Eastway CX 2.0 cyclo-cross bike  £1249.00

8/10

Capable cyclo-cross biased all-rounder

Weight 10830g   Contact  www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

by Steve Worland   April 9, 2014  

By using a decent aluminium frame instead of trying to fit a carbon frame into a tight budget, the Eastway CX 2.0 manages to hit an accessible price point without compromising on its components.

Dual compound, sparsely knobbed 35mm tyres take the sting out of the trail. The gearing occasionally feels challenging off road but is ideal for blacktop and there are well positioned mudguard and rack eyelets for those who want to use the bike as a complete all-rounder.

I have both fond and painful memories of racing, both on and off road, at the Eastway cycle circuit in East London so I was in two minds when distributor Fisher Outdoor Leisure launched their Eastway bike brand a couple of years back.

The cycle circuit itself was bulldozed a few years back to make way for London's Olympic Park, but Eastway as a brand is looking strong.

There are 13 bikes in the range, starting with a flat handlebar 'sports hybrid' at £599 and topping out with disc brake equipped carbon framed road and cross bikes at £1999.

The CX 2.0 is designed to cope with all manner of roads and trails, with a nod towards commuting and lightweight touring.

As a thoroughbred all rounder, it would readily cope with the occasional cyclo cross race or sportive too.

Its geometry and ride set-up creates handling that, either on and off road, is reassuringly neutral and its 52/54/56/58/60 size options should cover most riders.

The top tube reach is 5mm less than the seat tube length on the 56cm bike, with a 71.5° head angle and 73.5° at the seat, all proven norms on an all-rounder road/cross bike.

Geometry varies slightly on smaller and larger sizes and, if you're interested in making comparisons with top end bikes, is slightly more relaxed than on the £1999 carbon framed CX 1.0.

That makes sense as the CX 2.0 is more likely to be chosen by non-racers.

Eastway embraced the idea of disc brake equipped road and cross bikes right from the start. It's not just the raw power of discs that sets bikes like this apart from traditional cantilever brake equipped 'cross bikes. It's the modulation, the ease of lever pull and the stopping predictability in all conditions.

On tarmac it might only make a small difference in the dry, but the predictability of stopping in a safe distance is a real bonus in the wet, when traditional rim brakes often struggle for friction on a rim.

Off road, that predictability advantage is a major bonus, allowing you to brake later coming into corners regardless of the trail conditions.

The fact that you don't need to put as much effort into pulling the levers allows you to save energy and brake without grab on rougher surfaces, and a buckled rim won't interfere with braking.

With all that said, it's unusual to see Avids low budget BB5s on a bike at this price. BB7s cost very little more and offer more fine adjustment.

The CX2.0 frame is built from 7000 series double butted aluminium. The big triangulated down tube and almost horizontal top tube make the most of their shapes in creating plenty of weld contact area where they wrap around the head tube, bottom bracket and seat tube.

The welds aren't exactly pretty (we're becoming used to seeing smooth double-pass welds on mid range aluminium frames) but they do the job.

The carbon fibre fork has a tapered (1.5 to 1.125in) steerer with a 30mm washer stack for stem tweaks.

Both gear cables run through slotted guides along the top tube and the rear brake is neatly mounted between the chain stay and seat stay, with full outer cable running underneath the down tube and along the inner side of the chain stay. It does the job but might need an extra zip tie to prevent occasional tyre rub just behind the bottom bracket.

There are two sets of bottle cage bosses.

The Eastway's SRAM Apex drivetrain twins a 50/34 toothed crankset with an 11-28 cassette. This produces enough useable gear ratios for all but the least fit on the road but you'll rarely find yourself using the 50 off road unless you're a fit racer.

One minor advantage of SRAM, compared to Shimano, is that their drivetrains use the same sprocket spacing for road and mountain bike.. If you feel the need to fit lower gear ratios you can opt to fit a cassette with bigger sprockets, which you will probably need to pair with a longer, mountain bike style rear mech.

