Like some other bike makers Beistegui Hermanos started off manufacturing weapons, in BH’s case making rifles way back in 1909. It moved on to bikes in 1919 and now makes 200,000 a year. The company sponsors the French Direct Énergie team, and one of the bikes in its line-up is the BH G6 Pro aero road bike — albeit with swankier kit and wheels than my bike.
Aero road bikes have been with us for a few years, and the earliest of the species were heavy and leaden-feeling. Fortunately things have changed, and the weight of my test model was within a few grams of all but the lightest bike on test from Scott, Cannondale, BMC, Giant and Cube, an immediate score for BH, whose designers have clearly worked hard.
The frame has a claimed weight of just 860g, a fine achievement for a £1,999 aero bike, and I’ve no reason to doubt that figure.
While most of the bikes also on test are big all over, the BH combines svelteness in some areas and maximum volume elsewhere in order to combine aerodynamics with efficiency and power.
So the chunky head tube houses a steerer with a 1 1/2in lower headset race like the Giant’s, and there’s a chunky bottom bracket shell for the BB386 Evo bottom bracket; BB386 allows for a stiffer, more efficient carbon layup. But that tapered head tube morphs into a slim top tube and truncated aerofoil down tube, all fairly standard for an aero bike.
At the back end it’s all pretty familiar too: deep chainstays to cope with pedalling forces and gently arcing pencil-slim seatstays for comfort. Both the brakes are direct-mount 105 units, though the front feels better than the rear, which is okay without being impressive. As it’s sited directly behind the bottom bracket it will pick up road-borne crud like it’s going out of fashion. The seatstay bridge isn’t drilled for a brake, so it’s the only option.
But the ride itself is a treat. I couldn’t set up a wind tunnel in the garden to test its aerodynamic qualities (planning permission issues…), but its handling is as good as anything here. It gets up to speed smoothly and effortlessly, and it feels like you can eke out every watt as you ease up through the gears.
The frame and semi-deep Vision wheels handle breezes well, though I had no strong winds during testing to see how they affected the bike. There may have been a little more flex in the frame when climbing, but if this was the case it wasn’t enough to hamper the handling, and the same was true on descents as well. It’s not quite as flickable as the Cannondale or Scott, but it’s no slouch.
This efficiency does come with a slight comfort penalty. The BH uses a seatpost that extends above the top tube junction. Advantages include a stiffer, lighter frame, but transporting the bike is trickier and selling it on could prove more problematic, as it can’t be cut down.
And, even with skinny seatstays and 25mm rubber you can feel the firmness of the ride. But BH’s G6 Pro is still a strong challenger to aero bikes from bigger names, being a light, well-priced bike with a good set of wheels.