The thinking behind Bergamont’s Grandurance is this: by not being restricted by the confines of a race bike, it could create a true all-round platform. Its closest rivals would be GT’s highly regarded Grade and Cervélo’s C Series, both bikes that blend on-road manners with all-road capability.
- The Bergamont Grandurance Elite is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2018. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women's bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub.
Bergamont Grandurance Elite frame and kit
The Grandurance blends endurance geometry with plenty of clever design tweaks in the frameset, enabling you to tweak the bike for pretty much any drop-bar-based activity.
My 57cm test bike features a 72-degree head angle, and steeper 73.5-degree seat angle, plus a long 1036mm wheelbase. The 602mm stack height is pure endurance bike stuff and the 392mm reach is a decent match.
It’s a fine-looking frame, with the dropped seatstays and sculpted tubing very reminiscent of BMC — Bergamont was previously part of the same manufacturing group, but is now a part of Scott’s sports group.
The aero-shaped fork crown flows smoothly into the Grandurance’s head-tube, and the fork itself is cleverly put together with massive tyre clearance. Bergamont claims 37mm, but I think that’s with space to spare. The Elite comes with 35mm tyres.
The fork crown has a bolt-in mini-guard that reminds me of the super-short aluminium mudguards found on road bikes in the early 80s. It can be removed, and even comes with an insert to fill the gap at the crown if you’re running more modest diameter road tyres. I like that the frame also features hidden guard mounts, front and rear. The rear would also double as a rack mount.
Bergamont Grandurance Elite ride experience
Get on board the Elite and it’s immediately a fine place to be — the proportions are spot on and the ride quality is exceptional.
It’s hard to judge the comfort coming from a frameset when it's running such voluminous tyres in Schwalbe’s G-Ones. The G-One is considered a ‘gravel’ tyre, but these all-round versions feature a tightly packed knobbled tread pattern, which makes for a tyre that rolls well on tarmac and can handle the rough stuff.
You have to expect lower speeds over tarmac than a full slick, but once onto rougher roads and mud-splattered lanes and the G-Ones come into their own.
The Elite’s handling is confidence inspiring, and combined with a wide-range 11-32 cassette, is both an able climber and exceptional descender thanks to capable brakes and plenty of comfort and grip from the tyres.
The X-Base saddle is nicely shaped and comfortable, but the glossy surface meant I had to constantly adjust my ride position as I slipped around in Lycra on the saddle’s surface.
The wheelset combines own-brand Saint Pauli (Bergamont’s home town) hubs with Shining C-325D rims. Shining is a Taiwanese-based rim manufacturer I haven’t had much experience of, but these curved V-section rims have a 19mm width that shapes the oversized tyres well.
Throughout testing they proved to be stiff, the wheel build stayed tight and the hubs smooth. They aren’t the lightest, contributing to the not-inconsiderable 10.3kg overall weight. You’ll notice that weight when it comes to longer and steeper climbs, despite superb, flex-free power transfer, it does feel ponderous where you might want a bit more go.
The 105 drivetrain and RS505 brakes are both capable performers, but at £2699 plenty of the competition offer the next level in the drivetrain hierarchy, Ultegra.
I'm impressed with Bergamont’s new addition to the ever-expanding range of bikes available, but think the company needs to work a little harder in the value stakes to really make an impact with what is overall a great bike to ride — one that mixes fantastic versatility, excellent quality and a heap of fun.
- BikeRadar would like to thank Life Cycle Adventures, Sanremo Bike Resort, MET Helmets, Le Col, Mercedes Benz and Brittany Ferries for their help and support during our Bike of the Year test.