel that is comfortable without feeling like an overcooked noodle.”

Photo by Celia Silk

Do you think you’ll race a Wabi in the future?

“Yes, definitely. I am interested in testing it in some road racing events in the future. I think the RE will serve as an excellent platform for both a daily training bike and a lightweight steel race bike.

“I must come clean. After riding and racing a sub-15 lb. carbon bike for many years, I was skeptical that a steel bike could compete against race bikes that cost ten times the price of the RE. As I mentioned earlier, I typically reserve my steel bikes for training. The Wabi far surpassed my expectations. I think you will be seeing more people racing Wabi bikes in the not too distant future.”

Photo by Celia Silk

2 thoughts on “Tulsa Tough competitor says Wabi RE has him rethinking steel frames”

  1. I’ve been riding Trek for several years. Most recently Trek CrossRip. How does WaBi compare to Trek?

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