Identiti Initial-D review£3,999.99

A newborn Identiti

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Known for its BMX bikes, Identiti’s first drop bar machine and its ‘initial’ carbon frame comes with hydraulic disc brakes, which might just be the next big thing. But Identiti has bucked the trend for mountain bike-inspired 135mm rear spacing and stayed with the road standard 130mm.

    Maintaining this spacing and including a drilled rear brake bridge enables the Initial-D to run discs or calipers, so it can accept all standard road wheels. The frame has clearance for 25mm rubber and, unusually, features a BSA 68mm bottom bracket, because Identiti and its engineers believe the proven performance of a 24mm axle and an external bearing system is more than adequate and easier to service than modern BB standards. It also has universal internal cable routing for mechanical, hydraulic or electric, mirrored on each side for every eventuality.

    Hydraulic discs – the next big thing, now:
    Hydraulic discs – the next big thing, now:

    Hydraulic discs – the next big thing, now

    We tested the range-topping Initial-D with SRAM’s 22 Red groupset, but it’s also available as a frameset or with other SRAM and Shimano builds. Shifting through every gear ratio is sublime, while SRAM’s newly updated Hydro R hydraulic disc brakes provide peerless stopping. Subtle brake modulation gives perfect control with bags of power that remains unaffected by road, rim or cable condition.

    The Initial-D feels very refined and covers mixed terrain eagerly and in comfort, the 1515g frame and fork combining the added strength that’s required for disc braking with an involving suppleness. Acceleration is lively too, thanks to the rigid down tube, chunky chainstays and the Halo carbon wheels with their 50mm deep rims.

    These tubeless-ready clinchers also have a braking track for extra versatility. A little more width increases stability and grip, and their 1600g weight doesn’t hold you back. The disc means the rear wheel has minimal dishing – good for strength and evening out spoke tension, though it comes at the expense of some lateral stiffness.

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

    Robin Wilmott

    Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK, Procycling Magazine
    Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
    • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
    • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
    • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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