Family-run Pearson Cycles claim to be the oldest bike shop in the world – so they should know what they're doing. The company aren’t new to carbon fibre either, this being the sixth incarnation of the Carbon Pro since 2004.
The result is a high quality, race ready bike that combines 150 years of cycling heritage and cutting-edge materials in one elegant package. Not only does it have a carbon frame with integrated seatpost and carbon fork, but our bike came with Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2, making it one of the best value electronic-shifting machines out there.
The newest Carbon Pro has an oversized bottom bracket shell. It’s not as massive as many we’ve seen but combined with the frame’s oversize integrated seatmast there’s a great sense of power and efficiency coursing through this bike when you put your foot down.
We did think the seatmast might result in an overly harsh feel on so-so surfaces, but while not offering a soft ride it stays comfortable enough as the miles rack up. That’s helped by Fizik’s Arione saddle and the excellent wing profile Pro Stealth bar. In fact, the seatmast is more of an issue when you’re travelling with your bike, making the frame that bit harder to pack.
We’d still place this bike at the racier end of the road market. It’s a machine for competitive riders and those looking to cut down on their sportive times. Mavic’s Cosmic Carbone SL wheels add to the ultra-efficient feel, their aluminium braking surfaces meaning stopping power is good.
However, we discovered during some gusty weather that not all deep-section rims are created equal, the Cosmic’s flat profile 52mm ones being much more susceptible to sidewinds than other similarly deep rims with more curved profiles. But the highlight of the kit spec has to be the Di2 shifting.
It works absolutely impeccably time after time. The disadvantage is aesthetic, the unsightly down tube cable bosses still being in situ. A final point in the Carbon Pro’s favour is that kit choice is down to you, with SRAM and Campagnolo available. All Pearson’s bikes are built to order, with the assurance of 150 years of history behind that service.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.