REVIEW: Velocite Magnus Carbon Fiber Road Bike
Founded in 2008, Velocite is a brand that claims to put technology above all else to deliver the best possible bikes. The Velocite Magnus was built from the ground up to be a pure race machine that wouldn’t sacrifice rider comfort.
Our size medium (54cm) test bike came outfitted with a SRAM force group, TRP brakes, FSA stem, Velocite’s own LICOS carbon flat top handlebar, BORA fork and Velocite Noir 38mm front/50mm rear carbon clinchers. The complete bike weighed in at 15.1 pounds, which is, as one tester remarked after a test loop, “As much fun as you can have and still be legal” (the UCI minimum weight requirement is 14.99 pounds). With the Magnus, Velocite has created a high performance bicycle that has moved to the top of my wish list for next year. This is one bike I was truly sad to see go, and if it were up to me I’d still be rocking it.
Why such bike lust? Read the full review after the break…
The Magnus’ frame begins with an oversized, tapered head tube and monocoque tapered carbon fork, continues to the massive BB30 bottom bracket and finishes up with oversized chainstays. It looks fast even while standing still. The attention to detail on the frame becomes more apparent when you realized there’s no paint or cosmetic layer of carbon to hide imperfections (of which we couldn’t find any, BTW).
The oversized tapered headtube holds the high modulus carbon fiber monocoque fork. The fork has carbon dropouts and a full carbon tapered 1.125″ to 1.5″ steerer tube. Both the upper and lower headset races are molded from carbon helping to increase stiffness and reduce weight.
The large graceful downtube and bottom bracket area houses the BB30 cranks. Like the headset cups, the BB30 bearing races are molded from carbon helping to decrease weight from the frame and improve power transmission.
The massive chainstays provide an immediate and highly efficient transmission of power to the rear wheel. Even with the chainstays being oversized the bike never felt harsh, even after a six hour ride in the North Carolina mountains.
Notice the graceful arc at the chainstay and seatstay junction. Not only is the bike fast, it’s sexy as well.
Finally the all-important saddle was held by a super lightweight trick two-bolt seatpost. During testing it proved to be rock solid even on the roughest roads that South Carolina had to offer. The only thing I would have liked to see would be some kind of reference marks to help in setting up the saddle tilt. However, this is only a small thing and nothing a good carpenter’s level couldn’t fix.
With a frameset (frame and fork) price of $1,879 the bike is a steal. Our test sample, fully loaded, retails for $4,559, but several build options are offered.
For that coin you get a monocoque frame with oversized high modulus tubes constructed with High Compaction Technology. This, combined with high temperature curing, forces more of the resin into the fibers for a stronger, lighter frame that surpasses all current EN testing standards. Not that you’d ever see them, but the tubes are as smooth and clean on the inside as the outside.
We put lots of spirited miles on the bike both during training rides with our local crew and local shop group rides. The bike impressed us with both it’s outright speed and it’s ability to remain comfortable during a long 65 mile day in the North Carolina mountains.
The Magnus had very impressive road manners. Both the seat tube and head tube angles suggested the Magnus would be twitchy like a pure crit bike, but somehow the guys at Velocite figured out how to combine the responsiveness of a crit bike with the stability of an all day race bike to create something truly impressive. I was able to ride no handed while removing a wind vest and the bike tracked straight on the road. This was awesome because all too often most “race” bikes are extremely nervous and you are almost afraid to let go of the bars because you feel like you’re going to crash any moment.
Sometimes with a bike you get the feeling that the rear is simply “following” the front of the bike, but I did not get that with the Magnus. It was as if the two ends were one unit. I did a bombing descent on Town Mountain Road in Asheville, NC, with a series of turns linked together by short sections of rough roads and the Magnus never showed any signs of flex or steering issues. The BB30 bottom bracket area was extremely stiff and I did not notice any flex or loss of power on the climbs. The high modulus carbon provided a nice blend of vibration damping and stiffness. After the six hour mountain ride I was still somewhat fresh and still had enough energy to throw in a little sprint at the end. This never happens with my current multi-material bike. The Magnus is an all around solid performer that is perfect for racing, group rides and everything in between.
I give this bike a solid five thumbs up! The Magnus is a thing of beauty that performs incredibly well whether you’re dropping the hammer in a sprint, climbing for the sky or just tooling around on a group ride with friends. At the risk of sounding overly enamored with this bike, I have to say it pretty much goes like their website says: “Ride Velocite, Feel Invincible.”
OTHER NOTES: Velocite has just debuted an aero road bike, and they’ll have a TT bike in the first part of 2011 with a full carbon 29′er and (my personal favorite) carbon Cross Bike before the end of the year, too.
The bike has a 5 Year warranty and 3 Year crash replacement deal. Check out their U.S. distributor at www.dnadistributing.com for all the details. Now go out and race!!!