There is nothing quite like flying along the road on a fast road bike. Building up speed and momentum is so easy on skinny tyres, especially if you are more used to knobblies. If the bicycle is the most energy-efficient means of transport ever invented, the road racing bike represents the thrill of bicycling in its purest form, so fast and so graceful. Partly it's because of the skinny tyres, partly it's because of the ergonomics of drop bars, but mostly it's because the lighter the bike, the easier it is to move. Take this 24lb Edinburgh Continental a spin and you'll be reluctant to jump back on to your 34lb old iron.
Encouraged by the resurgence of interest in racing bikes, we reintroduced the Edinburgh Continental road machine last year. As always, we wanted to offer something you couldn't find elsewhere - such as our first ever Shimano Dual Control-equipped bike costing less than £400. The Continental was so well received, Cycling Plus magazine voted it their Budget Bike of the Year. I wonder what the editors of that esteemed journal will make of this new model with its lighter weight aluminium frame?
Cycling Plus called the Continental a budget bike because it was much less expensive than the bicycles they usually review. Back in the real world, unless you already own a lightweight racing bike, we promise that you'll find the Continental a revelation, perfect for getting into road racing, or for improving your triathlon time, or for fine-weather fitness rides, or for 'credit card touring'. Even if you already own a £1,000 racer, you might want to consider this 'budget bike' for winter training when you don't want to inflict the weather on your nice Bianchi or Cannondale. The Bike Co-op's own Grant Martin uses his Continental for daily commuting the 25 miles from Innerleithen to Edinburgh. A trip he has down to an hour (with a decent tail wind). The Continental is that good.
- Aluminium frame - eyeletted to accept full-length SKS-style mudguards.
- £100-worth of Shimano Sora Dual Control 2 x 7 = 14-speed shifters.
- Dual Control shifters allow you to change gear without taking your hands off the bars - ie without loss of momentum or control.
- Shimano Sora gears and chainset.
- Tektro Dual pivot brakes - superior stoppers.
- Excellent Schwalbe tyres - check how the blue sidewalls coordinate with the Cobalt frame.
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Rigida Nova 32H alloy double wall rims
|Alloy QR hubs|
|Schwalbe Blizzard Pro 700 x 23 tyres|
Shimano 2 x 7 = 14-speed Shimano STI Dual Control shifters
Shimano Acera gears
Alloy chainset 39/53t
|Shimano 14-28 cassette|
Alloy pedals with toeclips
Tektro Dual Pivot Brakes
ITM Europa anatomic bars. Alloy quill stem. Black cork tape
Alloy micro-adjust seatpin. Allen key binder bolt
52, 55, 58, 61cm