A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a much more experienced rider and tester here at Wiggle, who said that it takes 1000km to really know what a bike is like. And to a degree, I agree! You can only test the durability, practicality and versatility of a bike, over many hard, dirty and intense miles. However, I'm a firm believer that the first few rides on a bike, can tell you a huge amount; it can instantly charm you, or put you off forever.
I have been testing the Eastway Emitter R1 - it's a bike that's at the top of the Eastway range, and offers amazing value and technology. Certainly our customer reviews make this bike sound amazing, so I was keen to see if it met the high expectations!
A frame should be stiff, compliant and light; these are certainly claims that Eastway make of the Emitter R1; and after no time at all, I could see they rung true, and why this bike is so highly rated by Team Wiggle riders.
The stiffness of the frame's bottom bracket and head-tube were instantly noticeable; it's an area where modern frames have quickly developed in the last five years. On my old bikes, under serious uphill acceleration or sprinting, there was an obvious twisting motion to the frame - where the BB and headtube were twisting and flexing. On the Emitter R1, efforts feel solid, smooth and efficient, thanks to the tapered headtube and large BB86 bottom bracket. The light weight and stiffness, make this a true race-bred frame.
The frame definitely has 'racy' characteristics, but I don't think it's limited to those with a race license! The geometry provides a great balance between aggression and comfort; the head tube and top tube lengths create a frame that would be suitable for sportive riders, but equally at home in a town centre criterium. It is a frame that's versatile enough for all riding styles.
The spec of this bike is sublime. I'd never ridden Di2 before riding the Emitter R1, and now I see myself as a true convert! The benefits of Di2 are numerous; gear changes are instant - whether it's sprinting out of corners, or dropping from big to little ring on a climb. It inspires efficient riding in all situations; whilst the 52/36 chainset, coupled with the 11-28 cassette, offer go-anywhere, do-anything gearing!
Ritchey components were carefully chosen by the Eastway team, to provide a great value, great performance option. A Ritchey WCS Carbon seatpost, mixed with WCS stem and handlebars, create a lightweight and great looking package!
Finally, the Mavic Ksyrium wheelset. These hoops have been the go-to for amateur racers for many years, and they can even be seen on the training bikes of many Mavic sponsored World Tour riders! Why? Because the wheels are light, stiff and durable; and they will excel in most riding conditions. The 25mm Continental tyres have also been great; with no punctures to date, and grip in all conditions.
The Eastway Emitter R1 has really impressed me so far. At the heart of the bike is a frameset good enough to be complemented/upgraded with the highest level kit; yet the components on the R1 model offer superb value and an incredible starting point.
I've been so impressed by the R1, that I have even ordered one for myself! This really is a bike created for 'cyclists', by cyclists; and the results are superb.