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Road.cc review the Blacktop

14 June 2016  Latest News

Road.cc

The Blacktop is a commuter bike, the custom frame geometry allows for an aggressive riding style and boasts a number of premium design features, but don’t take our word for it here is what Road.cc had to say.

‘The Blacktop has an aluminium alloy frame and fork. The welds are smoothed and the bike is finished in a matt/gloss black paint job that’s very understated and urban. There are a few chips in the paint now but generally it’s holding up very well. The alloy fork is painted to match.

To that frame is attached some very sensible and durable city kit. The transmission is a Shimano Nexus 3-speed hub with a grip shifter and a Prowheel 44T chainset. With the 20T sprocket on the hub that gives you 43in, 60in and 81in gears (approximately). That’s a nice spread for getting yourself up the hills and still being able to push on along the flats.

The Nexus hub is built onto an Alex DC-19 rim, with a Quando hub at the front. At 530g the rims are solid without being over-heavy, and they’re well built with plain gauge black spokes. It’s not the most exciting wheel build ever, but the wheels arrived true and stayed that way. They’re shod with 35mm Continental Sport Contact tyres that roll well on the road and have plenty of chamber if you want to venture onto rougher surfaces; the file tread is good for fire roads and towpaths.

Promax V-brakes take care of the stopping. They do the job just fine, although experience suggests they’ll probably be due for a switch a few years down the line as the plastic parts in the spring mechanism aren’t that robust. The alloy levers will last for ever, though. Finishing kit is all alloy, as you’d expect, and you get semi-ergo grips and a decent saddle with a fairly sleek shape and plenty of padding.

The ride: firm, engaging

It’s a fun bike to ride, the Reid. At 11.7kg it’s hardly a lightweight but it’s still good to punch away from the lights and the steering is on the lively side of neutral, which makes it good for flicking through traffic. It’s not twitchy, though, and 40mph descents don’t require any more than the usual amount of care.

The tyres give good levels of grip; the carcass isn’t the most supple so they benefit from having plenty of air in. I ran them at 70psi most of the time; you can drop below that if you’re riding on mixed surfaces and comfort is definitely improved, but at lower pressures on the road you do feel them start to drag.

The position of the bike is just right: not too racy, but not too sat up either. It fits the nature of the bike: the Blacktop is a bike that likes to be thrown about a bit. You can cruise about on it at no great speed, but it’s more fun if you’re putting a bit more effort in.’

Check out the full review here

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