Since Eastway launched as a bike brand in 2012 we've been keen to get one in to test and finally we have in the shape of the Eastway CX 2.0 a disc equipped cyclo-cross all rounder designed to cope with the rigours of riding on British roads or trails and yours for £1,249.
This type of aluminium cross bike has become increasingly popular in the country over the past few years with riders who want a versatile bike to commute on during the week and tackle the odd trail or maybe even a cyclo-cross race at the weekend, and it is still cross season so an ideal time to have it in for testing.
Like it or not disc brakes are ere to say. Eastway definitely fall in to the 'like' camp they fully embraced disc brakes right from the start and uses them across its range of road, hybrid and cyclo-cross bikes. In fact they were possibly the first bike company to sell a disc equipped road bike in the UK - the Eastway R 1.0d.
Eastway is Fisher Outdoor Leisure’s inhouse brand, the brain child of two keen cyclists Matt Pryke and Stephen Britz. They used to race at the old Eastway cycle circuit in East London, long since bulldozed to make way for the Olympic park. So when they came to starting their own brand, borne from a desire for bikes better suited to British roads and conditions, they felt the name was a natural fit. It’s certainly a name that will have a resonance with a couple of generations of riders from London and beyond who raced there, myself included.
The brand aims to offer well priced and well specced bikes designed in Britain for British cyclists and conditions. That's certainly looks to be the case with the CX2.0. It’s a well put together package for the money, featuring a 7000 series double butted alloy frame, carbon fibre fork, Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes (slightly surprised not to see BB7s at this price) and a SRAM Apex groupset. All in though It’s a decent amount of kit for the money, and it’s topped off with Eastway finishing kit and Kenda 35mm knobbly tyres. As a package it looks ready to go. We'll find out if it lives up to that promise when we get it out on test.
The decision to adopt disc brakes was an obvious one for the designers, less concerned as they are about whether the UCI would change its mind or not about discs in the pro peloton. Not held back by such worries, and focusing on what they feel is best for everyday cyclists, whether that's a daily commter or a segment chaser, they've had a free rein to design the bikes they wanted to ride For the sort of riding and cyclist they’re aiming the bikes at - bikes for speed, distance and comfort but not necessarily racing - the benefits and advantages of disc brakes is a no-brainer.
Compared to the all-carbon CX1.0 cyclo-cross bike, the alloy CX2.0 has a slightly more relaxed geometry, making it well suited to anyone who might want to use it for commuting and larking about on the trails as well as, or instead of, racing around a muddy playing field for an hour on a Sunday afternoon. The head tube is a little taller so the reach to the bars isn’t so aggressive, and the top tube is a little more stretched out.
All gear and brake cables are routed externally, the front mech cable running along the underside of the down tube and using a full run of outer casing to prevent mud and water getting in. The rear mech cable runs along the top tube seatstay, and the rear brake cable is also routed along the top tube.
The tapered head tube takes Eastway’s own carbon bladed fork. The chainstays are pinched in dramatically halfway along to provide the necessary heel clearance. Talking of clearance, there’s plenty of space around the tyres and there’s also space for mudguards and racks, with all the required mounting eyelets.
The SRAM Apex groupset feature a compact 50/34 chainset with an 11-28 cassette. That chainset could be a sticking point for anyone eyeing the CX2.0 up as a cyclo-cross racer, it's going to be overgeared for most courses. That's easily changed of course, but its inclusion does indicate that Eastway is aiming this bike at cyclists less concerned with racing, and more occasional off-road gravel tracks, towpaths and bridleways.
Eastway produce their own E28 semi-deep section rim laced to their own disc hubs, and shod with Kenda Kommando 35mm tyres. The tyres have a tightly spaced tread pattern that should produce a reasonable performance on the road. The bike is finished with Eastway branded handlebars, stem, seatpost and saddle. There’s loads of spacers on the steerer tube so plenty of height adjustment is possible to tailor the fit. On the road.cc scales and the CX2.0 weighs 10.83kg (23.87lb) which put it safely tucked in the middle of the pack for this sort of bike at this sort of price.
We've got a couple of disc-equipped cyclo-cross bikes in at the moment and it'll be interesting to see how the Eastway stacks up against them. There is the Canyon Inflite AL 8.0 for similar money and also with mechanical disc brakes, and let's not forget both the Surly Straggler and Orange RX9 bikes that are currently being tested. We'll let you know how we get on.
More at www.eastwaybikes.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.