Review: Road Bike Review: Eastway R2.0
A great-value road bike that will cope with the worst commutes and the best weekend rides with ease. Solid components are partnered with a full carbon frame and fork! Quirky at first but well worth a test ride!
Performance 8/10 Looks 8/10 Value 9/10 Overall 8/10
With its glossy black and orange paint job the Eastway R2.0 certainly looks like an impressive machine, gaining appreciative looks from folk as its parked up, however as much as its nice to ride a good looking steed its much nicer to ride a great performing steed – so how did we do?
First impressions were really not positive at all, I just could not seem to get on with the handlebars!
They feature a very shallow drop, so shallow in fact that when I was standing up with my hands on the lower drop section I was knocking my wrists against them – now this was never going to break my wrists, but it was just irritating!
Also, on the subject of handlebars, they had a flattened section on the tops, one would imagine for a comfier position to rest your hands – but due to the closeness of the flattened section coupled with a short stem there just seemed to be very little room for the modern day handlebar set-up of computer, light and camera – very little room and should you want to use the flattened section of bar then you may well find your devices wouldn’t fit because of the extra width this section had.
I must have ridden a good couple of weeks with the R2.0 and still found myself grumbling about the handlebars – but despite the handlebars the rest of the ride was great fun.
Eastway bill the bike as being perfect for longer commutes and weekend rides, and this seems a pretty good match for the R2.0
It features a full carbon frame and fork, a SRAM Apex groupset and a pair of sturdy Mavic Aksium wheels.
As a commuting bike it handles the scarred UK inner city roads with aplomb, its wider tyres coping with the roughest pot-holes nicely, and smoothing out the road buzz on the early morning rides.
When the lights change and you need to skip forward at a rate of knots the R2.0 responds accordingly, its carbon frame provides a swift response.
So for at least part of it’s stated purpose it seems perfectly aligned, as a commuter bike it really does offer a cracking ride – with enough responsiveness to get you through the traffic whilst enough comfort to set you up for a day in the office.
So how does it fare for longer rides?
Well, such was my level of mistrust in the handlebars that I honestly was dreading the trip down to london, even the night before I was still deliberating over which bike to take.
I had already completed about 450 miles on the R2.0 at this stage, including several rides around 50 miles, so I felt any anxiety about the handlebars was justified (if it seems like I am labouring the point about them, then that should give you an idea about my level of concern!).
But biting the bullet I donned my gloves bright and early to settle into the Nottingham-London finale of the test.
And you know what? I am glad I did!
On this longer ride the R2.0 really delivered, and I realised by about mile 70 that I had not groaned, grumbled or groused about any part of the ride at all!
She ate the miles happily, with a real zip to her progress as we churned through the Great British countryside, the rough country roads offered no real challenges to the frame, easily absorbing the buzz from the tarmac.
The issues I had had for 4 weeks just disappeared – with the shallow drop coming into its own as I found myself riding more in the drops than normal – helping me to get through the wind very smoothly.
Over the longer distance the R2.0 was more than capable of getting me across the country, and upon my arrival in London I found myself remarkably refreshed – well as refreshed as you would be after 10 hours in the saddle.
The R2.0 isn’t the quickest of bikes, the wider tyres do certainly add some weight, but it can certainly take more than most will be able to give.
At £1 shy of £1,500, the R2.0 is above the price of a cycle to work scheme bike, but should definitely figure into your thinking if you can stretch to it.
A solid SRAM Apex group set provides the moving parts of the bike and performs excellently – the front mech requires a bit more effort than I would like but that could be me rather than the mech.
I think that this sort of price point is the where the 2nd bike is looking to be purchased, you know that you have the bug, but perhaps not ready to sell a kidney to purchase.
Capable and happy to take any abuse you can give it, the R2.0 will take you from home to work in comfort, yet will be begging you to take it out at the weekend to stretch yourself a little more.
Great value really characterises the Eastway R2.0, solid componentry coupled with top quality race or training wheels all partnered to an excellent full carbon frame and fork combo make this a very compelling purchase – a bike you can purchase and sleep confidently knowing you’ve made a sound decision.
• Frame: Eastway Carbon Monocoque road
• Colour: Black/orange
• Fork: Full carbon tapered
• Chainset: SRAM Apex 53/34
• Front derailleur: SRAM Apex
• Rear derailleur: SRAM Apex medium cage
• Shifter: SRAM Apex
• Cassette: SRAM PG-1050 12-28
• Chain: KMC X10
• Brakes: SRAM Apex
• Wheelset: Mavic Aksium
• Tyres: Kenda K1018 700C*25C
• Saddle: Eastway Race
• Seatpost: Eastway Race 31.6
• Handlebar: Eastway Race
• Stem: Eastway Race
• Grips/bar tape: Eastway Velvet