There wasn't really much of a decision as to what to replace it with … another Alizé. Only it's not called an Alizé anymore after NeilPryde Bikes decided to change its name rather than pursue a potentially costly trademark dispute with an industry giant.
So meet my new Nazaré. It's actually my third Alizé as I busted the first one I had in a crash. That original, which I received as part of the NeilPryde Epic Riders program, was mostly blue with bits of black and white. I won my first race on that bike and I felt it began to define me as a cyclist, so I was bit sad when NeilPryde informed me they had no blue bikes in stock in my size when I was ordering a replacement. I got the red, black and white version instead, and while I grew to love that bike too, I missed the original.
It was an easy choice, therefore, to return to blue this time around. The bike you see is actually the third edition of the Alizé/Nazaré so the colour scheme isn't the same as on my original one, using a different shade of blue. That's not the only thing that's changed; it's lighter, made from a better grade of carbon and, importantly for me, fully Shimano Di2 ready.
I had bought a Ultegra Di2 groupset for my Alizé #2 but getting the wiring installed internally would have involved drilling the frame and so I just had the wiring taped on and the battery mount sat awkwardly on the down tube. Pretty ugly to be honest. On #3 the wires are all safely inside the frame providing a much cleaner look.
The Alizé/Nazaré is an aero road bike and also comes with an optional forward-facing 78-degree seat post, that makes it ideal for use in time trials and triathlons; that's what I've primarily been using it for the past two years. But after getting the new frame I also decided on a further upgrade in the shape of Di2 TT bar-end shifters.
What a difference it makes being able to shift seamlessly in the TT position. I've had "proper" TT bikes before and always found the traditional bar-end shifting to be clunky, even with Dura-Ace. But the Di2 performs the shifts with a simple touch of a button. And because I've also got the Di2 shifters on my hoods/drops I can also shift when going up hills and round corners where it's easier to be in the drops or on the hoods.
Sure I'm not as aero as a TT rig due to those drop bars, but I've had a fair bit of success in TTs and triathlons with the similar setup on my previous Alizés, so I'm happy to keep with the formula.
There's only one slight problem, NeilPryde Bikes have just announced that another updated Nazaré is due to hit the market soon. But I'm happy with #3.
I'm racing the new setup for the first time this weekend in Singapore at the Dirtraction Celebration Road Series in an ITT on Saturday and a TTT on Sunday. I can't wait!