Distributed by: Integrated Riding LLP
Available at: Integrated Riding LLP
Essen Road Pro
Built up with Shimano’s Ultegra 6700, coupled with BB30 adaptor, Ritchey’s aluminium handlebar, stem and seatpost and with a set of Fulcrum Racing 3s, this bike just tipped the scale at 7.5kg (without pedals).
With road racing events like the famous Tour De France, Giro d’Italia and many others, road biking has started to pick up through the recent years. More bicycle OEM manufacturers have come out with their own brands hitting the market with a greater selection of road bike.
We came across ESSEN from Germany. ESSEN has successfully established their presence in China and Taiwan since 2005. ESSEN manufactures practically the whole range of bicycle components and accessories from frames, headsets, cranksets, handlebars, stems, all the way down to apparels such as gloves, jerseys and even helmets.
The latest product offered from ESSEN is the road bike – we immediately got our hands on it.
Upon close inspection, the frame is built from tapered headtubes and steer tubes, it has a BB30 bottom bracket and beefy chainstays. Possessing these features simply gave us the immediate impression that this is a stiff road frame.
Adding on to that is the beefy straight fork, in-frame brake cable routing gave the frame a final touch up to perfect my impression of it. Built up with Shimano’s Ultegra 6700, coupled with BB30 adaptor, Ritchey’s aluminium handlebar, stem and seatpost and with a set of Fulcrum Racing 3s, this bike just tipped the scale at 7.5kg (without pedals) which is considered reasonably light as more weight can be shaved off with higher end parts with a little of pocket lightening as well.
Having a chance to test the bike for more than 2 weeks gave a better understanding of the bike, with minor tweaks and adjustment in a bid to get the measurements as close to my own bike and feeling the difference in terms of comfort and stiffness really puts this bike to the test.
Being able to test it on various road conditions in Singapore helps in understanding the bike better. The oversized bottom bracket, straight seatstays and beefy squareish chainstays really helps with the stiffness of the bike, putting power down to the pedals translating to forward motion which gives the bike quick acceleration and resists noodling. Maintaining 30km/hr on flats isn’t too hard to achieved. Once the road points upwards, the stiffness in the rear really help with getting over the hills and it doesn’t feel like any energy is lost. However, rolling through uneven surfaces does feels a little harsher. A slightly lower than usual air pressure in the tyres helps to cushion out the stiffness of the frame.
Cornering and descending with this bike does give a sure footed and stable feel. Road tracking has been consistent all thanks to the tapered headtubes and straight fork. The front end receives positive feedback allowing a better road feel.
Having an extra brand of road bike just widens the choice of the road bike selection. With careful selection of saddle, wheel, tyre and handlebar and with conservative tire pressures, it would definitely help without getting too beaten up by road vibrations. For those who are looking for a value for money carbon fibre road frame, Essen certainly has what you need and with such an attractive price what else can we ask more for? Essen also offers a lighter version of road frame with integrated seatpole known as the Road lite which is also available through their local distributer, Integrated Riding.