Wiggle's Eastway 2016 road bike range goes big on value
Eastway is under new ownership – that being online giant Wiggle. The mega-retailer has taken the UK brand into a new direction with a range of carbon and alloy road bikes that are set to major on value, and offer a wider range of types too.
Wiggle’s Eastway product manager Roger Campbell told us that the aim with the brand is to create a full range of high-performance bikes at tempting prices. Campbell added that Wiggle has ‘big plans’ for Eastway looking to the future.
The original Eastways were named after classic British circuits; rather tenuously the new selection is named after items (some of them quite obscure) that you might find in an electrical circuit. So the new line-up includes the Emitter, a race-orientated road bike, and the Zener, a disc-equipped carbon endurance machine.
The Esaki is a custom-drawn and butted 6061 aluminium track bike, while the Balun is Eastway’s disc-equipped cross machine. The range is rounded off by the flat-bar disc equipped urban bike, the Flyback.
Emitter carbon road bike
The Emitter is based around a 1kg UD carbon frame with a matching full-carbon fork. The geometry is classic parallel 73 angles with a shorter wheelbase (the 54cm has one of 990.5mm). With short chainstays and a longer top tube, this is certainly one for those who like to go quickly.
There are four available models starting with the R4 (we’ve got one in for test). It comes with a full complement of Shimano’s new 4700 Tiagra, Ritchey bar stem and seatpost and Shimano RS11 wheels, and is rounded off with a Fizik Aliante saddle and a set of Continental Ultrasport tyres – so the £950 price tag looks like something of a bargain.
The emitter’s carbon frame features an oversized box-section down tube to add stiffness:
The Emitter’s carbon frame features an oversized box-section down tube to add stiffness
The R3 steps up to 105, with the Ritchey components moving up correspondingly to Comp level. It retains the same wheels, tyres and saddle for a price tag of £1,100.
The R2 keeps up the value stakes with a full Ultegra 6800 groupset and Mavic Aksium One wheels for £1,600, and the range is topped by the R1, which upgrades the wheels further to Mavic’s Kysrium Equipes and Ritchey WCS components for £2,200.
Zener disc endurance bike
The Zener is built around a similarly styled UD carbon frame as the Emitter, and is again matched to an all-carbon fork. As with the Emitter, Eastway has aimed to keep as complete on groupsets as it can throughout the range. In fact, only the £1,000 D3 model moves away from the all-Shimano mantra.
The zener disc road machine shares the tube shapes of the emitter – this is the range topping ultegra equipped d1 at £1,800:
The Zener disc road machine shares the Emitter’s tube shapes – this is the range-topping Ultegra-equipped D1 at £1,800
The D3 comes with Tiagra throughout the drivetrain, Shimano RX05 wheels, Ritchey components, Continental Ultrasports in a 28c and a Fizik Aliante saddle. Stopping duties are handled by our go-to cable operated disc brakes, those being TRP’s dual-action Spyres.
Spend an extra £300 and you’ll be going all-Shimano and hydraulic braking. The D2 comes with Shimano 105 matched to the new 105-level RS505 hydraulic brakes; it also gets upgraded wheels in the form of Shimano’s RX10s and also comp-level Ritchey kit.
The zener features flat-mount disc mounts but runs standard quick releases rather than thru-axles:
The Zener features flat-mount disc brakes but runs standard quick release skewers rather than thru-axles
The range topping D1 gets a full-Ultegra upgrade and RS785 hydraulic brakes, and Mavic Aksium One disc wheels. It again looks like great value at £1,800.
Esaki T1 track bike
The Esaki T1 is Eastways take on a track bike, and its half-paint / half polished finish, on a custom butted frameset, looks the business. It’s aimed more at actual track racers than the urban hipster market, with a single brake coming with it (but not fitted) to satisfy on-road regs.
The esaki t1 track bike certainly looks pricier than its modest £600 tag:
The Esaki T1 track bike certainly looks pricier than its modest £600 tag
Decent component choices include deep-drop MJ track bars, Ritchey stem, a Fizik Aliante saddle and Halo’s Aerotrack custom wheelset plus a 48t SRAM Omnium crankset and 17t Halo 1/8in pitch track cog – all for £600. This looks like a seriously cost-effective way to go ride the boards.
Balun cyclocross bike
With the Balun cross bike, Eastway has opted to hit the point where ‘proper’ ’cross bikes and urban-cross commuters meet.
The balon c1 is eastway’s top-of-the-range cx bike, coming with 105 and hydraulic brakes for £1,100:
The Balon C1 is Eastway’s top-of-the-range CX bike, coming with a 105 drivetrain and hydraulic brakes for £1,100
The 6061 alloy triple-butted frameset and full carbon fork are designed around ’cross-racing geometry. The base model C2 comes with Tiagra, and a ’cross-specific non-series RS500 crankset (46/36) matched to a 12-28 cassette. It’s running on a combination of RX10 wheels and Continental Cyclocross King 35c tyres, with Ritchey comp components and a Fizik Tundra saddle. Stopping is handled by TRP’s excellent HY/RD hydraulic/cable hybrid brakes. At £850 this is again plenty of kit for the cash.
The ritchey bar features flared drops for off-road handling improvements:
The Ritchey bar features flared drops for improved off-road handling
The range-topping C1 Balun gains Shimano 105 and RS505 hydraulics, uprated wheels (Mavic Aksium One) and Ritchey Comp components. It has the same tyres and saddle as the C2 and gets the new FSA Gossamer Pro four-arm chainset (with ’cross specific 46/36 rings). The C1 is priced at £1,100.
Flyback urban bike
Rounding put the range is the Flyback flat-bar bike. Eastway has approached the Flyback as a bike that’s happy to ride on the road, but it’ll handle bike paths, towpaths and a little more besides.
The flyback urban bikes feature hi-vis reflective graphics all over the frame:
The Flyback urban bikes feature hi-vis reflective graphics all over the frame
The frame is custom-butted aluminium, and the fork full carbon. The finishing on the frame features reflective graphics on both frame and fork.
The base model H2, at £600, comes with Shimano Sora, Shimano Deore LX tour disc brakes, RX05 wheels and 28c Ultrasport tyres and Ritchey components. The range topping, meanwhile, H1 gets an upgrade to Tiagra and Comp Ritchey components for an extra £200.
The Eastway range will be launching for sale via Wiggle by the end of October 2015.