Kyklos Featherweight Plus Killer frameset – First ride review
This bike is special for more than its beautiful matt white and silver finish, more than its exclusivity, and more than its spec. It’s the only bike on sale that’s both designed and developed by a current top level pro. The rider in question is Aqua e Sapone’s Danilo ‘The Killer’ Di Luca, hence the moniker on this special edition of the top-of-the-range model. Don’t be too quick to dismiss this bike because of Di Luca’s past offences – you’ll be missing out.
Kyklos was started two years ago by Di Luca and long-time friend Francesco Di Ruscio, whose own pro career was cut short by injury. Prototypes are tested by Di Luca and some of his friends in the bunch, including Fillipo Pozzato. Everything they ever wanted in a team-issue bike, every annoyance with the machines they had to ride, all goes into the design. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Kyklos Featherweight Plus is the bike that pros dream about.
This frame was developed from the Featherweight Limited we rode last year. The Plus switches from an integrated seatmast to a conventional seatpost and the carbon layup has been revised for extra pedalling stiffness. It comes in five colours but this paintjob is unique to the Killer edition. The frame features internal cabling, a BB30 bottom bracket, big chainstays for stiffness and skinny seatstays for comfort. Our test bike came built with SRAM Red, an ENVE Composites cockpit and Edco Furka Competition carbon clincher wheels, which are also imported by UK Kyklos agents Veroli.
The ride is nothing less than astonishing. The frame is incredibly stiff, not just around the substantial bottom bracket but also in the front end so when you’re out of the saddle and pulling on the equally-stiff ENVE bar there’s no twist at all, only surging drive. The sprinting and climbing performance is outstanding.
What’s even more remarkable is that the Featherweight Plus combines this stiffness with the unprecedented comfort levels we found in the Limited version a year ago. Everything from road vibration to bigger potholes is significantly damped before it reaches any of the contact points. It’s proof that in high-end bikes with the right engineering you don’t have to compromise smoothness to get low weight and stiffness.
The 58mm-deep Edco Furka Competition wheels feel quick once up to speed and their stability means you never feel like backing off just because the wind has picked up. The ceramic braking surface is superb, too, screeching sometimes but stopping you faster than any other wheelset we’ve ridden, whether carbon or aluminium.
At 1,742g, the Furkas are on-par for deep-section carbon clinchers. However, that’s a meaty category of wheel and they aren’t as stiff as the rest of the bike so they feel like they’re holding it back. Edco offer several wheelsets more suited to hilly rides. We also tried the Kyklos with 1,277g ENVE 3.4s and it was phenomenal – we smashed our hard-fought best time on our local test climb.