Forme already have a range of affordable road bikes for the value-seeking rider, but the Flash 1.0 takes those principles and stretches the boundaries.
It’s decked out in a complete Campagnolo Record groupset, plus carbon wheels and kit. Using ultra-light and stiff T800 carbon, our 54cm frame is said to weigh around 850g, and with the top-notch spec the complete bike is under the International Cycling Union’s 6.8kg weight limit.
Designed for maximum strength, the down tube’s rounded triangular shape enlarges and becomes six-sided by the wide BB86 bottom bracket shell, and boxy chainstays taper towards the dropouts for maximum power transfer. Slim triangular seatstays combine decent shock absorption and side-to-side stiffness.
There’s something undeniably racy about the Record groupset, with purposeful mechanical shifts, stealthy carbon and a standard double chainset. The cutaway skeleton brakes have ample power, great modulation and a light feel.
The finishing kit is from 4ZA’s Cirrus Pro range. We like the one-piece bar and stem’s deep ergo drops, and the tops are really comfortable when climbing. It feels incredibly rigid when you’re heaving on the bar, and gives reasonable shock absorption over small bumps, but you do feel big hits. The 15.5cm head tube and generous setback from the carbon seatpost allow an aggressive position, and the carbon-railed saddle is very supportive.
The full carbon, 50mm Cirrus Pro T50 wheels, with excellent Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubular tyres, give a satisfying zing and unbeatable ride feel. The suppleness of a good tubular is still unequalled, and they impart a great floaty quality to the otherwise very firm ride.
This super-light combination easily exceeded all our usual test route speeds. The key to this was the frame, which has a pleasing neutrality, seemingly poised for electric pace changes, quick flicks around potholes, or just cruising at any speed.
Although flattered by quick wheels and a glorious groupset, the Flash 1.0 is a well-sorted frame that excels over rolling terrain, where its ability to climb fast, descend confidently and corner with the best means it holds onto speed tenaciously. The only time we found it wanting was when sprinting, as the wheels exhibited a little too much flex under high torque.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.