Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8.00am
By Jamie Wilkins, Cycling Plus
Kyklos – the name means ‘cycle’ in Greek – are a new brand and this is the ﬂagship model of their ﬁrst range. The bikes are developed and tested by company owner and pro rider Danilo ‘The Killer’ Di Luca, who began the project while on ‘garden leave’ from the peloton for a failed drugs test at the 2009 Giro d’Italia. He remains massively popular in Italy, and his name will undoubtedly propel rather than hinder this brand; there aren’t many bikes on sale that have been worked on by current pros.
There’s a charming rawness to the matt ﬁnish of the top spec Limited, and it looks great with the crisp main graphics. The only thing that lets it down is the naff decals pointing out uninteresting facts about the frame and its manufacturing process – ‘Full Internal Cabling’ and ‘Tube to Tube Process’. The bike would look much smarter and cleaner without them.
Kyklos frames will come in as framesets through new importers Veroli and then get built to your spec, but this bike would be a good place to start. We weighed it at 6.84kg (15.08lb) without pedals – light by any standard and worthy of its name when you consider the added mass of a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery and Deda alloy cockpit. The Reynolds Assault 46mm wheels (new 2011 models) are mid-range clinchers too, not the ultralight tubulars that sometimes come ﬁtted to ﬂatter high-end test bikes.
The ride is nothing short of sensational. The bike surges forward so enthusiastically that it’s hard to resist sprinting until you pop just to revel in a frame that’s stiffer than three-week-old road kill. It’s equally taut around the front end too, so pulling hard on the bar doesn’t tie it in knots. The frisky steering can feel nervous but isn’t unstable. There are clues to the frame’s muscle when you look around it – the massive chainstays, beefy BB30 bottom bracket, reinforced tube junctions at the heavily tapered head tube – but it still surprises.
If you can believe it about a 7kg bike, it rides even lighter than it is, and climbs like Britain’s national debt. The wheelset, claimed to be 1,568g, isn’t superlight and can’t take much credit for the bike’s appetite for hills. They wheels do offer strong braking and good stiffness under hard efforts though, and ﬂy when you’re on the ﬂat. The speed reading from our cycle GPS constantly surprised us. Either the US military’s satellite network was playing up or this is a really fast bike.
The real bonus is the level of comfort, equal to that on ﬂoaty benchmarks such as the Trek Madone 6.9. Even with 115psi in the tyres, it irons out the most broken surfaces. Virtually no vibration or impact reaches the exotic, light Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio saddle. When you’re paying this much it might be hard to resist the more famous prestige brands – Cervélo, Pinarello, Colnago – but this superbike has gone straight to the top of our Lottery win list. It’s ﬁt for a Killer.
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