Cyclop Review: Convolution Aspera Bicycle

BicycleBuyers' Guide

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This cycle has been reviewed by cyclist Meera Velankar. Meera has been into endurance cycling for the last 9 plus years and is currently training for international long distance events. She is a 70.3 half Ironman finisher.

Testing Convolution Aspera In The Times Of Corona

In the month of April 2020, everything changed. There were no outings, no eating out, no cycle rides as restrictions were put on public movement India-wide, due to Covid-19. It became increasingly difficult to maintain fitness, workouts and positivity.

So, when the restrictions were eased up in mid-May, and I got the chance to try the Convolution Aspera, I was delighted to hit my favourite road in Bangalore again – the Kolar highway, also called the Old Madras Road, a windy road with fantastic rolling terrain. With the ongoing ‘Vocal for Local’ slogan ringing loudly in my mind, I was excited to test this bike that has been crafted in India, and see if its performance was top-class.

Convolution Aspera – A Versatile Road Bike

The Aspera is a versatile road bike with its geometry, drop handlebar, and wheels. It can perform as a hybrid as well, as it easily handles smooth roads as well as rough paths. Or by adding touring tires and panniers, which the frame allows, one can make it a touring bike.

Frame, Fork And Geometry

At just 8.6 kgs (L size) the bike is impressively light. I found it good on climbs with its low weight; easy to handle and maneuver as well.

The frame has an upright, comfortable riding geometry, not very aggressive. It is made of triple-butted 6061 hydroformed aluminium. The fork is made of carbon, very light, rigid, yet compliant. This is as per Convolution’s RCRP concept – Right Carbon at Right Place. The seat stays are also uniquely designed so that along with the fork design, minimum vibrations are transmitted to the cyclist.

Convolution has developed the Aspera bike after R&D on the bodies of Indian cyclists; so you may find these bikes an especially good fit. The bike comes in a range of sizes – XS, S, M, L and XL sizes; great for people who have difficulty finding their size. Some people who use the M size usually may find the L size ideal for them.

Aesthetics

The bike has a semi-polished look. You can choose from shades of blue, red, golden, gray and black.

The welding on this bike really stands out by being invisible and giving the bike a very smooth look! The tubes in the frame are flat and round in different places making it look quite beautiful. The black fork stands out, different in colour from the rest of the frame. On the flip side, the cabling for this bike is external, making maintenance easy, but compromising slightly on the looks. 

Components – Wheels, Tires, Groupset, Saddle, Bar Tape, Brakes

The bike comes with a set of high-quality Reynolds aluminum clinchers as the wheels; very lightweight at 1530gm a pair. Wheels on such bikes usually weigh up to 2kgs. The wheels also have sealed bearing hubs, that protect the bearings from road debris and weather, so they spin cleaner and with less friction.

The tires are Maxxis Refuse 700X28C tires – road tires for comfortable biking. And the drive-train can be customized with Shimano Sora, Tiagra, 105 or an Ultegra groupset.

The bike comes with a Velo VL 1376 saddle, generously padded with high density foam. One doesn’t normally see such saddles on road bikes and in my experience it made for very comfortable riding. The bar tape could have absorbed more of the road feedback I feel. Braking was good with the high-quality V brakes – Tektro TRP R539. 

Warranty, Customization And Customer Service

The Aspera frame comes with a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser. You’ll get free repair or replacement in case of manufacturing defects. On the decals, paintwork and fork there is a 2 year warranty.

Since Convolution is an Indian company you can go to town with customization. You can add your name to the frame, choose your colour. For some extra cost, Convolution is known to customise bike frames as well!

One of the best things is that if you have any issues with your bike, you can connect directly with the company heads who, like the company, are based in India and deeply involved with all aspects of the bike – from production, to sales to after-sales support.

The Verdict

I’d say, as per the weight, Convolution Aspera is a road bike that has been made comfortable for the rider, with its geometry, stock saddle and tires. This is something that would suit many riders, those who don’t want to be in an aggressive racing position all the time, and also want to go on rough roads sometimes. Yet the bike allows you to tuck in your elbows and go racing when you want to.

It’s a great bike for long distances or brevets. I was able to do greater distances than usual on the Aspera with higher comfort. And yes, I did find this Indian bike’s performance world-class!

Style 4/5

Specifications 4/5

Performance 4/5

Versatility 5/5

Comfort 5/5

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