Planet X started out in the ‘90s making dirt jump mountain bike frames out of its factory in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. More recently they’ve concentrated largely on the development of the road side as well as their range of track, triathlon and time-trial.
The Planet X SL Pro Carbon Ultegra 6700 is a winner when it comes to spec and value for money – you’d expect to see components of this quality on bikes twice the price. It comes equipped with full Shimano Ultegra levers, brakes, drivetrain and shifters; FSA components; and the Planet X model C wheelset that’s become the training wheel of choice for many triathletes. Having said that, the noisy freewheel can be a little distracting if you’re trying to get a spot of peace and quiet! The test frame came in a black/raw carbon finish but is also available in blue, white or pink for an extra £25.
The Planet X website allows you to upgrade individual components from the stock build, which is a great way to tailor your bike to your specific needs. But this is already an incredibly well specced bike and, combined with the lightweight frameset and top-notch ride, is definitely worth a look.
Knowing that the Planet X came in at the thousand pound mark, it was an unbelievable shock when we ripped open the box to find a full carbon frame and fork built up with a great-looking Ultegra kit. Planet X has a well-deserved reputation for value but surely there was some mistake? After checking their website it turns out that you can get a full carbon bike equipped with Shimano’s Ultegra range for less than a grand. Unbelievable!
The first thing that this bike shouts is lightweight, and as soon as you get on board it’s clear that the low cost of the frameset won’t be getting in the way of a top-quality ride. The Planet X SL Pro Carbon frame certainly offers the kind of comfort level you’d be looking for if you want to be spending hours in the saddle. In fact, I’m thinking of ordering one to replace my sofa.
While the softness of the frame makes for a comfortable ride, there are inevitably characteristics of the ride where this compromise in rigidity will have less welcome effects, most notably on descents and under braking. Having said that, the flexibility of the frame wouldn’t concern anyone used to riding carbon-framed bikes.
Where this bike really comes into its own is on the climbs. The softness of the frame allows the rear wheel to track positively across the rough tarmac of the Yorkshire hills, while the minimal weight allows it to float up all but the most aggressive inclines. The super smooth performance of the Ultegra set-up is an awesome addition to this level of bike and provides smooth, seamless shifting performance.
Planet X has pulled a rabbit out of the hat here; a hugely comfortable frameset with a build you’d expect to find at twice the price. You’d be hard pressed to find a better-equipped ride on the market at this price.
Contact : www.planet-x-warehouse.co.uk