We tested the Race Lector Comp’s big brother, the Ultegra Di2 equipped Pro, last year. They share the same frame, wheels and non-electronic drivetrain components, so weight-wise they’re on a par, but the Comp comes with a pricetag that's more than £1,000 lower.
The heart of the bike is a very capable chassis, its front end bolstered by an oversized 1-1/2in lower headset bearing, an oversized down tube and large press-fit bottom bracket shell. Geometry is based around parallel 73.5 degree seat and head angles, and a wheelbase just short of a metre. These figures, and the stiff structure, give plenty of reactive responses to steering inputs.
Super skinny rear stays and the slim top tube offer some damping over coarse roads, making the Race Lector more comfortable than we’d expect of a lightweight German carbon bike, although it’s not quite up with the smoothest around. Neither is it the most exciting, but it is highly capable.
The all-alloy cockpit has a decent shaped compact drop bar and it feels supremely rigid when you’re honking on the bars. A little road buzz can be felt, though, and that can become wearing over longer rides. We’d consider upgrading to a carbon bar and stem sooner rather than later, especially as the Ultegra gearing chosen here – a 50/34-tooth compact chainset up front and an 11-28t cassette out back – is a perfect selection for long rides incorporating tough climbs.
The Easton aero wheels are a touch weighty for the quality of the frame but they’re extremely well built, running on smooth bearings and tough, stiff rims. These are shod with truly excellent Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres.
As a package the Lector represents good value for money. The frame and fork package is light, beautifully finished and sharp handling. The completing kit of decent, but not exceptional, bar/stem and post plus an excellent drivetrain, good wheels and superb tyres adds up to a great £2,000 bike. While it’s not our favourite for comfort or speed, the Lector Comp is a highly capable all-rounder.
This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.