Introduction

Brief Company Background:

Founded by Mr Masahito Hirose in 2004, Japanese bicycle maker, Tyrell is famed for their mini-velo bikes. What is noteworthy is that the brand has already garnered numerous design awards in Japan, even before their products were first launched to the consumer market in 2005. Not surprising considering the fact that all Tyrell bikes are designed and assembled in Japan under the strict supervision of Mr Hirose. Despite the widespread media coverage it enjoys in its homeland, the Tyrell bikes are relatively unknown globally as mini-velos are still considered niche in the bicycle industry. Tyrell bikes have however been gaining popularity in parts of Asia and here in Singapore (since they were introduced to the market just two years ago).

What is a Mini-velo:

Mini-velos are full sized road bicycles with 20″ wheels that originated from Japan and Korea. Designed for urban commuting, these bicycles are light and compact compared to their ubiquitous bigger wheeled brothers, which makes them perfect for dense city living. This makes mini-velos especially relevant for us here in Singapore (White paper – 6.9million, 2030, yo). The mini-velo’s appeal also lies with its appearance – started in the land of the fashion trendy, mini-velos are popular among “hipster” cyclists.

The Bike

So here is the gorgeous pearl white Tyrell CX beauty that I had the chance to lay my hands on:

The CX’s sleek skinny frame reminds me of old vintage steel bikes and I love how nicely it goes with the smaller wheels.  The pearl white frame also contrasted nicely with the black components and the nice finish of the frame is attributed to the Kadowaki (a renowned Japanese paint manufacturer) treatment with high quality, environmentally friendly paint powder coating used.

At the same time, other smaller details such as the Tyrell label (on the frame) and the head badge on the head tube stands out nicely against the pearl white frame.

If you prefer something more rugged looking, the CX also comes in matt-spark-iron” colour. On another note, the CX also looked pretty in Aqua-Blue as well.

Now the CX is not just a pretty face and will certainly give you the comfort that you need for your ride. The bike frame is crafted using Reynolds #525 chromoly steel. Based in England and established in 1898, Reynolds is a highly regarded maker of bicycle tubing. There are various grades of steel but a point to note is that chromoly steel is known to be considerably stronger and harder than standard steel due to the material’s excellent strength to weight ratio.

The test bike came fitted with a full carbon fork and weighs in at just 8.8kg and it can certainly do much more than just an easy ride around the neighbourhood. Marketed as a high performing leisure road bike, the CX is certainly designed for speed and is matched up with standard SRAM Apex road groupset.

The Ride

The CX was tested on the slopes of National University Singapore (NUS), Mount Faber and South Buona Vista Road alongside two cycling “kakis” (buddies) who were riding a vintage steel road bike and carbon road bike.  The bike was stiff and the ride was comfortable, thanks to the superior choice of Reynolds #525 chromoly steel which does a good job of dampening out the road bumps.

Given its smaller wheels, the CX is also naturally more responsive and has a smaller turning radius. Cycling uphill on the CX is easier and it can certainly accelerate faster than its bigger wheel road bike brothers (verified with my cycle kakis).

Speed-wise, I was able to cruise comfortably between 25-30km/h although I was riding between 30-35km/h most of the time for the cardio workout. Power transfer was instantaneous and I could feel myself propelling forward the moment I started to pedal. The CX was also stable at high speeds due to the long wheel base of Tyrell bikes which is equivalent to that of a full-sized road bike.

The CX is definitely a high performing leisure road bike that is not only fast and but also fun to zip around town with. I have been commuting around mostly with 20 inch foldies so I really love the speed on the CX which allows me to shave significant amount of time of the usual routes.

Though the Tyrell CX is designed as a high performing leisure road bike and is pretty fast, the advantage it has over its bigger wheel brothers is compromised with the speed – you will not be able to pound the CX up to speeds comparable to a standard road bike although it may win hands down during the uphill accelerations. The water bottle cage can only be fitted to the CX’s seat post or the back of the saddle. Alternatively, riders can carry a hydration pack along instead.

The CX was tested on the slopes of National University Singapore (NUS), Mount Faber and South Buona Vista Road alongside two cycling “kakis” (buddies) who were riding a vintage steel road bike and carbon road bike.  The bike was stiff and the ride was comfortable, thanks to the superior choice of Reynolds #525 chromoly steel which does a good job of dampening out the road bumps.

Given its smaller wheels, the CX is also naturally more responsive and has a smaller turning radius. Cycling uphill on the CX is easier and it can certainly accelerate faster than its bigger wheel road bike brothers (verified with my cycle kakis).

Speed-wise, I was able to cruise comfortably between 25-30km/h although I was riding between 30-35km/h most of the time for the cardio workout. Power transfer was instantaneous and I could feel myself propelling forward the moment I started to pedal. The CX was also stable at high speeds due to the long wheel base of Tyrell bikes which is equivalent to that of a full-sized road bike.

The CX is definitely a high performing leisure road bike that is not only fast and but also fun to zip around town with. I have been commuting around mostly with 20 inch foldies so I really love the speed on the CX which allows me to shave significant amount of time of the usual routes.

Though the Tyrell CX is designed as a high performing leisure road bike and is pretty fast, the advantage it has over its bigger wheel brothers is compromised with the speed – you will not be able to pound the CX up to speeds comparable to a standard road bike although it may win hands down during the uphill accelerations. The water bottle cage can only be fitted to the CX’s seat post or the back of the saddle. Alternatively, riders can carry a hydration pack along instead.