BH G6.0 (2013)  £2999.99

8/10

Fast, light, fast, well specced and...um......did I mention how fast it is?

Weight 7300g   Contact  www.bhbikes.co.uk

by Stuart Kerton   February 17, 2013  

The BH G6.0 is a beautiful, light-as-air carbon road bike that's super fast, very responsive and a joy to ride on your own or in a bunch.

Every since Cervelo launched their S1 back at the turn of the century aerodynamics has been considered at the design stage as much as weight and stiffness. The continued advancement in carbon fibre moulding means more complex wind cheating shapes have also become possible. With a lot of conflicting wind tunnel results and manufacturers claims out there does an aero frame really make that much difference? The BH G6 8.0 has been thrashed around the A-roads and lanes of Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset to find out.

The G5 which, as you can probably guess, preceded the G6 came with an aero seat tube but that was it really with regards to the aerodynamics; it was however very well received thanks to its high levels of stiffness especially at the bottom bracket area. The G6 has improved on that, being designed around a BB386 bottom bracket - the latest standard of BB that uses BB30 press fit bearing cups but spaced at 86.5mm instead of the usual 73mm. This not only increases stiffness due to a larger cross sectional area but also allows BH to use large profile tubes to create the aero effect.

BH use core removal technology to create the monocoque frame which uses high pressure to remove imperfections in the carbon fibre. This allows them to put material where they need to and remove it where they don't, the result – a sub 900g frame where everything is carbon fibre including the dropouts and the front mech hanger - though there is a replaceable alloy gear hanger though should you require it.

The fork is specific to the G6 and has been designed to work from an aero point of view (BH claim it's the most aero fork they've developed) with the downtube drops down behind it with very tight clearances. A large junction at the fork crown should see an increase in stiffness and directness in the steering.

On our medium test model the headtube is 150mm tall and to cut through the wind it virtually matches that for depth creating a web between top and down tube. This and the huge bottom bracket area allows the down tube to be 70mm in the vertical plane while being kept narrow in the other in a bid to cut drag. The clearance for the front tyre is tight, just as it is at the rear where the seat tube is scalloped around the rear wheel, a wind cheating trick usually reserved for time trial frames.

Keeping the rear wheel in check are some massive chainstays, rectangular with a height of 50mm which aren't going to let any form of flex through as you stamp on the pedals. In contrast the seatstays are narrow, a usual ploy to remove some of the harshness from oversize frame tubes.

The 8.0 part of the G6 8.0 is the model number. Basically you have the same frameset throughout but the kit specs change. Ours comes with Ultegra mechanical and is priced at £2999.

The other options include:

8.1 : SRAM Force - £3499

8.3 : Ultegra Di2 - £3999

8.5 : SRAM Red - £4999

8.7 : Dura Ace - £5999

8.9 : Dura Ace Di2 -£7999

As far as the finish goes I think it looks great and the photos really don't do it justice. It does come with red highlights instead of the blue if that's more your thing and to be honest it does clash less with the wheel decals. The size range is quite limited though with only five to choose from giving top tube lengths of 52cm to 58.5cm.

So, is it any faster than a more standard frame? Well to be perfectly honest, who knows? A lot of wind tunnel tests and results very rarely have any bearing on real world conditions but one thing is for sure, the G6 is fast, very fast. An all up weight of 16lb means it accelerates up to speed with little resistance and once there it just keeps rolling. Speeds of 25-30mph on the flat obviously still require effort on the rider's part but it does feel less than I have noticed with other bikes. The wheels help, Vision Trimax T42's roll nicely and are well built. They aren't truly aero at only 42mm deep but as Mat said in his review of them back in August they are 'versatile for everyday use or racing.'

It's alright being able to work well on its own, on the flat, but unless you're time trialling up and down your local drag strip all the aero benefits don't make much difference if you lose out on the hills or through the bends. Thankfully though the 16lb all up weight and the high stiffness levels means the BH is a good climber whether you're in the saddle tapping it out or honking up a 25% lung buster - everything feels stiff beneath you and you're certainly not wasting any energy through the frame.

