Cooper Kyalami 2012 £750

Fast flat-bar bike

BikeRadar score 4/5

From the tastefully positioned Cooper badge to the flat, racy bar and minimalist Brooks leather saddle, the Kyalami oozes style – but that’s to be expected from the legendary Formula 1 car builders and automotive designers, as they continue their foray into the cycling world.

  • Highs: Class, pedigree and purpose 
  • Lows: Kickback hub takes getting used to
  • Buy if: You want a fun urban runaround

Part of an expanding stable of beautifully designed steeds with a legendary racing heritage, at its core is a cleanly TIG-welded chromoly frame and fork. 

The main tubes are double-butted Reynolds 520, with elegant forged track dropouts featuring wheel positioning adjustment screws. These come in handy when making chain tension adjustments on the 2-speed ‘kickback’ Sturmey-Archer equipped wheel – a quick backpedal motion switches between the low and high gears, but requires a bit of practice to master.

Once up to speed, the Kyalami is happy carving corners, flying over potholes and drag racing double-deckers. The ride quality is smooth and luxurious, but firm. 

Having adapted our bodies to the sporty, forward-leaning but ergonomically correct cockpit, the Cooper proved the ideal partner for Tarmac trophy hunting. It’s a seriously sorted urban bullet perfectly suited for people with a strong sense of style and purpose.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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