Despite being a new name on the UK bike scene, Simplon have been making bikes since 1961. They originally concentrated on the German-speaking market, but have started to spread their wings and I’m glad they have. I saw the Inissio Crosser at this year’s London Bike Show and loved the look and colour; yes I’m easily swayed by a pretty face! The guys at Simplon are letting me have one to test out on my local Sussex trails, it may even get a run-out at a summer ‘cross race.
Simon reviewed the Simplon Pavo Granfondo Disc back in March and found it an excellent ride, so my expectations are high. Not wanting to trot out racial stereotypes, but we do expect nothing but high levels of craftmanship from Germanic companies.
The Simplon Inissio comes in three distinct flavours, dirty Crosser, more genteel Granfondo or the flat barred Inissio Tour. The difference lies in the choice of groupset, wheels and finishing kit, and what you intend using it for. You can add a rack for a fast tourer, strip it down and ride a sportive, or add fat tyres and go a gravelling (is that even a word?). The frame remains the same in both models.
That frame comes in two colourways, Matt Carbon or the glorious Rosso that I saw. Simplon have packed a lot of technology into the frame. Among these are – deep breath – Hot Melt Carbon, Uni Directional Carbon, I Cone forks, Specific Tubes, Vibrex Damping, Hollow Carbon Drop-outs, SCS+, Asymmetric Chain Stays and their RTA-15/T-Axle system. And that’s not all, but it’s enough for now.
The frame has thin, dropped Vibrex seat stays, these combined with the tapering seat tube and flat top tube are designed to offer some damping on rougher surfaces. Well I have plenty of those I can test that claim out on! Asymmetric chain stains are designed to deal with the differing forces applied from drive and non-drive side. The overall look, to me, is of a muscular fast bike. I must admit to liking it.
This will be my first ride on a through axle equipped bike, Simplon call it their RTA-15/T-Axle system. Through axles have been common on Mtbs for a long time now and with disc brakes becoming the standard on road bikes the same will happen. Through axles offer increased stiffness with their over-sized dimensions, while still being quick to change.
Like all Simplon bikes you can customise your model online, from stem length to bottle cages. Apparently there are 100,000 variations you can choose from. While some may see it as a gimmick, being able to specify the right bar width and stem length makes it easier to get a bike that fits properly.
The Inissio Crosser starts off as two base models, either Ultegra mechanical or Di2. Finishing kit is mainly from Simplon, including their Mono Rod SL carbon seat post. Wheels are tubeless ready DT Swiss PR1800 Spline 23 DB, a nice set of do-it-all aluminium wheels. I will, of course, be riding them tubeless, which is easy with the Schwalbe X-Ones that I know well.
I will be trying out the Inissio Crosser over the summer and will let you know how I get on.