Descending is also great fun. The front end tracks with confidence following whatever line you put it on, chopping and changing if needed. One of my favourite downhills that I've ridden hundreds of times really shows up any weakness in a test bike. Just under a mile long with most of it at 15% it's twisty and technical through trees and steep banks but it didn't throw up any concerns for the G6. Each change of direction was direct and precise with the front end tracking exactly where you pointed it. The rain and frost-damaged surface was no problem for the fork, as while it's very stiff it also soaks up road buzz surprisingly well - aided by the slight flex of BH's own brand carbon handlebars.

Also receiving a special mention are the Michelin Lithion 2 tyres. For what are essentially training tyres they roll amazingly well and give really confident grip levels and feedback.

Ultegra is a great groupset, virtually identical to Dura-Ace with regards to performance yet more realistically priced. All the cables route internally through the frame (so that it works with both Di2 and mechanical) and judging by how sweet the shifting is BH has obviously avoided any tight bends anywhere. FSA's SL-K Light BB386 carbon chainset is the only deviation away from Shimano and it's a beautiful bit of kit and very stiff. The thin profile (front to back) cranks work well with the wider BB standard keeping the Q-factor as minimal as possible. It is odd to have a compact chainset on an aero road bike but BH obviously know its market and there is an 11 sprocket at the back so you're going to be moving at a fairish old lick before running out of gears.

Downsides? There are a couple but really nothing that's a deal breaker. All that stiffness means a bit of harshness and discomfort does come through on long rides. The longest ride I did was around five hours and it was starting to tell a bit on my wrists and back towards the end. The extended seat tube removing any flex you'd receive from a standard seatpost is part of the problem while the San Marco Zoncolan saddle is the other as there isn't much give but on the flipside the slightly unorthodox shape does work well for getting down in the drops.

Those deep tube profiles and 42mm rims do make the G6 susceptible to cross winds as well - gateways in hedges can make for some interesting lean angles!!

Three grand is a lot of money for a bike but when you look at the kit level you're getting; sub 900g frame, BB386, carbon wheels and an Ultegra groupset - I think the G6 8.0 is also good value for money. It's more than just a point and shoot bike, the G6 8.0 is a great all rounder. I think we might have found a contender for the road.cc Top Ten 2013.

Verdict

Fast, light, fast, well specced and...um......did I mention how fast it is?

road.cc test report

Make and model: BH G6.0 (2013)

Size tested: 55cm

About the bike

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

Frame: Carbon fibre monocoque

Fork: Carbon fibre moonocoque

Wheels: Vision Trimax T42 alloy/carbon clinchers

Tyres: Michelin Lithion 2

Bars: BH Superlight Carbon Fibre

Stem: BH alloy

Shifters: Ultegra

Brakes : Ultegra

Rear mech: Ultegra

Front Mech: Ultegra

Cassette : 105 10spd 11/25T

Chainset: FSA SL-K Light BB386 50/34T

Chain: KMC x10

Saddle: San Marco Zoncloan

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?

Its a pro level race frame with aero benefits making it ideal for breakaways and sprints is how BH describe it. I can't vouch for its pro level capabilities but its certainly a fast bike that can climb and descend as well

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
8/10

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

Overall build quality and finish looks great. Everything feels tight and well screwed together.

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

There are various differing types of carbon used and different lay ups all of which BH don't understandably go into.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

http://www.bhbikes.com/web/en/road/aero/g6/g6-8-0.html

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

The medium fit me very well as I only had about 25mm of seatpost extension poking out of the top. The seat tube angle puts you nicely in position for getting the power down.

Riding the bike

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

Comfortable in terms of position but the stiffness could cause the frame to resonate on rough surfaces causing some fatigue as the hours clicked by.

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

Bang on for the performance intended.

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

On group rides chasing down breaks or sprinting for signs you can feel the frame is putting all of your effort into moving forward.

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? pretty neutral, it was just as happy cruising in the bunch as it was doing 50mph - except in a cross wind

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

Very confidence inspiring thanks to everything working together, frame, forks, wheels, tyres all giving really good feedback. The whole bike in fact works as one and nothing stood out as being out of place.

