The Stealth Bomber immediately came to my mind when age grouper Vilen Rodeski shared images of his tricked out Diamondback Andean in our forum a few weeks back, and the images he had posted of that super bike were superb. The bike he posted on the cake.co site however was set up for short course racing, but Rodeski had planned to race the Half distance June Lake Triathlon and kindly offered to shoot his bike again in a full 70.3 configuration. The challenging June Lake race venue is near Mammoth Lakes and made for a very fine background for the photos.
Rodeski is a 35 year old USAT All-American and IRONMAN All-World athlete and describes himself as a plant-based athlete. The cake.co co-founder and designer is 5’ 7” and weighs 145 pounds, and his Diamondback Andean is a size 50. Previously he rode a 51cm Felt DA and he had spent a lot of time dialing it in, but sadly that bike was destroyed when a car swerved into him. While still in the hospital he ordered the Andean and he is super thrilled with the ride and fit of the bike he calls Black Sail.
Rodeski used the Diamondback online Custom Studio to configure the bike and he ordered it with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain, Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic brakes and the HED Jet 9 front and the HED Jet Disc rear and that cost him $9,475. That price also included a travel case for this Andean, but Vilen Rodeski was not yet done.
There is truly not much for the wind to see here, but it is surprising how much white color is visible from that perspective on that Stealth Black Andean frame.
Vilen opted for a HED Corsaire E Flat base bar with HED Clip Lite Low S-Bend extensions and the Garmin 1030 computer is held in place with a K-Edge mount. "I used to have Garmin 1000, but it didn’t age well with the battery draining fast and I had constant issue with charging it. The new version is an absolute joy to use, the screen is bigger, highly customizable and I’ve never ran out of battery juice," said Rodeski, who called the 1030 "the star of the cockpit."
The collapsible flask holds 4 Huma gels and for 70.3 races Rodeski takes along 2 of them and has thus 800 calories in reach without getting sticky fingers and having to worry about empty gel wrappers during the race. And Rodeski methodically uses up one of these flasks per hour on the bike.
Ejected water bottles have been bothering Rodeski forever and he now trusts the TriRig carrier, cages and bottles for his hydration needs. But since the Dash saddle is so tiny it is impossible to move that TriRig carrier more forward. On any normal saddle it would likely touch the back of the saddle.
Here is a closer look at the 95 gram Dash TRI.7 saddle. "The saddle is a critical piece of the bike. After trying many different ones I’ve found that split nose ones like ISM worked better for me. Then I found the Dash saddles and they blew my mind. So for this bike I decided to get the best saddle I possibly could which was the custom Dash TRI.7 saddle with a hefty price worthy all of its 95 grams," said Rodeski.
Rodeski uses 170mm Dura-Ace cranks with 53/39 rings and Garmin Vector 3 pedals. He likes that the Vector 3 integrates nicely with Garmin 1030 including but not limited to displaying the battery status.
There is a massive storage space with a hinged door in the Andean frame and that is where the Di2 battery is housed and Rodeski keeps all his tools. The tool pouch visible in that cavity (the trunk) is part of the Andean and thus fits in there nicely.
Rodeski carries 2 CO2 cartridges with a Lezyne Control Drive Inflator, a tire lever, multi tool, zip ties, valve core remover and a spare master chain link in the pouch, plus he has a spare tube with him.
There is also storage behind the seat post but according to Rodeski it is very small. "Some people refer to it as a credit card holder as you really can’t put much there. The rubber lid is a pain to close so I personally never use it and instead rely on the abundance of space in the trunk," said Rodeski.
Rodeski loves the stopping power and feel of the Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic brakes. After his accident he was convinced that he wanted disc brakes on his next bike. And the hydraulic disc brakes on the Andean have found him well.
Up close with the hydraulic Shimano Dura-Ace discs.
The black Shimano Dura-Ace components match up nicely with this black Andean frame. Initially Rodeski considered SRAM Force 1 components but decided on Shimano instead.
Rodeski has 25 mm Continental Grand Prix 4000 S 2 tires with Continental Race Lite tubes on his HED wheels.
The location of the Shimano junction box is a conundrum for Rodeski. "The only grievance I have with the Andean is the location and mount for a junction box. It is truly a pain in the ass to access for charging and derailleur micro adjustments. I’ve spoken with Diamondback about it and they have found a solution by moving the junction box to the trunk. As soon as this option is available, I’ll make sure to do so," said Rodeski.
There is a 20cm drop from the top of the saddle to the arm pads and that is fully slammed on that bike. "What may have seemed like a crazy position a few years ago, when I was just getting my first bike fit, now seems totally normal. Since then I went through a number of fit sessions and self-adjustments to arrive to this position. To many this may seem too aggressive, but I got used to it and have no problem staying in it for the average of 2:30 hours it takes to finish the bike leg of a 70.3 triathlon," added Rodeski.
The last pic shows Vilen Rodeski in action on his bike.
I was curious how much he had totally invested in this project and Rodeski kindly gave me some numbers.
Diamondback Andean with Di2 Dura-Ace Groupset, HED Jet wheels and custom travel case - $9,475
Garmin 1030 bike computer - $699
Garmin Vector 3 power meter pedals - $999
Dash Tri.7 custom saddle - $465
TriRig carrier, cages and bottles - $200
With taxes and other small parts it came out to $12,500
All images are courtesy and © Vilen Rodeski