Review: Eastway R2.0 Bike Test

From the moment I unboxed the Eastway R2.0 it has impressed me. Eastway bikes may be a new brand, but this bike has been designed by people that really know their stuff.

The thing that immediately strikes you about the R2.0 is the frame; the big triangular downtube, the contoured chainstays, narrow seatstays and bladed fork; these are characteristics that are found on the highest level frames.

The result of these sculpted frame features is a ride that is both responsive, quick and comfortable. The focus of the Eastway range is to make bikes that can conquer the urban streets and provide hours of fun for the weekend warrior. The frame then has a reasonably relaxed geometry, and the narrow seatstays and carbon fork help to soak up the rough roads. However, put the hammer down and that big downtube and bottom bracket transmit every ounce of effort into forward motion.

It's not just the frame that makes the R2.0 an impressive bike though, the components are as good as they come at the £1500 price point.

Take the Sram Apex groupset; I'm new to Sram, but I've been very taken with this set of gears. It feels robust, crisp and efficient; a little bit more 'clunky' than Shimano 105, but just as good in my opinion. The groupset uses a compact chainset up front too, which means that you can tackle almost any incline with ease. I've been impressed to see how much easier it is on many of the extreme gradient climbs I ride both on the Isle of Wight and in Warwickshire.

The wheelset is another impressive offering as well at this price point. Mavic Askium race wheels with cartridge sealed bearings is not your usual find on a £1500 bike. Normally the wheels are the first thing to suffer when a manufacturer is trying to hit a price point, but thankfully not here. Taking many big hits in their stride, and still running as true as the day they arrived, I really can't fault these hoops.

Other components that make up the finishing touches to the R2.0 come from Eastway's own designers and producers. The alloy stem and shallow drop handlebars, laced in velvety Eastway bar tape, are extremely comfortable, and one of the nicest sets of bars I've tested. The alloy seatpost and Eastway cut-away saddle make a comfortable and secure perch, with enough padding and flex to have no problems with saddle discomfort. Add to this list the smooth running headset, and Apex brakes and it is clear that every detail has been addressed with the R2.0.

In sum, this is a bike that offers fantastic bang for your buck. A full carbon frame and fork, with fantastic properties and performance. A set of hoops that will take any training or racing abuse in their stride, and a set of components that will provide assured, crisp and reliable performance. You can't ask for much more than that for a bike at this price point. I think that we could be seeing a lot more of Eastway on the streets of the UK very soon.

Eastway Bikes are available at Wiggle (Link)


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