Even Alberto Contador has been known to race with a 36-tooth sprocket on his cassette.

The Eastway branded finishing kit is all good stuff and I particularly liked the compact drop bar, which has a heavily ovalised straight centre section that's very comfy on climbs and allows for a flat topped lever position that's great for shifting and braking in pressured trail situations.

However, fans of 'cross top' style supplementary brake levers will struggle to fit them on an ovalised bar. I mention this because I like using cross top levers for technical off road rides.

The two bolt seat post, slimline saddle and stem are all nicely made and the wheels are tightly built using Eastway's E28 semi-deep section rims, three cross 32 laced to Eastway hubs.

Kenda's dual compound Kommando 35mm tyres have a minimally knobbed, well spaced tread pattern that's great in dry conditions off road but not grippy in wet mud.

They roll fast on the road but experience tells me they wear fast too.

However, it's impossible to get tyres right on a bike like this. Ride them until they're worn out then fit your favourites.

The curvy chainstays could accommodate tyres up to about 40mm wide, bigger up front.

As I already mentioned, the CX2.0 has slightly more relaxed geometry than the carbon framed top of the range CX 1.0. Personally I really like that. I like the fact that it's so stable both on and off road. I like the fact that it's relatively upright in traffic and I like the fact that there's still lots of adjustment in the stem and saddle rails.

It could be a race bike if you wanted it to be, but it's also suited to commuting, playing with mountain bike mates on the trails or pannier equipped touring.

There are loads of other bikes around like this at present, some heavier duty, some slightly lighter, but the CX 2.0 is among the best in terms of have a go at anything ability.

Verdict

Capable cyclo-cross biased all-rounder.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Eastway CX 2.0

Size tested: Medium, 56, Red/Black

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

7000 Series aluminium frame, carbon fork. SRAM Rival gears, shifters and crankset. Eastway rims, hubs, stem, handlebar and saddle. Kenda Kommando 35mm tyres. Avid BB4 cable disc brakes.

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Eastways says "Whether you use the CX2.0 for the daily commute, or to blast along your favourite byway, this multipurpose mile-munching machine will get you there with speed and style. A full SRAM Apex groupset and Avid disc brakes are matched to a 7000 series alloy frame and carbon fork to keep you going when the going gets tough."

It does the job nicely, although those looking for mainly off road potential might want to change the 50 tooth outer ring and/or fit a wider ratio cassette

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
7/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Build quality appears good although the welds are not as pretty as some.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

The 7000 Series aluminium frame and carbon fork appear to achieve a decent mix of low weight, high strength and reasonable comfort with 35mm tyres fitted.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

71.5 degrees at the head, 73.5 at the seat and a 55.5cm top tube on the 56cm seat tube frame.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Spot on. Plenty stem and saddle adjustability allows for a racey or much more upright posture.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes. More relaxed than a thoroughbred race bike, easy handling both on and off road, and the 35mm tyres give comfort an extra boost.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Felt ideal.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Yes.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Pleasingly neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

It simply feels reassuringly stable, both on and off the road.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

Loved the compact handlebar shape. Loved the fact that there's room for up to 40mm tyres if most of your riding is off road. Habitual off road riders might choose to ditch the 50 tooth outer rings in favour of something more useable, but habitual road riders will probably love the gearing exactly as it is.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

No changes.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

Tyres are a fast rolling on/off road compromise. Wear them out then choose your perfect treads.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10

Superbly stable.

Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
7/10

Road tyres would obviously add confidence to road cornering.

Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

A bike designed for both on and off road riding will never have gearing to suit everyone. Fortunately SRAM road and MTB gearing is interchangeable, so you could even fit an MTB rear mech and cassette if you want smaller off road gearing.

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10

Tyres are a decent on/off road compromise, but they'll wear out quickly if you do a lot of road mileage.

Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
6/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

There's enough room to fit fat touring or off road tyres, but the bike would be equally suitable for much skinnier road tyres.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
8/10

Loved the handlebar shape.

Rate the controls for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
9/10

The saddle is more comfy than it looks.

Rate the controls for value:
 
8/10

Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)

Surprising to see Avid BB5 brakes on a bike at this price. There's nothing wrong with them but the fine tuning adjustability of slightly more upmarket BB7s is better.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes, very much.

Would you consider buying the bike? No.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
8/10

Anything further to say about the bike in conclusion?

No on/off road bike is going to suit everyone, but the CX 2.0 comes closer than many. Apart from the sparsely knobbed off road tyres, it's more of an all-rounder road bike really (with rack and mudguard mounts if you need them) but the generous tyre room means it's eminently useable off road too.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 58  Height: 181  Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Merlin Ti  My best bike is: Ibis Silk SL

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

 

21 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Let me preface what follows with this: I love bikes. Pretty much all bikes.

But what is the point of this bike? Or perhaps - who are they planning on selling this bike to? It looks like a very handy - although not especially competitively priced - all rounder. But who buys an all rounder? In my experience (of me and numerous friends and acquaintances), once you get past one bike, you tend to be looking for bikes that are specialized - like a cross bike (you could use this Eastway as a "fun" cross bike to try cross racing but it is at least 3 component modifications away from being a bike you would race cross on week in/week out) or a mountain bike or a proper tourer. Not a bike that is fair-to-middling at any of these disciplines. While the Eastway is pretty much all the bike any of us will ever need, I suspect very few of us will ever buy one.

posted by surly_by_name [153 posts]
9th April 2014 - 8:28

28 Likes

In short, a person like me! I have a charge plug 3 which is aiming to do similar things. It's my first road bike since the early 90s and realistically, while I would like to have more than one road bike, there is room in neither the shed nor the wallet. Especially once the MTB and the BMX are accounted for.

Granted, this does seem quite steep in terms of cost for what you get.

posted by barbarus [31 posts]
9th April 2014 - 9:00

25 Likes

surly_by_name wrote:
What is the point of this bike? Or perhaps - who are they planning on selling this bike to?

people who want a really solid day-to day commuting bike that they can maybe do the odd cx race on?

people who want a reasonably fast bike for the road but aren't that concerned with weight, and like the extra stopping power of discs?

people who don't have storage space for multiple bikes and need one that's fairly capable at a range of disciplines?

In my experience lots of people have bikes like this, because they're really useful bikes.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7470 posts]
9th April 2014 - 9:19

26 Likes

It is quite useful. But in my experience (not just of me) the decision around what bike to buy is mostly about aspiration ("those Zipp 404s are a bit pricey but as I am about to start doing triathlons it would be much better if I were to buy them now rather than waiting to see if I like cycling") not utility ("those Zipp 404s cost an arm and a leg and probably won't be so practical when I'm riding along the towpath in the rain to the pub whilst walking the dog"). Anecdotally, this seems particularly true for humans a Y chromosome. Hence phenomenon of couple out riding together - she on model at least 2 rungs down from him.

Also, shop dude (it's almost always a dude, regrettably) has to be inclined/motivated to sell you the Eastway. Shop dudes usually work on basis that customer is making aspirational purchase and make sales pitch accordingly. That's before you get to fact that shop dude has a million Trekializiants in Stainless Ticarboniam with extra lateral stiffness/vertical compliance to sell. Or maybe I'm being unfair on shop dudes.

Anyway, good luck to Fisher, it looks like the very definition of a jack of all trades. Maybe I'll have a look on overstock websites at the end of the year and pick one up cheap. If I'm right there shoudl be plenty around.

posted by surly_by_name [153 posts]
9th April 2014 - 9:54

24 Likes

I think 'all rounders' are very sensible too. I built up my cross bike to go riding through woods and trails with the kids, and then when they started cyclocross racing I just used that bike and gave racing a go too.

