I've been looking forward to this one for a while now. I finally get to talk about my new(ish) Bastion Road! As I'm hoping folks know by now, we take pride in putting a lot of miles into every bike we sell. We may not get to every last model, but between all of us at Above Category, we get pretty close.
Until now, Mike here has been flying Bastion's colors for us. In fact, he purchased Bastion #007 back when he was a client of ours before he joined the team. Excellent work, Mike.
The bikes have changed a bit since #007, though. We'll get to all that shortly, so follow along for a shallow dive into the green shimmering sea that is my new Bastion Road.
- Frameset: Bastion Road
- Group: Campagnolo Super Record Wireless
- Power Meter: None
- Wheels: Campagnolo Hyperon
- Tires: Veloflex tubeless, 32c
- Saddle: Fizik 00
- Ceramic: Ceramicspeed coated bb, coated rear derailleur pulleys, coated hub bearings and coated headset and pedal bearings
- Cockpit: Bastion Custom
- Titanium: stem bolts, bottle cage bolts, brake pad retaining pins, brake caliper bolts, front derailleur mounting bolt
- Weight: 16.6 lbs (includes pedals, both bottle cages and computer)
- Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace
For the most part, the main frame has mostly stayed the same on the Bastion Road since Mike's bike with the big and industrial-looking printed titanium lugs bonded to hand-made, filament-wound carbon tubes. The seat tube is still of the mast style, so there is no independent seat post, and it is capped off with a titanium topper.
However, when Mike's bike was built all those years ago, Bastion used a stock carbon fork, didn't have fully internal cabling, and we could use any bar/stem combination we wanted. This route is still an option, and we do build bikes this way, especially when we're going for the lightweight climbing platform. But my Bastion Road is a good example of what's proving popular today.
Bastion prints a custom titanium stem bonded to a carbon top bar, with printed titanium hooks bonded to the top section to create arguably the most intricate one-piece bar/stem currently made.
Underneath the stem is a printed titanium spacer that helps route all the cables cleanly from the bar through the frame's tubes. The headset bearings are from Ceramicspeed, of course.
The fork is equally uncommon in that there is a carbon steer tube bonded to a printed titanium crown which again transfers to carbon fork legs which end with the printed titanium dropouts. There are a lot of different things happening there!
For a quick word on the ride (a detailed ride report will follow in another few hundred miles), I'll remain steadfast in our no BS assessment. Truth be told, I was skeptical of all the different pieces that went into making these two components. I was not worried about the safety aspect, as Bastion has spent time testing the parts. I was more concerned that it was just more complicated than it needed to be.
However, I knew that was not the case after just two outings. This Bastion has the most solid front end of any bike I have ridden. I did a good number of all-out sprints on that second ride, and it was rock solid, for lack of better words. It also felt tight, in a good way. Nothing moved. The bars were super stiff in the drops, and the fork doesn't move around, so tracking through the corner is on the proverbial rails. Such precision is due to a lot of things, but mainly it's the solid front end and, of course, the fact that Bastion can build the frame around the fork, which has any rake number they want to build with, just like back in the day of custom made steel forks. That's a pretty significant benefit of this system.
Getting back to the frameset, I loved the looks of the bars from the saddle once it was all built up and I was riding it. I'm also running this bike without any sort of power meter or computer, and the front end looks even better for it.
We put our pre-launch Campagnolo Super Record Wireless test group onto the chassis to get more time on that while putting our first miles on the frame. We'll have a longer-term check-in with the group after this.
We haven't given the latest-gen Campagnolo Hyperon wheels much fanfare so far, so we slung them on the Bastion to see how they fared. First note: they're deeper than the OG Hyperons but lighter. We'll write more about these wheels after we get more miles on them, but first impressions are great.
We mounted 32c Veloflex tires to the Hyperons, and they fit with just enough room to spare and feel great in smoothing out what is Bastion's stiffest model.
The Bastion reminds me of early BMCs. The Swiss manufacturer's frames used to be unique, something you could figure out by touching the frame blindfolded. The Bastion is the same in that regard - elegant in an industrial way and naturally unique. It took me a little time to appreciate it, and I do now. More importantly, I love the way it rides, but more on that down the road.