Another year and – with Velocite’s arrival – another new name for today’s consumer. But the company’s distinctive Magnus frameset and dedicated fork have been in development for more than a year and have to live up to a premium price tag.
The Magnus’s carbon has been selected to offer optimal stiffness where it’s needed and create comfort elsewhere. It uses three different varieties and up to 13 layers in high stiffness areas, such as the bottom bracket shell and head tube. The seatstays are bigger than we’ve seen from the latest designs but the exaggerated arch provides more length across which vibration can be dissipated.
Up front, the tapered head tube – complete with neat shot-through cable guides and integrated barrel adjusters – flows into a broad aero profile fork. For a frame with so much apparent meat on it, it’s surprisingly trim, our large weighing 1,180g and the fork adding just 360g.
The shot-through cable guides on the head tube
On the road we wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Magnus is a comfort bike – it’s very much a pro-level race rig. What is impressive, though, is how well the bike deals with coarse surfaces, potholes and pock-marked roads. Some light carbon frames chatter and resonate through the bar and saddle but the Magnus kills road buzz with a solid thump – something we really like. As a result, you always feel a connection to the road and it’s easy to feel the level of grip when pushing hard. Believe us, you really will want to.
The ride is aggressive and positive, flowing through twists and turns and allowing you to attack climbs with ease. The efficient frame and compact chainset will make up for any shortcomings on the steeper stuff too.
It all sounds as though Velocite’s debut is a good one – and it is – but the Magnus does have one major pitfall: the equipment in relation to its cost. Yes, the frameset is pricey at £1,960, but the £3,590 asking price for a bike with mechanical Ultegra and good, mid-price wheels is simply too much.
An equivalent bike from Cube, Canyon or Rose will have Dura-Ace and top-flight wheels, or for £90 less than the Magnus you could have a Trek Madone 5.9 with electronic Ultegra. That said, Velocite have just announced a 10% discount on the bike, calculated at checkout from the website.