Bike Exchange test out the latest addition to our Commuter and Folding range – the Urban X3
Over the last few months, Bike Exchange have been putting our Urban X3 through it’s paces in Melbourne and Sydney to see how it copes with tough city commutes and general urban life. Below are some quotes from said review, and there is a link to read the review in full at the end. If you’d like to see more information including full specifications, simply click here.
Orignal article written by Adam Kavanagh, March 7th, 2017 on bikeexchange.com.au
The Reid Urban X3 was designed for ‘fast, urban commutes’, with a healthy list of components exceeding expectations at this price point. While it stacks up impressively on paper, the question is, does it perform just as well on the road, and does it serve its purpose as an urban bike?
Who’s it for?: Someone looking for a reliable, safe commuter who also desires some action on the way to their destination.
What we like?: Easy to ride. Shimano Deore drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes are standout features.
The frame and fork for the Urban X3 are both hydroformed alloy creating smooth lines and optimising the tube shapes for additional stiffness without adding a heap of weight. Hydroforming refers to shaping metals through the use of a mould and high-pressure fluid. The aluminium tubing is placed into a mould and then high-pressure pumps are used to force the aluminium into the shape of the mould, creating a frame that provides stiffness without additional reinforcement or extra material. The hydroformed frame and fork of the Urban X3 are welcome and indicative of a bike in excess of its price tag.
The ‘Urban’ geometry provides a more upright position than a flat bar road bike, offering additional comfort and clearer vision through traffic and built up areas. The headtube angle of 71.5 degrees is almost identical to the 71.4-degree headtube angle of Reid’s ‘Granite’ Gravel bike we tested, but not as steep as Reid’s racey Vantage Comp 1.0 that we also tested. Both gravel and urban bikes are designed with lower speeds in mind, hence the ‘slacker’ angle to slow the steering down and be more stable at low speeds. The 1102mm wheelbase of the Urban X3 is longer than the Granite, typifying the extra stability of urban bikes to handle the rigours of the urban environment.
Internal cabling at the front of the bike is once again expected on higher priced options. The Shimano Deore drivetrain is well beyond what you would expect within this price range.
Scanning through the rest of the bike and the Urban X3 continues to perform well on paper. The Shimano M396 hydraulic disc brakes are more than what you’d expect at this price point and something all of our testers commented on. Opting for hydraulic brakes over a cable disc brakes or rim brakes has many advantages, the biggest being the consistent performance in adverse weather conditions. And as the system is sealed, it’s incredibly low maintenance, easy to operate and provides great power and better modulation (control).
The choice of wheelset and tyres continues to impress, disc specific Alex MD19 rims are paired with Novatec sealed bearing hubs that should provide an extremely durable platform. The enormous puncture resistant 35c Continental Sport Contact 2 tyres should be equally durable and more than capable of navigating urban areas.
We had multiple people around the office ride the Urban X3 for various purposes including commuting and fitness riding. The easy, tool-free adjustable seatpost made swapping between people of various heights a breeze. The bike was described by more than one tester as “easy to ride”. The flat grips add to the comfort at the front of the bike, and running the 35c tyres at 50psi provided comfort in spades. There were two key points that everyone that rode the bike commented on; the Shimano Deore drivetrain and the hydraulic disc brakes.
The hydraulic disc brakes were the other standout feature and performed as expected. One of our testers who regularly commutes said they were “awesome” and added, “you can be really precise and they’re excellent for commuting because sometimes you do need to stop in a hurry even if the weather is bad.'” While the speeds reached on the Urban X3 would most likely not need the power hydraulic disc brakes provide, riding with them in all weather conditions provides plenty of confidence, and they also allow for huge amounts of clearance to run larger tyres if you wish.
To read the review in full on Bike Exchange Australia’s website, please click here.