B’TWIN ULTRA 920 AF
£1199 > A few upgrades continue the great 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