Bicycling (South Africa)
Beat Your, Friends to the Top!
THERE’S NO MAGIC JUICE THAT WILL MAKE YOU CLIMB FASTER (LEGAL JUICE, THAT IS); BUT AN ULTRA-LIGHT RACE BIKE MIGHT HELP.
LLET’S GET THE CONTROVERSIAL STUFF OUT OF THE WAY: Cabal uses open moulds to make their bikes. An open mould is basically a frame design available to anyone – Cabal found a frame they liked, chose a reputable manufacturer, and branded it as their own, thereby cutting out most of the R&D costs. The company is upfront about this, and what you get in return is a hugely capable racing bike at a price much lower than you’d expect, with a two-year warranty and solid back-up service. And they’re South African. What’s not to like? Weighing in at a shade over 7kg for the top-spec model, the Ascent 1 is light. Ridiculously light. An object the size of a bicycle shouldn’t be this light! When you lift it up, it’s like you’re somehow defying the laws of physics. It has clean lines, and all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a race bike in 2019; it’s stiff and fast, and happiest when the road disappears into the clouds. Vibration is minimal, but it does bounce around a bit on rough sections, as do almost all other lightweight carbon race bikes. Spec your Ascent with a SRAM Rival groupset and Fulcrum Racing 7 CX wheels, and you have a bargain at R37k – way less than high-end bikes from the bigger brands. (For around R50k you can have SRAM Force or Shimano Ultegra, and carbon wheels.) The ordering process happens online, but a personalised bike fit in main city centres is included in the price, to make sure your bike is dialled to how you ride. Go destroy some KOMs. – JM