I can't see any reason why you couldn't race the Eastway. In my experience there is little carrying in most cross races and the main variable is tyre selection and pressure (and fitness of course).

You might not win cross races on it, but most people operating at that level have two cross bikes, multiple wheel options, a van to transport the bikes, a pressure washer for cleaning them in situ, a pit helper etc etc!

Having said all that my cross bike cost me about £500 plus bits from the garage, so perhaps £1250 is a lot for an all rounder?

posted by Chris James [209 posts]
9th April 2014 - 10:08

21 Likes

Am I going mad? i thught it was £1250, but it seems to be £999 which is much more competitive so ignore my last comment.

.....back to £1250 now? I'm confused!

posted by Chris James [209 posts]
9th April 2014 - 10:16

21 Likes

Nice to see this article penned by the late Steve Worland.
Not too sure I could justify the spend on a jack of all trades, much like surly_by_name's response...but I'm sure there are many others that would see this as their perfect 'gad about' bike...
Looks decent quality though...
...and the price seems to have magically shrunk to £999 since I replied...so that now makes my statement about the price slightly 'bunk'

The_Kaner
FREEEEEEEEDOM!

The _Kaner's picture

posted by The _Kaner [482 posts]
9th April 2014 - 10:22

21 Likes

Also, you can buy a Planext X Kaffenback for £799. The K'back is steel and at that price comes with Tiagra, but given the XLS with 105 comes in at £999 [so you could buy the lighter, CX specific XLS cheaper than the Eastway, although it doesn't have rack or pannier mounts and so accept it's not really comparable], I suspect the good folk at PX would do you a 105 equipped K'back for somewhere in between - call it £899 for argument's sake? The K'back is steel and so you'd presume it was heavier - but less than you'd think, at least according to PX website (which can be presumed to be no less accurate that Fisher's claimed weight for Eastway). With Tiagra, K'back comes in at 11.32kgs vs the 10.83kgs of the Eastway. Swapping to 105 will save some weight - I'd like to be able to say how much but my googling skills have let me down. Maybe 150grams? Anyway, would result in both bikes coming in around 11kgs (rounding to the nearest whole kilogram), so its not like you are ever going to go anywhere particularly quickly (other than freefall). And the K'back has the BB7s rather than the 5s. If it's all about the utility, why spend an extra £300/£350?

posted by surly_by_name [153 posts]
9th April 2014 - 10:29

20 Likes

As someone has pointed out, hard to keep up with apparently variable price.

posted by surly_by_name [153 posts]
9th April 2014 - 10:36

19 Likes

why would someone buy a jack of all trades bike when they could buy two or more bikes? Some - many - people cannot afford nor justify - or indeed want multiple bikes and something like this a good compromise.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [878 posts]
9th April 2014 - 12:04

25 Likes

I own and commute most days on a Merida Cyclocross 4 - I cannot recommend a cyclocross bike highly enough if you are in the market for just the one bike that does (almost) everything.

It is amazingly practical and can be used for almost everything, plus having the slightly knobbly tyres opens up a whole range of different commuting routes..down quiet bridle paths, through woods etc, it really is great to escape the traffic which would prove impossible on a road bike.

It is so practical - mudguard fitment serves a purpose, child seat and rack goes on when required, it really is a jack of all trades but does each job extremely well. It is no slouch on the road and is equally at home off road.

Granted you may not wish to race on something at this level but for the cycle to work scheme a cyclocross bike must surely be up there.

posted by underwood [6 posts]
9th April 2014 - 12:36

23 Likes

joemmo wrote:
why would someone buy a jack of all trades bike when they could buy two or more bikes? Some - many - people cannot afford nor justify - or indeed want multiple bikes and something like this a good compromise.

Exactly this.

