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Just in: Hoy Shizuoka .002

A fast-rolling and adaptable flat handlebar road bike with hydraulic disc brakes for £600

Riders looking for urban bikes around the £600 mark will often be tempted by mountain bikes or hybrids fitted with budget-stifled suspension. The Shizuoka is a faster, lighter alternative that can easily lend itself to longer road rides or, with very little adaptation, to much more expansive outings and occasional trail use.

Weighing in at just under 10.5kg/23.3lb, it's three to four kilos lighter than a typical mountain bike for the same price, but it has enough room to fit fatter more shock absorbent 700c tyres if you feel the need, as well as having rack and mudguard eyelets plus two sets of bottle cage bosses.

The most distinctive selling points of the Shizuoka 002 are the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM's X5 based 1 x 10 drivetrain. The 1 x 10 approach (with a single chainring) obviously keeps things simple and clutter-free for urban use but, while the 38 chainring and 13-32 cassette should suit most riders, there are bound to be those who'll wish for a few bigger or smaller gears: the frame has cable guides for a front shifter and a front mech if you feel the need to upgrade. The £900 Shizuoka 004 and £750 003 both have 50/34 chainsets, or there's the £550 001, still with hydraulic disc brakes but with only eight gears. 

Hoy's marketing literature describes the Shizuoka 002 as “a fast, efficient and comfortable ride, combining the speed and efficiency of a road bike with the rugged durability of a mountain bike.”

We haven't put any real mileage into it yet but that certainly rings true from first impressions. Well, nearly. 28c Kenda Kwik Tendril tyres obviously emphasise speed rather than mountain bike durability, but the frame and fork room around them suggests you could go up to about 45c for extra bump protection. The tyres, deep rims and all-alu frameset won't do your comfort or vision any favours if you venture off smooth tarmac.

The frame detail is pretty straightforward, but certainly not to be scoffed at on a £620 bike. The 6061 aluminium tubes are triple butted to extract weight and add a degree of compliance when roads get rough. Double-pass welds give a smooth appearance and the flat grey colour scheme is very subtle, almost to the point of anonymity... no bad thing on an urban bike.

The tube profiles are ovalised and shaped where useful but there's no OTT hydroforming and the 72° head angle, 74 °seat angle, 23in (58.5cm) top tube reach geometry (medium size) should be spot on for fast leisure riding. The cable routing is tidy, there's loads of bar, stem and saddle adjustment potential, and the integrated headset gives a very tidy front end look that flatters the fuss-free aesthetics of the disc brake approach on the forks and seatstays.

The minor detail hasn't been overlooked either. The gear cables have frame-rub-protection around the head tube, the seat bolt is of the swivelling no bend type, the handlebar grips are bolt on and ergonomically shaped. The saddle has tough Kevlar edges and the rims are slightly wider than average Alex XD Sport models that can comfortably take a wider set of treads if needed.

The 25in (63.5cm) wide flat bar, stem, saddle and double bolt seat post are all decent Hoy branded offerings, and there's a little chain guide included to prevent the chain dropping on bumpy terrain. Standover height is generous and the sizing goes from XXS, for riders from 4ft 11in, to XL, for those up to 6ft 4in. In case you're wondering, the Shizuoka name was inspired by Hoy's time spent at a keirin school in Japan. Here's Sir Chris's promo video for the bike...

Full test to follow as soon as we've ridden it enough. In the meantime, check out for more details.

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jollygoodvelo | 10 years ago

I really like the look of this one as a commuter.

38x32 as a bottom gear is exactly the same ratio as the 34x28 on my road bike; while the top gear of 38x11 is somewhat shorter than 50x12, it's still enough for about 28mph at 100rpm, and the weight is low enough to be workable.

And at £650... my only thought is that flat bars aren't that comfortable over decent distances and my commute is 12 miles each way. Very tempting though, and at least the flat bar gives space for lots of lights!

Colin Peyresourde | 10 years ago

This does look like a well thought out machine. I must admit that this fits the bill for a new commuter bike I'm looking for (my 20 year old mountain bike is hardly worth nicking, but it's fairly clunky and sluggish). I can definitely see myself ripping around town on this....maybe with a bigger gear though.

paulrattew | 10 years ago

The real question with all the Hoy bikes is how do they measure up in comparison to their big competitor - Boardman Bikes. Boardman have done a good job in trying to own the "very well specced for the price" market and you only have to look at all the glowing reviews to see that they are good bikes (less said about Halfords, but Evans are often not much better).

merckxissimo | 10 years ago

My first thought about these bikes was that they were a solid way for Sir Chris to cash in on his achievements and little else.

This looks like a really well thought out, well put together machine. Pleased to say I've been proved wrong!

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