NEW BIKES

£6200 (frame­set £2227) Aero race ma­chine born in New Zealand

Cycling Plus - - CONTENTS -

Chap­ter 2 Rere, J Lav­er­ack R J.ack Disc III, Spe­cial­ized CruX Ex­pert, Am­pler Stout plus Ad­ven­ture Flat White goes head-to-head with the Pin­na­cle La­terite 0.

Chap­ter 2 is the brain­child of Neil Pryde Bikes founder Mike Pryde. The new Rere, mean­ing ‘to flow’ in Maori, is its sec­ond model and a new aero­dy­namic de­sign. The Rere hits all of the de­sign cues you’d ex­pect, in­clud­ing the keyed-into-the-down-tube fork crown with sculpted air­flow lines to con­di­tion the air around the head-tube. The fork bows out­wards away from the tur­bu­lent air of the front wheel, a de­sign first pi­o­neered by Pinarello, and the down-tube has a cutout un­der­side pro­file to clear and cover the front wheel’s trail­ing edge. The back end fea­tures shaped, kinked chain­stays and dropped aero pro­filed seat­stays.

The Rere looks great, the un­der­stated colour­way and Maori tat­too-in­spired

graph­ics set­ting it apart from the crowd. The 7kg com­plete weight (XL) is im­pres­sive, as is the claimed 985g frame weight. Our XL test bike is the equiv­a­lent of a 58cm, and is very much in race bike ter­ri­tory. The steep an­gles – 73-de­gree seat and 73.5-de­gree head – add a layer of sharp­ness to the han­dling, and the wheel­base, which creeps just over a me­tre, does noth­ing to tem­per the Rere’s nim­ble feel.

It’s un­usual for an aero bike to feel quite this agile – most ma­jor on sta­ble han­dling at speed, but the Rere is some­thing else. Its low weight makes it a for­mi­da­ble climb­ing com­pan­ion and the swift­ness of its re­ac­tions are fan­tas­tic for nav­i­gat­ing twisty roads or pro­gress­ing through the bunch. The Knight wheels are also light (1510g a pair) for 50mm-deep tube­less wheels and wear Sch­walbe One tyres. We haven’t had a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence with Knight’s wheels, but over­all we were im­pressed. The Knight-sup­plied brake pads feel a lit­tle hard com­pared to the lat­est Swis­sS­top com­pounds used by the likes of Zipp and Ro­val, the usu­ally im­pres­sive Shi­mano Dura-Ace brakes feel­ing overly firm when try­ing to scrub off speed on steep de­scents. Dura-Ace me­chan­i­cal is as good as it gets when it comes to shift per­for­mance and the 52/36, 11-28 com­bi­na­tion is the ideal setup for the Rere.

Com­fort-wise the Rere is on the firmer side, but tube­less tyres en­able you to eke out a bit more com­pli­ance on rougher sur­faces by run­ning lower pres­sures than stan­dard in­ner tubes. The Rere’s one-piece bar and stem, the Mana, is ex­cep­tional. The one-piece de­sign means it has a smooth lead­ing edge for hugely im­proved aero­dy­nam­ics, but it’s the com­bi­na­tion of stiff­ness when you sprint from the drops to com­fort­able com­pli­ance when you’re up on the hoods or tops that sets it apart. It’s avail­able af­ter­mar­ket (£453.30) and we’d cer­tainly con­sider fit­ting one to our own bike. The sad­dle is Rapha’s lat­est Pro cutout af­fair. The broad hind quar­ter shape with nar­row­ing nose and large cutout is nice, but the hull feels firmer than sim­i­lar de­signs from Fizik, San Marco and Prol­ogo.

Chap­ter 2 has cre­ated a lightweight, fast han­dling bike with a true aero ad­van­tage, which up un­til now has only been achieved by the lat­est mod­els from Gi­ant (Pro­pel), Spe­cial­ized (Venge), Trek (Madone), Can­non­dale (Sys­temSix), and BMC (Timema­chine). That Chap­ter 2 has achieved the same on a frac­tion of the de­vel­op­ment bud­get should be ap­plauded, and un­re­servedly rec­om­mended by us.

HIGHS Light, nim­ble han­dling and aero­dy­namicLOWSOverly firm brake pads and mid­dling sad­dleBUY IFYou want the han­dling and re­sponse of a race bike with the ad­van­tage of aero per­for­mance

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