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

The saddle was stiff but had a good shape for a racing tuck, it was neither comfortable or uncomfortable but you just knew it was there. The carbon bars were comfortable but the flex was barely noticeable.

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

The crankset is very efficient working with the BB386, even under hard efforts there was no front mech rub at all. The wheels/tyres combo also rolled very well.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
8/10

Ultegra does what it always does, looks good and gets on with its job.

Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
7/10

105 is snapping at its heels and is a lot cheaper.

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

Everything worked well together and it didn't require any fettling over the test period. Ultegra's shifts are quite light but give a good solid feel.

Wheels and tyres

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

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?

The Vision wheels are great all rounders. They stayed true and the bearings rolled smooth even with a few wet rides chucked in for good measure. Alloy braking surface is better for day to day riding.

Controls

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

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The BH bars are really nice, very comfortable and look great too. The stem didn't show any signs of flex while the saddle was harsh but a good design.

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

It's top end considering the budget and BH don't seem to have cut any corners.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Very much so.

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes.

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

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 34  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer  My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

 

25 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

A beauty, but can we cake the protective shipping film off of the rear mech before the photo session?

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [235 posts]
17th February 2013 - 17:53

26 Likes

I know you said it was light but 7g seems a little exessive.

posted by Osprey [19 posts]
17th February 2013 - 18:28

22 Likes

@pedalpower, Big Grin rather like being on the stage, most people wouldn't notice the mistakes, I didn't!

Stuart, can you comment on the stack and reach? I note the use of spacers; I'm looking for a new frame but I suspect this would be too racy for me.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3307 posts]
17th February 2013 - 18:30

23 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
@pedalpower, Big Grin rather like being on the stage, most people wouldn't notice the mistakes, I didn't!

Stuart, can you comment on the stack and reach? I note the use of spacers; I'm looking for a new frame but I suspect this would be too racy for me.

I ride with the saddle 765mm from BB to top of saddle and aim for about 540mm saddle nose to bars on my own bikes. On the BH I dropped the stem to leave 20mm of spacers above the headset and still found it comfortable even in the drops. I suffer from lower back pain after being hit by a van 4 years ago so I can't go too extreme position wise but even over long distance (I did two 100 mile rides during the test) I had no issues. As long as you've got a reasonable amount of flexibility you should be fine.

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [314 posts]
17th February 2013 - 19:54

26 Likes

pedalpowerDC wrote:
A beauty, but can we cake the protective shipping film off of the rear mech before the photo session?

It's not just the rear mech, there are bits stuck on the quick release skewers, front mech height sticker and brake caliper protectors and please, sack whoever taped those bars, the left side is appalling!

posted by Welsh boy [133 posts]
17th February 2013 - 19:57

21 Likes

Osprey - it's put on a bit of weight now, some scamp keeps putting a comma in the weights when they enter the on the system which knocks everything out after the first digit.

Welsh boy, pedalpowerDC, get a life.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
17th February 2013 - 20:12

23 Likes

Tony, it's all tongue in cheek (except the bit about the bar tape, that does upset me deeply)

posted by Welsh boy [133 posts]
17th February 2013 - 20:26

26 Likes

Very nice! Any ideas if it comes as just a frameset? if so how much?

posted by pirnie [189 posts]
17th February 2013 - 20:35

23 Likes

So, is it any faster than a more standard frame? Well to be perfectly honest, who knows?

Followed by...

but one thing is for sure, the G6 is fast, very fast

..and, as noted, it's got a huge stack of spacers under the stem, so it's not being ridden in anything like it's most aerodynamic setup. Come on fellas, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to up your game.

posted by crikey [172 posts]
17th February 2013 - 21:05

26 Likes

crikey wrote:
So, is it any faster than a more standard frame? Well to be perfectly honest, who knows?

Followed by...

but one thing is for sure, the G6 is fast, very fast

..and, as noted, it's got a huge stack of spacers under the stem, so it's not being ridden in anything like it's most aerodynamic setup. Come on fellas, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to up your game.

Allow me to clarify - Unless we had a round tubed (non-aero) bike to test side by side with the same geometry, set-up, weight, finishing kit, wheels etc........... how can you say whether its the tube shape that defines how fast it feels.

