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Eastway R2.0 REVIEW

by Caven O'Hara

Price £1,499.00
Size Large
Colour Black
The Eastway R2.0 offers striking looks and bike fit for commuting or sportive riding from the off.

If bikes were all about looks then the Eastway R2.0, part of the line-up of distributor Fisher Outdoor Leisure's own range, this would be a leading contender. Given the selection of riding available in the UK combined with the variable road surfaces, the R2.0 has to be more than a good looker.

eastway
A New Company Offering A Range Of Bikes

Beyond the looks you get a full carbon frame and fork, internal cable routing and a number of other recognised components for £1499. This puts the Eastway in a competitive bracket but it is not over-shadowed. 

The mid range R2.0 is part of a broad range of Eastway bikes that Fisher have introduced. The range includes urban bikes as they look to offer something to meet all types of riding.

top tube
Internally Routed Cables

The monocoque frame is stiff aided by an oversized down tube and tapered head tube. The sleek lines are maintained through internal cable routing. No surprise with the drivetrain, Fisher distribute Sram in the UK so the R2.0 is fitted with Sram Apex. The finishing kit is Eastway's own branded saddle, seatpost, stem, handlebar and tape. To complete the set-up you have the reliable Mavic Aksiums shod with Kenda tyres.

The Frame

I've already mentioned the stiffness of the frame but Fisher label this as an all day riding type of bike. The position is not overly aggressive but can be set-up to meet the demands of the racer. Up front the bike is secure in and out of corners. This is enhanced by the feel of the ride, the seat stays and the fork assist in making life more comfortable. The complete set-up isn't the lightest you will find in the market place but what you do get is something that offers a competitive compromise.

eastway
More Hidden Cables

Components & wheels

The Sram Apex drivetrain works well. For the entry level components from Sram you get confident changing, although the technique required to drop through the gears is not going to appeal to all. You have to make an exaggerated flick of the wrist to complete the change. Having used Shimano for many years, this maneuver seems to put you right wrist at ninety degrees with your bars. This has taken some getting used to but once you get accustomed to it the the gear shifts are solid. It isn't the silkiest of changes but you have no doubts the chain has shifted.

sram apex
SRAM Apex Drivetrain

The power is transfered through Mavic's entry level road wheels, the Aksiums. The French manufacturer make many top wheel sets and for this kind of money you are getting a great start. Wheels are often considered one of the first areas to upgrade and perhaps over time you would replace the Aksiums. They do offer a certain bomb proofness over the British roads, inspiring confidence. Certainly they will provide a decent set of wheels for winter use and allow you save your best hoops for the sunshine and better conditions. 

At the price point the R2.0 is placed there is always going to be a slight comprise in the kit line-up. The Eastway finishing kit is up to the job, the only slight grumble is the saddle. This is something of an individual choice but the lack of flex in the Eastway perch does make for a bit of shifting around on longer rides to find a better position. 

seatstay
Seat Stays Provide A Good Degree Of Comfort

Overall

The colourway on the frame, as well as the name has attracted a lot of attention. The black and orange make for a striking combination and the routing of the cables through the frame make sure the finish is as clean and sleek as possible. I've used the R2.0 for both commuting and longer rides. I would say once you have the ride position tweaked this is a bike you could use for commuting, sportives or with some upgrades an introduction to racing. The slight weight penalty you have with the existing set-up wouldn't suit racing but it does make it an ideal commuter. It is sure-footed enough to cope with the vagaries of roads and conditions you face on your ride to work. It is also nimble enough to cope with longer sportive rides where the emphasis is on the hours in the saddle. 

I liked the looks and handling of the Eastway. If you're looking to upgrade or want something more substantial for your riding then the Eastway is worth considering. If you want a race ready bike then you'll need to spend some extra cash to achieve this. Overall this is a promising debut in a very competitive market. I look forward to seeing future updates to the range.

For more information on Eastway Bikes please visit: http://www.eastwaybikes.com/





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