NeilPryde’s ‘Exoskeleton technology’ places external carbon fibre ribs on three key areas of the frame – behind the headtube, at the seattube/toptube junction and at the chainstay/seatstay junction – in a bid to improve stiffness, while NeilPryde say this has a dual benefit in helping to smooth airflow around the frame.
The square-to-oval profile of the toptube, asymmetric downtube, deep, boxy chainstays, and bulky PressFit 86 bottom bracket (the previous version of the BuraSL had a PF30 bottom bracket) are all there in the name of stiffness, too.
Among the updates on this latest version of the BuraSL are an integrated seatpost clamp and bow-shaped fork – both primarily to improve comfort – and a switch to internal cable routing, with the frame capable of running either a mechanical or electronic groupset.
Low weight may be the BuraSL’s calling card, but it’s a well-rounded package which combines that featherweight frame weight with comfort, ample stiffness, well-tuned handling and a planted, relatively comfortable ride.
- Price: £2,999
- Weight: 7.2kg
- Sizes: S-XXL
- Size tested: M
- Website: NeilPryde
Let’s deal with weight first. Based around that 710g frame, our test machine with mechanical Shimano Ultegra and Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels weighs in at 7.2kg – it’s certainly not troubling the scales for what is essentially a mid-range build. It feels light on the road, too, and has the immediate acceleration and turn of pace you expect from a little bike, though that’s most keenly felt when the road rises and the BuraSL is a worthy companion when the gradient really ratchets up into the steep stuff.
Low weight is nothing without a solid platform, however. As we’ve already covered, stiffness-to-weight ratio was key when NeilPryde were redesigning the BuraSL and it feels solid under effort, both at the headtube and bottom bracket. It doesn’t have the outright ruthless rigidity of the most efficient bikes – the BuraSL arrived in the RoadCyclingUK office on the heels of the Canyon Aeroad, which admittedly is an aero bike – but it provides a level of stiffness which is more than a match for short attacks on steep climbs, hard sprints and prolonged efforts in the saddle.
The handling is excellent; quick under hand but stable, precise but controllable – a finely-tuned balance for a race bike like this. It’s an easy machine to ride and descends with stability and confidence, but retains a fast, aggressive instinct when required.