The last week’s been an exciting time for me as I’ve taken delivery of my NeilPryde Bikes – a blue Alize and a Red Diablo both in full Dura Ace spec. That’s right – one of each model. To be fair it’s not quite like I couldn’t choose between them – even though they both make very good cases for themselves. I’ve just become the UK agent for NeilPryde bikes and I’m really excited about it.
Like many people who watch what’s happening in road cycling I saw the news of the launch of this new bike brand back in August. I was on my summer holidays at the time – but it really intrigued me. Here was a company with 40 years experience in working with the wind and over 20 years of working with carbon fibre bringing that collective knowledge to cycling. To me, this made perfect sense and right away seemed like a compelling combination. I blogged to that effect in October (http://girodilento.com/new-aero-road-bike-brand-neil-pryde-a-competi).
Thanks to the extensive take up of carbon across the bike industry and the UCI weight limit of 6.8kgs – most (if not all) bike companies can now pretty comfortably build bikes that are light and stiff enough for both recreational and pro riders. Because of that I’ve thought for a while that the next big push has to be into aerodynamics and this for me was one of the key points in the NeilPryde launch information, I felt that they had a great pedigree for building aero bikes and because of my interest in this developmental step – I needed to take notice. My post back in October started a dialogue that has ended up with me representing the brand in the UK – in fact you see my smiling face on the website as the UK contact. So I thought it was simplest just to explain my relationship right from the start, so it’s nice and clear as well as what excites me about it all.
I like people/companies that are trying something new – I always have. To this point, I’ve spent a lot of the last 5 years working with start-up companies trying to help people get new ventures off the ground. It’s exciting to be in at the beginning of something new. So I was very excited that these bikes are some of the earliest to arrive in Britain and to know that when I’m out riding them – probably no one else will be riding the same bike. I like that and like any cyclist – I’m excited about having new bikes. I know that I might be in a minority in the world of cycling with a view like that about new companies – but every large, established and well respected brand begins as a start-up. NeilPryde already has a tremendous reputation – just not in cycling yet. In cycling I still think there’s lots of room for more good ideas, like there is in any field – so bravo ( or perhaps chapeau) to anyone who’s keen to get in and make something new, apply some different thinking to try and make a great product. As always, the market and the quality of products will ultimately decide who succeeds and the dominant players of today may or may not be them same ones in the future.
Now if you’re worried that Girodilento.com is going to change significantly as a result of this “bombshell” – well that’s simply not the plan. Above all, I’m a passionate road cyclist and an enthusiast and will continue to write about my riding and all kinds of products and brands that interest me and that I think may interest you. In fact this development will only serve to make me more careful to write fairly about any product I feature on the blog, as I have always tried to do to date anyway. Yes, you’ll see more NeilPryde bikes on this blog, not least of all because I’ll be riding them and I often take pictures of the bikes I ride (who doesn’t). As for reviews of the bikes, I will be sharing my thoughts for what they’re worth but mostly I’ll leave that to the professio
nal reviewers so you can have a totally independent view.
I took a bunch of photos today to share as I’ve not managed to find that many on the web yet and these particular bikes may disappear off for review before long, so I thought I’d take these photos while I had the chance – straight out of the box – so these are the first look for GirodiLento.com.
First and foremost both of these bikes are demo bikes – for me and for anyone else who’s thinking of buying one or would like to review one. So if you’re in the South East of England and think these could well be the kind of bike you could be interested in – let me know. If you’re really keen you can come out and hit the hills of Kent/Sussex with me on them for a “proper” test ride.
My first impressions of both bikes are very positive indeed – as I hope you can see in the photos – the finish is just lovely – the blue on the Alize is really luminous as is the white on the Diablo and the details in the graphics and the colours schemes are really well considered. In fact it’s a pleasure to look carefully over the bikes looking at the design of the tubes and colour/graphics schemes. My good friend and reader Malcolm has a fantastic baby blue De Rosa Idol, which is a beautiful bike and a beautiful blue – but I think I’ve just found a blue that I like even more. I’ve tried as hard as my skills and the weather today allowed but the photos don’t do it justice you have to see it in the flesh to appreciate it. The one word that I have kept coming back to when thinking of describing the look of the bikes so far is elegant. I’ve tried to take photos that will help you see some of the details on both of the bikes.
My initial ride impressions based on a 1/2 hour ride with a soon to be Alize owner this afternoon is that they’re both light, fast and fun to ride. From there the Diablo feels a bit more like a thorough bred race horse, it responds well to the “whip” and has a strong and nimble nature. It has a stiff front end and a good amount of snap in the bottom bracket but it has some give and comfort too – it’s no teeth rattler. It’s fast handling and feels like a real racing machine – it wants you to ride harder and harder and feels like it will be a great climbing bike too (to be properly tested!) The Alize on the other hand also feels light and fast but doesn’t have quite the same snap in acceleration. It just seems to get faster and faster and it really does feel like it’s cutting through the air (to me and my riding companion this afternoon). It’s tangibly more comfortable than the Diablo – but it’s still stiff and has an excellent power transfer. On the website it says that the Diablo is stiffer and lighter and is a natural climber. They say the Alize is a bike for breakaways, aero and comfortable but fast with it. My first impressions agree completely and I look forward to riding them more on my favourite routes through Kent and Sussex as the great British winter allows.
Thanks for reading.