I was hoping I could scoop a global exclusive and report that
the bike was not that good...
Alas, the bike was absolutely flawless - I was very impressed
Despite feeling much less cycling fit post-Ironman than on previous
trips to Mallorca, I managed to PB some of the big climbs like Puig
Major and Sa Calobra - and I am sure the Tarmac was a big part of
Over the four days we had the full weather spectrum, and I take
back my criticism of the Royal CLX wheels wet weather performance.
In absolutely torrential rain, where there were loads of crashes on
slippy roads, they did an admirable job.
The bike is a real looker - whenever I stopped for a coffee and
left it against a wall it attracted positive comments. It has that
lovely blend of looking very modern and on point with the latest
tech but also looks clean and understated. The matt black paint and
crisp white decals are such a classic look.
The Roval CLX50 wheels were sublime - great for climbing on
these sorts of hills (which are normally of the 6-7% grade). On the
flat and on the downhill you can really motor.
Because it was a loaner bike I could not cut the steerer; so to
get my position I had to slam it with no spacers. Over five days of
riding, I never felt sore getting off the bike. The frame design,
clever seat post shape that encourages flex in the top 10cm, and
those lovely 26mm Turbo Cotton tyres all combine to give a very
Climbing, both standing and sitting down, is a dream. The bike
is so light and direct. But it never felt nervous downhill. It
actually reminded me a bit of my Parlee Altum and Zero which manage
to be very light uphill but offer a real sense of solidness and
confidence when descending. Some bikes, if you hit a pothole, you
fear for both it and yourself. Thats never the case with the
I have looked back on a few of my reviews now and there is a
common theme - I am normally very positive indeed on the bikes I
And clearly, by definition, not every bike can be 'the best'.
But it's not impossible for them to all be very good and bordering
on the exceptional. I truly think we are in a bit of a golden age
in bike design.