From the tastefully positioned Cooper badge to the flat, racy bar and minimalist Brooks leather saddle, the Kyalami oozes style – but that’s to be expected from the legendary Formula 1 car builders and automotive designers, as they continue their foray into the cycling world.
Highs: Class, pedigree and purpose
Lows: Kickback hub takes getting used to
Buy if: You want a fun urban runaround
Part of an expanding stable of beautifully designed steeds with a legendary racing heritage, at its core is a cleanly TIG-welded chromoly frame and fork.
The main tubes are double-butted Reynolds 520, with elegant forged track dropouts featuring wheel positioning adjustment screws. These come in handy when making chain tension adjustments on the 2-speed ‘kickback’ Sturmey-Archer equipped wheel – a quick backpedal motion switches between the low and high gears, but requires a bit of practice to master.
Once up to speed, the Kyalami is happy carving corners, flying over potholes and drag racing double-deckers. The ride quality is smooth and luxurious, but firm.
Having adapted our bodies to the sporty, forward-leaning but ergonomically correct cockpit, the Cooper proved the ideal partner for Tarmac trophy hunting. It’s a seriously sorted urban bullet perfectly suited for people with a strong sense of style and purpose.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.