The first ride on my new GT Grade turned out to be a little more arduous than was anticipated. Driving rain and high winds made sure of that. The Grade has received many plaudits with some 5/5 reviews in the cycling press. It was maybe a little unfair to jump straight off a Cannondale Hi Mod Synapse on to the Alloy framed Grade and to be totally honest I did feel a little disappointed with the comfort level initially. Try as I might I could not get the saddle adjusted to the correct angle. A quick change of seat post rectified this problem and the difference was truly astounding. Yes in comparison to the Synapse I could feel a little more harshness from the uneven road surface of my commute home but the bike feels light and responsive. Not only that but comfortable enough for an all day ride. This model has the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes that perform flawlessly as does the 105 groupset. Going back to the comfort thing the handlebars feel a little strange initially but within a few miles I started to appreciate the wide variety of positions I could try in vain to ease the pain of the relentless headwind. I couldn’t resist putting the ‘Do it all’ tag to the test and deviated off road onto some of Salisbury Plains gravel tracks and the bike really came into it’s own. This is where the adaptability of this bike really shines through, from smooth tarmac to rough tracks in the blink of an eye. I challenge anyone not to wear the biggest smile when taking their road bike off road for the first time! All in all a great bike. Great spec and probably the biggest grin factor available for the money.