At a grand, assuming that is the right price (I also read it earlier at £1250), it's right on cycle-to-work money too. What's telling is that 3 of the 4 people in my office who did C2W last year got cross bikes of this ilk, in each case they're not "enthusiasts", rather just people who ride bikes and want something reasonably road-focussed and robust to get them to work every now and then, but also to get around the forest trails or canal paths with the family at the weekend.

posted by parksey [284 posts]
9th April 2014 - 12:47

19 Likes

Yep, me too. I have a Kinesis 4t with an disc on the front and use it for... commuting, touring, training on canal paths and back roads, shorter Audaxs (too rigid with fast tyres for looooong rides) and mucking about with family. I have other bikes - suss MTB and carbon fast road bike, but this kind of bike is great when out and out speed doesn't matter. Will last for ages too. I admit I have two sets of wheels for it though Smile

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [288 posts]
9th April 2014 - 17:57

21 Likes

CX bikes like this are perfect for the commuter!! I've been using a Defy 3 since 2010 to commute on and it has been great. I decided I wanted something more rugged (to take advantage of some of the offroad routes to and from work) but still quick. I bought a Giant TCX SLR 2 and it's bloody ace!! Discs are sooo much better for those emergency dog walker incidents on cycle paths and in the wet? Well there's no more twitchy bum lack of brake power for meeeee. I can also just chip offthe road and hit a bridleway if I feel like it. I wish I had got one sooner!!!

posted by monkeychild [24 posts]
9th April 2014 - 19:06

21 Likes

I recently succumbed to buying one (the Verenti Substance) after a rubbish attempt to CX my winter hack. Been great fun in the few rides I have done so far, mostly off-road. Not the lightest bike, but seems to be alright speed wise when I do venture on road. My road bike is probably not going to get much of a look in over the coming months. Poor thing.

posted by Ghostie [86 posts]
9th April 2014 - 20:31

25 Likes

I ride a do-it-all bike because my rides are do-it-all rides.
Maybe that's a valid reason for making that kind of bikes?

posted by auke [2 posts]
10th April 2014 - 9:14

22 Likes

In response to surly-by-name's initial question:

I've been riding for c.18 years and have not had only 1 bike for about 17 years.

I've just sold down a touring bike and a road bike to make way for a single all-rounder. I went for a Whyte Suffolk, an "all-rounder" with a bit more of a road rather than a CX bias, with disc brakes and in the same sort of price category. It will be used mostly on the road, will take a light rack load and has clearance for some fairly large tyres (35mm should be fine without mudguards).

I'm pleased to have just one road-ish bike again, because it means I can look after it properly, do things like regular cable changes, keep it in brake pads, really look after it and be constantly riding the bike I'm used to. That's something of an advantage. I can live with the (obvious, material) drawbacks to having no specialist bikes for the moment.

Smile

posted by BigDummy [298 posts]
10th April 2014 - 10:27

23 Likes

I thought this looked like a really nice bike. Low front end, plenty of clearance, good brakes and proper provision for mudguards. A pair of 25 or 28mm kevlar belted tyres and you could ride that to work every day and never have to clean it!

drmatthewhardy's picture

posted by drmatthewhardy [382 posts]
11th April 2014 - 20:37

20 Likes

I took this bike out for a test and was immediately convinced. The only thing now is I have to wait a week before I can pick it up

posted by wedgex8 [2 posts]
12th April 2014 - 19:52

5 Likes

Yeah, as others have said, this is spot on for commuting. This is especially true for people like me who vary their routes to go on or off-road on a frequent basis. I now have multiple sets of wheels shod with different rubber depending on what I fancy riding. I also have switched all my bikes to CX as I find them more comfortable and they help my back. I'm our club&s current hill climb champ too, so CX bikes are not too slouchy!

posted by BikeJon [53 posts]
12th April 2014 - 23:07

3 Likes

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't all Sram/Shimano cassettes of a given speed (11 speed XX1/XTR excepted) interchangeable?

posted by Ham-planet [103 posts]
16th April 2014 - 20:44

4 Likes

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