The static photos of the bike are taken before it goes out for test so the rider will set the bike up to their preferences before they hit the road. I set the bike up to offer the best position between aerodynamics and power output and the review is based on how the bike felt over the test period.

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [314 posts]
17th February 2013 - 21:30

22 Likes

...how can you say whether its the tube shape that defines how fast it feels...

Exactly.

You can't.

But you did...

If you want to be taken seriously as a reviewer or as a cycling journalist you need to try harder and aim to report in a sensible way rather than trotting out this kind of stuff.

Cycling is an aspirational activity, and cycling reviews and journalism will be subject to scrutiny as a result.

Time to step up...

posted by crikey [172 posts]
17th February 2013 - 23:07

21 Likes

To be fair Crikey you've lost me..... lets take a look at what I said
"So, is it any faster than a more standard frame? Well to be perfectly honest, who knows? A lot of wind tunnel tests and results very rarely have any bearing on real world conditions but one thing is for sure, the G6 is fast, very fast.".......
Where do I say the G6 is fast because of its deep section profile? All I said is "its fast" from my experience of riding it. Its faster than the other twenty bikes I've covered 10,000 miles on in the last year, I know what effort I require to propel a bike at a certain speed, on a certain route in certain conditions and use this experience and knowledge to review the bike.

Thank's for reading anyway.

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [314 posts]
18th February 2013 - 0:08

26 Likes

Like the look of it, and I'm not particularly a fan of so called "aero" frames - they usually end up looking more "stealth fighter" with all the wacky angles and edges all over the shop.

posted by Nick T [817 posts]
18th February 2013 - 0:28

25 Likes

'Ours comes with Ultegra mechanical and is priced at £2999.
The other options include:
8.1 : SRAM Force - £3499
8.3 : Ultegra Di2 - £3999
8.5 : SRAM Red - £4999
8.7 : Dura Ace - £5999
8.9 : Dura Ace Di2 -£7999'

5 grand more for Di2. I was surprised at a Bentley review at the weekend where the stereo upgrade is 5k but at least that wasn't more than double the 'base' model price. Still, if that's what things cost...Would this fit in the boot of a Bentley Continental GT Turbo Nutter Bastard?

posted by robert_obrien [117 posts]
18th February 2013 - 10:23

23 Likes

Sorry Welsh Boy, mine was supposed to be tongue in cheek too. I did think afterwards maybe I should have added one of these Wink or summat. The bar tape wasn't down to us though.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
18th February 2013 - 17:56

24 Likes

Surely that 8 grand 8.9 option would come with a different wheelset too...

posted by Nick T [817 posts]
18th February 2013 - 18:02

23 Likes

tony_farrelly wrote:
Sorry Welsh Boy, mine was supposed to be tongue in cheek too. I did think afterwards maybe I should have added one of these Wink or summat. The bar tape wasn't down to us though.

Tony, no need to apologise, no offence taken

posted by Welsh boy [133 posts]
18th February 2013 - 18:48

27 Likes

crikey wrote:

If you want to be taken seriously as a reviewer or as a cycling journalist you need to try harder and aim to report in a sensible way rather than trotting out this kind of stuff.

Cycling is an aspirational activity, and cycling reviews and journalism will be subject to scrutiny as a result.

Time to step up...

If you want to be taken seriously as a commenter on a cycling website you need to try harder and aim to comment in a sensible way rather than trotting out this kind of stuff etc, etc,

Time to step up… Big Grin

Fair point about the stack of spacers in the static shots, but as Stu says these are almost always taken when the bike hits the office and before the reviewer has even seen it or had the chance to set it up. That's the way all the magazines and websites I've worked on have done it. Shots first, test second. Quite often top end bikes come in with a big stack of spacers because manufacturers and distributors are understandly reluctant to cut down the fork on a bike they may later want to sell.

In this case the action shots were taken post-review, and you can see the spacer stack above the stem in one of them (the portrait shot) plus Stu does talk about how he set it up in his reply to notfastenough earlier on in the comments above.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
18th February 2013 - 18:49

25 Likes

Nick T wrote:
Surely that 8 grand 8.9 option would come with a different wheelset too...

