The Eastway brand is named after the road racing circuit demolished in 2006 to make way for the Olympic Velopark. Although much loved and much missed it was a tough place to race, with evil winds, a bleak urban wasteland environment and a bone-jarring surface.
Founded in 2011, Eastway use the demands of that circuit as inspiration and aim to produce high-performing bikes that are still durable enough for real-world use.
Looking mean with its black and yellow livery, the Eastway still puts a smile on your face with its ’80s-style decals. The geometry of the carbon monocoque frame isn’t in-your-face aggressive, but isn’t slack either, and should strike a good balance between sportive comfort and racier demands.
With cheaper, and often more expensive, builds frequently let down by their wheelset, it’s great to see some decent rolling stock in the shape of Mavic’s Cosmic Elites. Retailing at £355, they’re spot-on for the build and even have an aero touch to them. Factor in the Kalinete tyres (these are Kenda’s lightest road clinchers but still offer Iron Cloak puncture protection) and Eastway’s dream of performance and durability seems to be becoming a reality.
The groupset is almost entirely SRAM’s third-tier Rival and is a solid if not stunning spec. The compact chainset and wide 11-28t cassette are a sensible choice for training and sportives, but aspiring über-bikers might feel they’re under-geared. The only deviation from Rival is the fourth-tier Apex brakes that, although capable, do seem a bit out of place. Finishing kit is all own brand, rounding off a build that suggests performance, durability and versatility.
From your first few turns of the pedals, the Eastway just feels right. With hands on the hoods, your position feels relaxed but also sporty and powerful. It’s quick to spin up to speed and, even from early ride gentle accelerations, it’s clear that it’s got a racing heart.
It leaps forward if you stamp on the pedals, devoid of any power-sapping flex, and its nimble and precise handling encourages you to flick it into corners and muscle out of them. It’s not just a short-blast hooligan, though – if you want to sit up and chill, it’ll obligingly cruise along.
The shallow drop bars give a lower, more aero position but it’s very comfortable. The 30mm-deep Mavics provide a bit of an aero boost and, for such a stiff bike, it’s also compliant; the ride is surprisingly buzz free.
When the pace of the group inevitably lifts for village-sign sprints, you can find yourself spinning out but, if you’ve got the leg speed, it’s stiff enough to give you a fighting chance. On the hills, it’s extremely impressive and, both in and out of the saddle, always feels as though it’s working with you rather than dragging you back. Shifting is smooth and precise; once you’re tuned into Double-Tap, it’s very effective.
At 1,770g the Mavics aren’t the lightest, but they don’t detract from the Eastway’s uphill prowess. Heading down and its spot-on handling and acceleration come to the fore. Any worries about the lower spec brakes are instantly dispelled, so as the end of the ride draws near you can unleash the Eastway’s racer persona and leave your ride mates behind.
Race-day rocket and all-day cruiser in one package.
Great frame and wheels, but third-tier drivetrain and fourth-tier brakes is average.
Its versatility offers two bikes for the price of one, but spec could be better.
You could ride it all day with no worries.
Final score: 84%
Contact : www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk