Apollo Artec R (2012)
Apollo has come along way in the high end road market.
Light weight with the addition of the Sram Quarq cranks to help measure your performance.
The branding will keep the bike snobs away.
The Apollo Artec R definitely looks the goods! That is if you can look past the decals glaring Apollo in your face. Yes there is a bike snob in most of us cyclists.
This is the latest all new designed road bike from Apollo. The Artec R is the top level in Apollo's road range. Apollo claims the weight for complete bike without pedals is at 6.4kg which is light. Considering it comes standard with the Sram Quarq Power meter crankset this is a very light bike. The problem I find with light is that it equals stiff ride and twitchy handling. I personally do not buy my bikes based on how light they are. I can hear the groans from all of the weight weenies now as they are reading this review. Well when you are carrying 10kg extra I can make my bike 10kg lighter by riding it more.
All of the other components are from the house of Apollo. Easton EC90 SL wheel set, Easton bars, stem and seatpost with Michelin Pro Race 3 tyres rounding out the ensemble.
The frame is a UD monocoque carbon-fibre frame with S.L.I.M. seat stays. Translated to Super Light Impact Minimising. I'm sure that they try and make up this Acronym's to sound cool. Well it does sound cool, and it severs a very good purpose. Cervelo were the first to demonstrate that a bike doesn't need large seat stays to be strong with Cancellara winning his first Paris-Roubaix on the thin seat stayed Cervelo .
The Artec has taken the good technology from other frames that have worked and tweaked them to make them just that little bit better.
The addition of the power meter shows who the designers have in mind to target with this high level road bike.
The test ride I was going on took into account my theory of light equals stiff and twitchy handling characteristics. It included some tight cornering steep climbing and descending to thoroughly push the Apollo through its paces. I was lucky enough to have blue skies and little wind when I set off on my ride and the first thing to notice with bike was how light it felt while riding. I'm not sure how many of you have ridden a really light bike but to me they feel fragile. I like a bit of meat on my bike so me it doesn't feel like I'm going to break it when I ride it. Maybe some bike should just be hung on the wall as ART. It took me awhile to settle in on this unbroken stallion as it felt that one wrong turn and I will be eating bitumen.
Once settled the Artec did ride well, fast and stiff. Probably a bit too stiff for me as a lot of my riding is done on fairly miss-treated roads. The Easton wheels were fast and felt nice to ride though I would save these for racing and use a traditional 32 spoke set for every day riding. For those of you who are into the computer down load ability after your training ride then you will need to have one of the following brands of Ant and head units to run off the Sram Quarq cranks. Garmin, Cycle-Ops, iBike and Bontrager.
The Sram red worked well and helped keep the weight down on the bike. The overall package to me would suit the club racer who is searching for a fast twitchy racing bike with top level components. That of course is if you can get over the fact it is an Apollo.
Are you looking for balance and stability without compromising speed and comfort? Artec R delivers not only those factors but it's also responsive, stiff and it comes in style. The super light carbon monocoque frame, the oversized full monocoque carbon fork, SRAM Red drivetrain, and the cool Quaraq power meter to connect them to the ANT+Sport network are some of the best elements that give you the ultimate advantage.
|Nude Carbon / White / Red|