The Speedx Unicorn, the company’s first follow-up to its debut Leopard carbon road bike, hit Kickstarter a few weeks ago and we’ve managed to get a hands-on first look at the new bike.
The Speedx Unicorn campaign is still playing out on Kickstarter, but with 18 days to go the company has amassed a staggering $979,626 from 275 backers, exceeding its modest $50,000 goal. Safe to say it’ll go into production then.
In the video above Dave talks you through the key details of the new bike. Those key details include an all-new carbon fibre frame that has been designed with a similar focus on aerodynamics to the original Leopard, but it’s built around disc brakes and incorporates the Vibration Control System to provide a smoother ride. It’s also lighter with a claimed frame weight of 870g. That’s with a lick of paint, not a naked carbon frame weight.
That all sounds very standard so far, but what has set all Speedx road bikes apart from the competition is a focus on integrated computers as being a key USP. The original featured a computer built into the stem, the new Unicorn does the same but it’s now removable. Plus it works with the new “sophisticated power meter” that is integrated into the bike.
Integration is an overused word in the cycle business, and the power meter isn’t as integrated as you might think. What Speedx is doing is selling the Unicorn with its own crank-based power meter, similar to an SRM or Quarq power meter. The power meter, which it claims is 99% accurate, is compatible with Shimano and SRAM cranks and chainrings and Speedx says the battery lasts 400 hours or 8,000km between charges.
There are many power meter options on the market, some easy to install like PowerTap P1 pedals or the Stages system, but some require a bit more work such as an SRM, Quarq or Rotor setup. If you want a bike that is sold complete with a power meter your options are a little more limited, but we reckon the future, for high-end bikes at least, is road bikes packaged with power meters as standard. Especially now Shimano has launched the Dura-Ace power meter.
That power meter relays data to Speedx’s own SpeedForce computer. It uses a 2.2in touchscreen and is based on Android OS software, a mobile operating system developed by Google. Rather neatly Speedx has developed a wireless button that can be positioned anywhere on the handlebar, so you don’t need to remove your hands from the handlebars to change mode.
There aren’t many bikes that come with power meters as standard, but that’s slowly starting to change. SRAM introduced its new Prime Power Ready Crankset that is coming standard on some new bikes and is aimed at making upgrading to a power meter easier. FSA has also licenced the power2max power meter to create its own Powerbox crankset, and we’re already starting to see it being specced on 2017 bikes, including the new Boardman Air 9.2.
SpeedX is offering the bike in three builds, from Shimano Ultegra Di2 up to SRAM eTap, in two price bands, one favouring Kickstarter supporters and a final retail price. Safe to say you can enjoy a healthy discount if you do go the Kickstarter route.
Unicorn Pro eTap
Unicorn X eTap
So those are the key details about the new bike. Unfortunately the Speedx guys didn’t leave the bike with us so we’ve not had the chance to test it yet, but we’ve got our name down for a review bike as soon as they’re available, and you like us will be interested to see if the company has ironed out some of the wrinkles of the Leopard.
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.