£1199 > A few up­grades con­tinue the great ride

Cycling Plus - - FIRST RIDE -

We re­viewed the B’Twin Ul­tra AF in 2017, and re­ally liked it. It was a great ride with an in­cred­i­ble spec. It also em­ployed one of our least favourite de­sign fea­tures: a rear brake un­der the chain­stays, which was in­con­ve­nient and prone to rub­bing.

That rear brake aside, the Ul­tra AF’s frame hasn’t un­der­gone ma­jor changes, which is a good thing. It’s the same slightly boxy alu­minium, which shares de­sign cues with the pricier car­bon Ul­tra CF range. The front tri­an­gle’s tube sec­tions are burly but not com­i­cally over­sized for stiff­ness, while the rear is re­strained, with dainty stays

While the front brake is a stiff di­rect-mount cal­liper, the rear is a stan­dard unit, and in the usual place on the seat­stays. It also lo­cates the brake at a point on the rim that de­flects less un­der lat­eral loads, mean­ing that brake rub is far less likely.

Shi­mano Ul­te­gra 6800 was a very ac­com­plished groupset, but the lat­est R8000 is even bet­ter. B’Twin gives you a full com­ple­ment of com­po­nents, apart from the KMC chain. The wheels are new too. Mavic’s lat­est Cos­mic Elite UST is wider than the old ver­sion at a nom­i­nal 17mm in­ter­nal and is also tube­less com­pat­i­ble.

De­spite a fairly av­er­age to­tal weight, the bike feels stiff and pur­pose­ful when you’re out of the sad­dle and is a plea­sure on hilly ter­rain. The front end does chat­ter a bit on bro­ken road sur­faces and its rel­a­tive firm­ness was no­tice­able on a par­tic­u­lar stretch of rip­pled cy­cle path, but the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence is a good one.

A well-specced bike ripe for sportive du­ties

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.