Cousin of the Cycling PlusBike of the Year, with a sportive-ready makeover, the Izalco Ergoride manages to be both rock hard and light on its feet at the same time.
These qualities are most noticeable through the bike’s 6th Element fork. Its muscular crown, tapered steerer and subtly curved blades are immovable, however heavily you lean on them, yet give a ride with scalpel-like precision.
The head tube retains the internal cable entry points of the Izalco Pro and joins a down tube that meets a monstrous BB30 bottom bracket shell. On top of this is a heavily sculpted seat tube that flares out on the non-drive side but is pared back on the other to leave room for the front mech and useful chain keeper.
The refined ride of this compact frame derives largely from the skinny, flattened seatstays. They thicken above the dropouts, where they form an elbow. Combined with the massively tapered chainstays, this permits vibration-reducing flex in the rear triangle.
A lengthy, 27.2mm diameter FSA alloy seatpost adds even more compliance and is topped with a comfortable Fizik Aliante saddle that’s ideal for long distances. FSA also supply the alloy stem and shallow Vero alloy bar, which provides easy access to the drops for riders who don’t like a low racing tuck – although their tight bend does leave less room for larger hands.
The DT Swiss R1850 wheels run smoothly on serviceable cartridge bearings and feel great; with no excessive flex, they can be hustled along briskly. There are lighter wheels around but few are so well constructed. Continental’s Ultra Race tyres are good all-rounders – reliable, durable and not prone to cuts.
Shimano’s Ultegra compact groupset is a great choice for the intended use, offering better functionality and a little less weight than 105. Super lever feel and brake modulation plus that stiff chainset also adds some class to the riding experience.
Ride quality is impressive. The Izalco manages to be sharp and responsive while staying stable and benign. The front end takes whatever is thrown at it and the rear absorbs the worst bumps while remaining lively enough to power up a rise or out of a corner. This bike has a superb balance of qualities and, with some personalised tweaks, could be outstanding.
The DT Swiss wheelset is an outstanding feature of the Izalco Ergoride