CEEPO VIPER 2012
by Fernando Munoz
I rode a 2010 Kestrel Talon carbon with Shimano 105 group set for 2 years and to celebrate moving on to longer races, I decided to shop for a new bike.
I was split between the top end SHIV Specialized and the CEEPO VIPER. I liked the integrated hydration system of the SHIV but the options given to me by the dealer made it a very expensive purchase (circa US$10,000). CEEPO offered the frame and fork for for 1/2 of that and I had freedom to add any components I liked.
I decided for the SRAM Red group set and Profile Design handle and aeros. I had an ISG ADAMO seat on the Kestrel so I got another one for the CEEPO.
It added up to US$8,000.
The freedom of choosing components and the LOOK of the Ceepo were what closed the deal for me. It looks like a Tri bike Batman would have...hahaha. It LOOKS fast, if that is at all possible.
In addition to the bike cost, I also bought several sets of wheels for the bikes. I had S80's on the Kestrel but I bought HED 3D for the CEEPO. I also got 2 discs, am HED and a FFWD.
I now use the Kestrel on my trainer and for season-round training. the CEEPO is my race bike and as such I only ride it prior to a race and on races.
The CEEPO is way faster than the Kestrel, without diminishing at all I accomplished on it before the Ceepo.
I have yet to have it professionally fit - I went with measurements from the Kestrel, which wasn't fit either. But living in an industrial city in China, finding proper fitters is a problem. I am considering going down to HK to invest time and money into it.
As for hydration, I have all across the spectrum, with profile design aero bottle on the down tube, the aerobar bottle (both the single and double compartment) and the torpedo-style bottle between the aerobars.
My preferred system is the Speedfill system on the down tube. It holds lots of water/electrolyte drink and has a hose that sits right between the aerobars without compromising steering or aerodynamics at all (when the double compartment profile design is full... it behaves funny in crosswinds - in combination with the HED 3D - I guess).
I fitted 2 additional bottles at the back on an Xlab carbon blade, the bottle sit almost horizontally for improved aerodynamics. My repair kit and CO2 cartridges are well hidden behind me.
I use Garmin SC10, and Look carbon clip pedals on both bikes and have now fitted the Kestrel with the same handle/aero combo I got for the Ceepo frame.
I'm not 100% happy with the shifting of gears on the Ceepo but this may be a design problem. Apparently, I was sent a model that has internal wiring for Di2 - the holes are in different places - and the dealer was uncooperative. The conventional front derailleur sits in a position that bends the cable, forcing me to shift twice and sometimes it simple doesn't engage.
I'm upset about it but it may mean I need to upgrade to Di2.
All in all, I would recommend this bike for any intermediate triathlete wishing to upgrade and get serious about what one rides. If you want a great-looking, fast, comfortable bike with flexibility of components, this is the one for you.