Project ALIZE Part 2
Project ALIZE Part 2
by Mark Tearle
Project ALIZE Part 2 of Project Alize looks at the NeilPryde ALIZE frame and fork at the heart of this build
The NeilPryde Group launched their Bikes division in 2011 with the ALIZE and DIABLO bikes, to great critical success at the time. NeilPryde are renowned for high performance and cutting edge marine sporting equipment, and their approach to making bicycles is no different. Soon the design awards followed, most notably the Red Dot Design award. They later introduced 2 new bikes to the range; the BAYAMO Time Trial machine, and the light weight BURAsl and further accolades were delivered.
Though NeilPryde announced the new quiver of bicycles for their 2014 stable in the Autumn of 2013, such as the introducion of the new ZEPHYR, which we’ve already previewed on cycletechreview.com, one constant in the range since the brand’s launch is the ALIZE. We really like NeilPryde frames, so when we were offered the opportunity to take a closer look at the ALIZE frameset we grabbed at it with both hands, before it blew away, and Project ALIZE was born.
For 2014 the ALIZE frame retains its distinctive engineered aero credentials that draw on NeilPryde’s 40 years of working with wind and 25 years of carbon fibre expertise. According to the marketing script, the ALIZE has been further upgraded with a reduced frame weight, increased power transfer, full internal cabling and compatibility with either mechanical or electronic shifting.
To back up those claims NeilPryde say, “BMW Group DesignworksUSA’s computational fluid dynamics analysis and NEILPRYDE’s optimized tube profile techniques combined to minimize drag while maintaining stiffness and the assured handling you expect from a pro-level race bike. Wider tube profiles have been incorporated to delay flow separation and maintain torsional rigidity. The unique down tube changes shape to manage both laminar and turbulent airflow, and the extended Kamm-tail creates an aerodynamic, lightweight and stiff bottom bracket.” I’ll explain what all that means in the review later on…
It would be an incorrect assumption to suggest that the NeilPryde Bikes’ range has been designed as the play things of restless sailors or windsurfers; as NeilPryde add, the ALIZE is “the perfect all-around race bike. Aerodynamic, stiff and responsive, ALIZE carried the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team to over 80 podiums in 2013”. NeilPryde Bikes’ extensive research and development, and collaboration with BMW DesignworksUSA, and continued support of road racing teams and events worldwide, such as the recent Red Trolley Criterium in San Diego in the US, is proof enough that NeilPryde are serious about bikes and are more than just a lifestyle product.
With such a proven pedigree who am I to argue, but I am curious to know how this translates to a domestic amateur road race on some blustery old aerodrome in the South East of England.
The new colour way of Black/Blue/White and Black/Red/Grey refresh the ALIZE further for 2014 – stealth black is dead – as the 2014 trend sees colour returning to bicycles with a splash. The frameset, which includes the NeilPryde branded integrated headset and the NeilPryde Aeroblade CF seatpost as standard, can be purchased direct or through NeilPryde’s growing distribution network for £1999 RRP, as Shimano 105 complete build at £2,299 RRP or an Shimano 6800 Ultegra complete build at £2,800 RRP.
In November 2013, 2Pure were announced as distributor for NeilPryde in the UK. As George Bowie, Managing Director for 2Pure states, “Simply put, NeilPryde makes sense – not just from a sales perspective or even a brand outlook perspective, but as a missing piece of who we are as a company. We have been looking for an authentic road bike brand that actually adds value to the UK market and we found this in NeilPryde. When the MD of POC contacts you and says, George you need to look at NeilPryde, you pay attention. A respected brand that is great to work with and holds the same ideals and core values that 2pure hold dear. All of us at 2pure feel that there is a great future ahead for us and NeilPryde.”
The ALIZE forms the mainstay of the Project ALIZE build; professional level, sophisticated engineering and manufacture built up as a small self-satisfied bit of indulgence. As I pull my Black/blue/white frame from the box and remove the protective packaging, and marvel at the tubing shapes and the bulk of carbon material at the bottom bracket, there’s a small part of me that worries if I can do this frame any justice.
Project ALIZE Specification
NeilPryde ALIZE Frameset:
Frame: ALIZE C6.7 TORAY UD
Fork: ALIZE – C6.7 TORAY UD (1-1/8 to 1-1/2)
Seatpost: NeilPryde Aeroblade CF
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
All models compatible with Shimano Dura Ace 9070, Ultegra 6770 and 6870 Di2 Systems only.
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