Known for their superb expedition and touring bikes, Koga also make machines good enough for professional road racing teams. The mid-range Team Edition is an ideal way to get a great racing chassis at a realistic price, and shows that aluminium is alive and kicking as a modern frame material.
Ride & handling: Understated and simple, with a racy feel
Since the arrival of carbon ﬁbre in the road bike world it seems that aluminium has become a dirty word when it comes to quality race bikes, but recently we’ve seen some superb metal machines from the likes of Kiron, Boardman and Colnago. Dutch brand Koga have been producing excellent aluminium bikes for many years and the race level Team Edition is no exception.
This is a bike that reminds you just how solid great aluminium frames are – it’s light, efﬁcient and has that positive racy feel that’s recently been overlooked in favour of a more relaxed, sportive-style geometry.
All in all, it feels like the sort of bike Cannondale used to make for tour legends like Mario Cipollini, and all of that aluminium development is available at a price most of us can afford.
The Team Edition is at its best on smooth, ﬂat terrain (like much of Koga’s home country Holland’s roads). It zips along and feels positive, and has quick handling through the bendy stuff too.
The ride is as smooth and positive as any bike at this competitive price point. It’s not showy or loud in its ﬁnish; it’s understated and simple, so you can get on with what bikes like this are all about – getting out, slinging a leg over it and blasting along the road, enjoying the ride.
Frame: Harks back to the glory days of Klein and Cannondale
The Team Edition is based around a beautifully manufactured triple butted 7005 series aluminium frame. The ﬁnish is superb and the smooth welds hark back to the glory days of Klein and Cannondale. Team Skil-Shimano’s black, blue, white and red colours adorn the frame and the matching carbon (aluminium steerer) fork.
Some may be dismissive of the fact that the Team Edition is made of metal in a world obsessed with the black composite stuff, but there’s 20 years plus of evolution of the material here and it shows. This is as developed as aluminium gets.
Another plus point for Koga is the size range, with the Team available as a huge 66cm model for the very tall rider, who usually has to go down the costly custom route.
Equipment: Full Shimano Ultegra SL and perfectly matched parts
The full groupset comes straight from the Shimano stable – no surprise here considering that Koga founder Andries Gaastra was the ﬁrst importer of Shimano components into Europe, and close ties to the Japanese giant remain. The compact Shimano Ultegra SL gearing gives a broad enough range to climb, and with no deviations in the drivetrain everything works perfectly together.
All the component parts are exactly what you’d want. For example, the PRO PLT ﬁnishing kit is robust, well shaped and well specced. In particular we loved the bars – at 46cm they were exactly the right width for broad shoulders and (for the 58 size we were riding) perfectly matched to the frame.