Now though, long–term Barracuda distributor Moore Large has revamped the brand for 2014. Gone are the cheapy full-suspension creations and in their place stands an all-new budget bike range.
There are 14 gears available, courtesy of Shimano’s Tourney compact crankset and 7-speed derailleur. An unusual feature of the Corvus I is Shimano’s rarely used A050 bar-mounted shifters – they’re a potent reminder of why STI levers are nearly always standard fit on bikes of today, but they’re understandable at this price.
If you couldn’t live with those flat-bar shifters, then Barracuda’s next model up, the £399.95 Corvus II, has an identical spec to the Corvus I but ditches the weird shifters for Shimano Tourney dual-control numbers. The women-specific model is the Corvus II ws. Its spec is identical to the Corvus II but the three frame sizes on offer are 48, 51 and 54cm instead of the 53, 56 and 59cm men’s options.
The range-topping £499.95 Corvus III steps things up a gear – quite literally – by including Shimano’s new 8-speed Claris transmission.
The entry-level Hydra 1 retails for £299.95 and has an alloy frame and steel fork. Its 35mm tyres are paired to a 36-spoke own-brand wheelset. A Shimano Tourney 18 transmission and alloy V-brakes finish the package.
The £349.95 Hydra 2 uses the same frame as the Hydra 1 but swaps the steel fork for an alloy one. The transmission is also upgraded to components from Shimano’s Claris group, bringing six gears with it. The stem is steel rather than alloy.
The top-of-the-range Hydra 3 is priced at £399.95 and adds disc brakes into the mix, namely Promax mechanical models. The Hydra 3 also has a stealthy black paintjob.
Men’s versions are available in four sizes, while the women’s models are available in three smaller sizes.
The cheapest way onto a Vela is the £249.95 Vela One. For the money, you get an alloy frame and steel fork plus a simple, 7-speed Shimano Tourney transmission that uses a single front chainring.
The Vela Two and its women-specific counterpart both retail for £299.95. They swap the single ring of the Vela One for a Shimano Tourney triple chainset. Barracuda also adds an aluminium adjustable stem to these models.
The range-topping Vela Three and its women-specific version retail for £349.95. Here, the extra cash goes into an SR Suntour suspension fork that offers 85mm of travel. All models roll on budget 700x35c rubber.
The Delpinus is a city bike that retails for £249.95 and up. We think it does a good job of looking more expensive than it is though. It’s full of retro detailing, from faux leather grips to white wall tyres. Available in 16in and 19in sizes, it comes in two colourschemes and the choice of either a 7-speed Shimano Tourney transmission or a Nexus 3-speed hub gear.