Cell Brunswick 2.0

Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Bike Lane - WORDS TIM ROB­SON

AG Out­door goes be­hind the scenes with a young lo­cal bike de­signer to check out one of the most an­tic­i­pated launches of the year.

THE ON­LINE CY­CLING re­tail space can be a sav­age place to op­er­ate, and Aus­tralian­based Cell Bikes plays as hard as some of the big OS op­er­a­tors. Un­like any other Aussie re­tail out­let, though, it has its own very own bike brand, with a range of rigs from kid’s bikes to Shi­mano Di2-equipped car­bon road rigs that are de­signed and specced lo­cally and sold at a re­tail level in two stores in Syd­ney and Mel­bourne, as well as on­line.

The de­sign and con­fig­u­ra­tion of the bikes them­selves are the work of Dave Mus­grove, a life­long cy­cling tragic from NSW with a ma­te­ri­als-engi­neer­ing de­gree and an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for a bike that not only lasts, but is a gen­uine plea­sure to own and ride.

AG Out­door’s cy­cle-heads have been hang­ing out for the launch of the 2016 Cell Brunswick, the suc­ces­sor to last year’s sur­prise hit al­loyframed cy­clocross bike, , with Dave fi­nally drop­ping by the AG Out­door of­fice with the first bike out of the com­pany’s Tai­wanese fa­cil­ity.

Even though it’s an early pro­duc­tion build, with a cou­ple of tweaks yet to be im­ple­mented, we are al­ready im­pressed. The matt-green ma­chine looks re­solved and ma­ture, with its 7005 al­loy frame worked and tweaked into curves and bends that are not only aes­thet­i­cally spot on, but also have a gen­uine job to do.

The devil is in the de­tails, and the Brunswick – named, like all of Cell’s other bikes, af­ter a famed Aus­tralian rid­ing lo­cale – has them in droves. Dave has worked hard on the de­sign since last year’s sell-out suc­cess, and says the 2016 bike con­tin­ues the same theme of flex­i­bil­ity that made last year’s Brunny a win­ner.

“The orig­i­nal Brunswick scored cy­clocross podi­ums, al­lowed road­ies the free­dom to es­cape the tar­mac and was a very con­fi­dent com­muter,” he says. “Even though they’re rac­eready ’cross bikes, they still in­clude the util­ity fea­tures like full-length mud­guard [com­pat­i­bil­ity] and rear rack mounts to keep com­muters and tour­ers happy.”

The range has dou­bled for 2016, with a more ex­pen­sive 1x11 speed SRAM-equipped Brunswick 2.0 join­ing the more tra­di­tional, af­ford­able 2x10 speed ver­sion. “The Brunswick 2.0 is a whole new level of bike,” reck­ons Dave. “Those in the know, es­pe­cially with a MTB back­ground, are look­ing for sin­gle-ring driv­e­trains and hy­draulic disc brakes for their sim­plic­ity and su­pe­rior per­for­mance. 1x11 re­ally makes sense on a ’cross/ad­ven­ture bike.

“SRAM’s new Ri­val 1 groupset pro­vides that at a rea­son­able price point, and we’re bring­ing that to our cus­tomers on a high-end alu­minium frame with full car­bon fork.”

Dave says he’s stuck with al­loy for the Brunswick’s frame mainly on a cost ba­sis. “We’re a small com­pany and it takes a lot of time and in­vest­ment to de­velop a new car­bon frame de­sign,” he says. But there are a few tweaks that the 2.0 frame picks up, in­clud­ing front and rear through-axles, a BB30 bot­tom bracket and flat­tened, dou­ble-butted seat stays (the tubes from the seat tube to the rear axle are thin­ner in the mid­dle to save weight and add flex).

Disc-equipped drop-bar bikes are ap­pear­ing in more cat­a­logues in 2016, and Cell is no ex­cep­tion. The 2.0 runs SRAM units with the hy­dro reser­voirs neatly in­te­grated into the shifter units, with de­cent-sized 160mm ro­tors.

One of the is­sues Cell sees on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is brand snob­bery; if it’s not from one of the big brands, peo­ple of­ten won’t look twice, no mat­ter what the spec. “I’d en­cour­age them to take one of our bikes for a ride, and then tell me their thoughts,” says Dave. “Then I could take their feed­back and im­prove our next bike to meet their re­quests. That’s what hap­pens all the time when I meet cus­tomers in our store, on the road and trails or at events.”

We can’t wait to get our own Brunswick for a longer-term test – Dave was jus­ti­fi­ably re­luc­tant to let us try and kill his only sam­ple! It has all the hall­marks of a proper turn-key ad­ven­ture bike with a gen­uine Aus­tralian flavour to boot.


Frame: al­loy 7005 hy­dro­formed Fork: car­bon ta­pered, disc only Groupset: SRAM GX 1, 1x11speed Brakes: SRAM hy­draulic Wheelset:


From: cell­bikes.com.au

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