Another month, another brand. It’s always good to see new companies enter the road bike market, but it’s a cut-throat business, and Halcyon has its work cut out challenging well established brands such as Specialized and Trek and newbies Boardman and Cube.
The company behind Halcyon is Gelert; known for its outdoor gear. Its designers have at least cleared the first hurdle, creating a decent-looking bike without any OTT design flourishes. It’s no surprise that red and white dominate, but a dash of blue makes a welcome change from the usual black. New brands could go for the shock of the new or the tried and trusted route. Sensibly, Halcyon has gone for the second option, sticking with proven products rather than swathes of own-brand kit.
At this price Shimano dominates, a complete 105 groupset doing its usual solid job. FSA supplies the bar, stem and seatpost, while the wheels are Shimano R500s shod with white Continental Ultra Sport tyres. No complaints about 105, but we’d like to have seen better wheels and tyres. Neither the Tiagra-level R500s nor the Conti tyres are bad products, but on a £1200 model we’d have liked something racier. We've seen Fulcrum Racing 7s and Schwalbe Ultremo tyres on bikes at this price, for example.
The ride itself is spot on. The frame doesn’t have the massively oversized tubes and bottom bracket sections of many modern bikes, but the 7005 aluminium frame is stiff enough without being overly so. It has chunky chainstays for rear end efficiency, but the slightly slim seatstays and 27.2mm diameter seatpost prevent your rear end being battered. Our 56cm test bike has an 18cm head-tube; combined with the longish 57cm top-tube the riding position is quite racy, with spacers allowing you to tweak your bar height.
The Chronos is a good bike then, with a more than decent frame, a high quality finish, well considered components and no complaints from us when it comes to comfort. But it’s going to be tough at this price. We know that there are always kit compromises – the sky’s not the limit at £1200 – but we’d still like to have seen a better wheelset to make the bike stand out from its competitors.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.