NeilPryde Alize Ultegra review

Fast and exciting newcomer

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £2,799.00 RRP

Our review

A brilliant debut. Light, fast and good value
Skip to view product specifications

It might seem an odd leap for a windsurfing and sailing company to start making bikes, but that’s what NeilPryde have done. The company discovered that 60 percent of their customers are also keen cyclists, so started working with Designworks USA to create a bike range for windsurfers who swap Neoprene for Lycra.

Advertisement
  • Frame: At the first attempt, NeilPryde hit the mark. For an aero frame, the Alize is very light, and very little of your effort is wasted (9/10)
  • Handling: Lively enough to race, stable enough if you want to fit tri-bars and enter time trials or triathlons. The ride is firm but far from uncomfortable (9/10)
  • Equipment: A full house of Shimano Ultegra kit is solid value at this price and shifts gears with quiet efficiency. We also got on well with the Selle italia Sl saddle (8/10)
  • Wheels: As an all-round wheelset you can’t argue with Mavic Ksyrium Elites. But these aren’t the most aerodynamic wheels for a bike like this (8/10)
NeilPryde Alize Ultegra
NeilPryde alize ultegra: neilpryde alize ultegra
Paul Smith - www.smithpic.co.uk

There are two bikes in the line-up, both high-end carbon fibre racers. NeilPryde say the range-topping Diablo is for all-round racing and climbing. The Alize is aimed at breakaway specialists who value aerodynamics over having the lightest bike, in particular someone who wants one bike for road riding, time trials and triathlons. For that reason Alize buyers can choose an additional 76-degree seatpost to get the seating angle that many triathletes prefer.

There’s a choice of two builds, both of which come with a high enough standard of kit to do justice to the frame. We’ve been riding the Ultegra bike, which costs £2,799. You get Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, fast and light Hutchinson Atom tyres, an FSA handlebar and stem, plus a Selle Italia SL Kit Carbonio saddle. The more expensive build swaps the Ultegra groupset for Dura-Ace, upgrades the wheels and adds a smattering of carbon components.

We reckon the Alize Ultegra is better value. For one thing, it rides like a more expensive bike. Push down hard on the pedals and the bike shoots forwards. There’s no wasted effort and little inertia to overcome from the Ksyrium wheels. You can hit serious speeds seriously quickly. Think aero bikes can’t climb? Think again. The stiff, responsive frame and the low overall weight are both allies in your fight against gravity.

Sit down and spin or stand up and stomp – the Alize is happy either way. This bike suits burly sprinters as much as skinny climbers. Hard, out-of-the saddle efforts produce hardly any flex down at the bottom bracket (NeilPryde say the Diablo is stiffer still), and the same stiffness is noticeable around the head tube and fork, no doubt helped by the headset’s oversized bottom race.

The Alize goes where the rider points it, and mid-corner bumps fail to shift the bike off-line. The geometry neatly hits the sweet spot where agility and stability meet. We’d be confident fitting clip-on tri-bars to this bike, knowing the steering wouldn’t wander. The 180mm head-tube allows a low, wind-cheating position, and the frame plays plenty of aero tricks.

Internal cable routing, an aero seatpost and the tubing’s Kamm profile (a cut-off aerofoil that some aerodynamicists say is more slippery than a conventional 3:1 profile) all play their part. Mind you, if you are going to race against the clock, we’d consider swapping the wheels. Mavic Ksyrium Elites are light, durable and stiff, but a mid or deep-section wheel would be more aerodynamic.

Advertisement

The Ksyriums aren’t the most forgiving wheels either so you do feel bumps in the road more than you might riding a sportive bike, for example. But the Alize isn’t harsh, and we’d expect lone breakaway specialists to find the relatively firm ride a price worth paying for the undoubted speed. You’d never guess NeilPryde are newcomers to this bike-building game.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Alize Ultegra (11)
Brand Neil Pryde

Fork All carbon with 1 1/8x1 1/2in steerer, forged dropouts
Weight (kg) 7.43
Chain Shimano Ultegra
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 10spd, alloy spider, 12-25 steel sprockets
Brakes Shimano Ultegra forged dual-pivo
Bottom Bracket Shimano Ultegra external alloy cups, sealed cartridges
Available Sizes 51cm. 53cm 56cm 58 cm 60 cm 53cm 53cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 53cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 56cm 53cm 56cm 60 cm 56cm 56cm 56cm
Wheelbase (cm) 99
Top Tube (cm) 56.5
Standover Height (cm) 80.5
Seat Tube (cm) 49.5
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27
Weight (lb) 16.4
Stem FSA OS150 forged alloy, 12cm, twin bolt 1 1/8in steerer, 4-bolt o/s carbon clamp
Frame Material Hi Mod Carbon
Shifters Shimano Ultegra STI 10spd, carbon
Seatpost NeilPryde 350mm aero carbon with forged micro adjust twin bolt clamp
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Selle Italia SL, hollow vanadium-titanium rails, padded vinyl
Rims Mavic Ksyrium Elite machined alloy
Rear Wheel Weight 1410
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra short cage
Headset Type FSA 1 1/8x1 1/2in sealed cartridge fully integrated aheadset
Head Angle 73
Handlebar FSA Wing Pro Compact, 44cm, super shallow drop, oversized clamp zone
Front Wheel Weight 945
Front Derailleur Shimano Ultegra braze-on
Cranks Shimano Ultegra forged alloy two-piece, steel spindle, 175 arms with 130mm bcd, 39/53t alloy rings