The Bura name is usually associated with the the sub-750g frame Bura SL superbike, but we know you probably want to hear about the bike you can actually afford, so I decided to take a hit for ‘the people’ and fall on my carbon sword. I've spent the last few months riding NeilPryde’s cheapest version of the bike — the 105 equipped Bura C6.7.
While the brand has only been making bikes for around eight years, NeilPryde actually has a long heritage of working with carbon as one of the first brands to start experimenting with the wonder material in the late eighties via its windsurfing arm.
NeilPryde has applied the culmination of this experience to its bikes, and the showpiece of its range is the Bura-SL, which is among the very lightest road frames on the market.
The 56cm Bura C6.7 frame I tested is claimed to weigh a mere 950g, with the more expensive Bura-SL C6.9 claimed to come in at a paltry 750g in the same size.
Complete, my 56cm test bike weighed in at a pretty respectable 7.89kg — a decent figure for a £1,650 / €2,000 / $2,100, 105-equipped bike with alloy wheels.
NeilPryde Bura C6.7 105 ride impressions
NeilPryde has optimised the layup of the bike to be a good balance between stiffness and weight and — similar to Ben Delaney’s impressions of an early Bura SL way back in 2012 — I can confirm that the Bura is a damn stiff bike.
The bike feels satisfyingly sharp under acceleration, with a rock-solid bottom bracket and rear end. Throughout the whole test period, my 68kg mass couldn’t elicit the slightest of rubs from the brakes with either the stock alloy wheels or the mid-depth carbon wheels I had on test from Flux (more on these later).
I often ride with our resident hill climbing monster Joe Norledge, and mashing the pedals as hard as I could to keep on his wheel — only for him to leave me for dead once I inevitably blew up riding at his frankly ridiculous pace — was definitely far less unpleasant than usual on the Bura.
Despite the super-light 390g fork (claimed), the front also feels confidence-inspiringly stiff, possibly aided by the webbed section located directly behind the head tube.
While I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a truly ‘floppy’ front end on a road bike, the stiffness here was particularly noticeable on rougher descents, with the bike holding its line well and with little input at the bars .
There are some concessions towards comfort and these are similar to those seen on other bikes, with NeilPryde employing some funky layup magic around the head tube and dropping the super-skinny seatstays below the seat cluster, allowing the seatpost to flex the greatest amount possible.
The sum of these efforts results in more of a dulling of vibrations and road chatter rather than damping, but the Bura isn’t sold as an endurance bike, so you shouldn’t really expect an ultra-smooth ride from it.
With that said, the comfort of the Bura is let down by the slightly baffling decision to spec a bike in 2017 with 23mm tyres.
When paired with the Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels — a perfectly good, albeit slightly narrow, set of budget wheels that remained true and well tensioned throughout the test period — the tyres measured bang on 23mm wide.
This forced me to run far higher pressures than I’d like, making for a rather harsh ride on rougher roads, particularly up front.
Comfort isn’t the only thing let down by the narrow tyres though; I’ve long been a subscriber to the belief that wider tyres are in fact faster on most roads and returning to 23mm tyres reminded me of how much they tend to get ‘hung up’ on imperfect surfaces.
On perfect asphalt, the dual compound Clement Strada LGG tyres did perform well enough and could be relied on in tight corners, but I’d still prefer to see wider rubber here.
I also spent time riding the Bura with a pair of mid-depth Flux 350R carbon wheels.
The 18mm internal width of the Flux rims plumped the tubeless 25mm Schwalbe Pro One tyres to a generous 26mm wide and the improvement in comfort, handling and speed that the mid-depth wheels afforded was remarkable.
Wheels are often the first thing we recommend upgrading and the Bura really came alive when paired with these, especially once up to speed on fast and rolling terrain.
If you fancy yourself a Bura, I’d highly recommend you start saving for some nicer wheels from the off.
I was particularly fond of the angled bolt on the seat clamp wedge used on the Bura. I found this far easier to access than some other integrated systems I’ve used and with a mere dab of carbon paste, the seatpost stayed solidly in place throughout the whole test period.
While a good chunk of manufacturers are moving toward ‘keyed’, D or aero shaped wedge seatposts on their high-end road bikes, I for one was actually quite pleased to see a ‘classic’ 27.2mm seatpost specced on the Bura.
While the stock alloy FSA Gossamer post worked perfectly fine — and certainly wasn’t the harshest I’ve ever used — it’s good to know that there’s the potential to tune the ride of the Bura with a nice, flexy carbon post should you so wish.
The rest of the FSA finishing kit is perfectly good, but I think that the Gossamer bars are a little too compact for a proper race bike — at 10cm the reach is a little too short to have a good platform to rest your forearms on if you want to go #fullaero for any length of time. So I’d personally be swapping these out for something a little more roomy.
Handlebars, however, are a little like saddles in that we all have our preferences and they aren’t terribly expensive or difficult to swap out. So be sure to experiment here as you may find something that suits you better.
On the subject of bike fit, NeilPryde has rather uniquely chosen to print the reach and stack measurements — alongside the usual top tube/seat tube measurements — on the seat tube. A very handy reference should you forget them!
Having spent the winter on my Ultegra equipped Fairlight Strael, it had been a little while since I'd ridden 105 — a nice problem to have, I know. Getting back on Shimano’s workhouse groupset was a pleasant reminder though of how well it can perform when set up correctly, with shifting and braking remaining flawless throughout the whole test period.
Some will bemoan the move to internal cable routing — and as a curmudgeonly retro-grouch, I’m among their number — for this generation of the Bura, but to NeilPryde’s credit, the bike remained rattle-free on even the roughest terrain. The generously large cable ports should also make working on the bike less of an ordeal with the appropriate tools.
NeilPryde Bura C6.7 105 verdict
Despite the marginal extra heft that the non-SL version of the Bura carries, the bike is absolutely no layabout — the Bura is a properly stiff and confidence inspiring race-ready platform that will no doubt allow the majority of cyclists to meet their riding goals.
More than that, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Bura. Endurance-geometry bikes are a great option for a lot of people, but the satisfaction of riding a properly quick, arse-up-heads-down speed machine is undeniable.
So if you’re after a fast mid-priced road bike that, with perhaps the exception of the tyres and bars, will be a real pleasure to ride out of the box, this is one that should absolutely make your shortlist.