Shimano Dura Ace C35's, BH's website has the full list of bikes and their spec's Big Grin

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [314 posts]
18th February 2013 - 20:15

12 Likes

First things first; I have no desire to be taken seriously....

I mentioned the stem spacers in passing; it seems somewhat strange to be testing an aero frame then illustrate the article with a setup which is argueably much less aero than the manufacturer would have envisaged.

Sloppy.

My main complaint is referred to above; the whole 'who knows if the frame is faster......Ooooh it's really fast' thing.

As I mentioned, cycling is not some backstreet niche sport anymore, it's mainstream, it's aspirational, it's ever so middle class darling, and as a result, the journalism that represents it needs to improve accordingly.

I come here and read what you write, and for the most part it is sensible and credible, and my concern is that articles like this one let the side/site down somewhat.

I am pleased that you have responded to my criticism, I appreciate that you don't agree with it, but I think my point still stands; give us real, well thought out commentary on new kit, real world reviews and the credibility of the site will grow.

posted by crikey [172 posts]
18th February 2013 - 20:20

9 Likes

Please feel free to make some suggestions crikey. How could the performance of one bike to another be quantified for the reviews? If you caught our 'First look' piece on Giant's new aero bike you'll see in the comments that very few people have much time for wind tunnel results and manufacturer's claims so any help with how we could better describe the performance of the bike in layman's terms would be much appreciated.

Anyhow I'll agree to disagree on this one and hope you enjoy the rest of the site, happy cycling Big Grin

cheers
Stu

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [314 posts]
19th February 2013 - 0:44

13 Likes

stu wrote:
So, is it any faster than a more standard frame? Well to be perfectly honest, who knows? A lot of wind tunnel tests and results very rarely have any bearing on real world conditions but one thing is for sure, the G6 is fast, very fast

this would mean, "I couldn't tell you how much of it is down to the frame shape but the G6 is a fast bike"

I'm not even sure how it's ambiguous, really.

A bike's performance isn't down to the wind tunnel performance of the frame, or the deflection of the bottom bracket under a certain load, or the roll-down performance of the tyres, or the ability of the bars to absorb vibrations at a certain frequency, or the stiffness rating of the saddle padding, or drag of the wheels at certain angles of yaw. It's all those things, and many more. It *isn't* alchemy or anything, but it *is* more complicated than just measuring stuff.

what makes Stu's reviews credible is not his ability to understand wind tunnel data but his ability to tell what's good and bad about a bike. That comes from experience of a huge number of different bikes, and thousands and thousands of miles of testing. And let's be clear that when he says a bike is fast, he's talking empirically in as much as it's possible to in real world conditions. Fast for a given effort over a known course.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7429 posts]
19th February 2013 - 8:49

16 Likes

stuke wrote:
Nick T wrote:
Surely that 8 grand 8.9 option would come with a different wheelset too...

Shimano Dura Ace C35's, BH's website has the full list of bikes and their spec's Big Grin

Cheers for checking, my post was mainly for robert obrien who mentioned a 5k difference for DA Di2.

Good review by the way, can't say that I was confused by the content like some commenters seem to be. I guess people don't spend as much time working on reading skills as they used to.

posted by Nick T [817 posts]
19th February 2013 - 20:02

13 Likes

cheers Smile

Follow me on-
Twitter - @StuKerton
Strava - http://www.strava.com/athletes/931095

stuke's picture

posted by stuke [314 posts]
19th February 2013 - 21:00

13 Likes

robert_obrien wrote:
'Ours comes with Ultegra mechanical and is priced at £2999.
The other options include:
8.1 : SRAM Force - £3499
8.3 : Ultegra Di2 - £3999
8.5 : SRAM Red - £4999
8.7 : Dura Ace - £5999
8.9 : Dura Ace Di2 -£7999'

/quote]

it doesn't have to be Cool
http://www.bikeleasingcompany.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=G6

posted by bikeleasingcompany [33 posts]
20th February 2013 - 10:01

14 Likes

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