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Reap Vekta: single-piece carbon aero bike made in the UK

18 Jun 2021
Verdict:

UK's only manufacturer of carbon fibre bikes reveals the Vekta aero bike made with 'trade secret' layup method and ultra high grade carbon

Reap, the UK's only manufacturer of carbon fibre bikes, has launched the Vekta, an aero road bike made with a 'trade secret' layup method and ultra high-grade carbon.

Staffordshire-based company Reap was founded in 2014 by experienced carbon engineer and former triathlete Martin Meir to try to make the world's fastest and best riding bikes.

Having seen its triathlon bike, the Reap Generation 1.0, launched to critical and professional acclaim, the brand turned its attention to designing and building a road bike.

Reap says it made the Vekta 'because we knew we could make a better aero road bike and we wanted to shift the conversation around frame stiffness by demonstrating what riders have been missing'.

Changing the game

Setting out with the intention of going further than any big brand, the frame is made with over 80% ultra-high modulus Toray M40J unidirectional carbon fibre, a higher grade than most would use due to production costs.

It's a single-piece, full monocoque frame built using carbon composite moulds – as is the norm in Formula One – and its 'trade secret' lay-up method that supposedly 'radically boosts performance'.

While this is an expensive way to do it, Reap says it not only justifies the cost with its immense stiffness and performance benefits, but it keeps prices to a minimum by producing everything in-house and selling direct to consumers.

What's more, Reap claims that the Vekta performs as well as time-trial bikes in wind-tunnel and velodrome testing thanks to its precise aerodynamic design.

Taking its profiles from Reap's Vulcan triathlon bike, developed with the CFD engineers that designed the UK Sport Institute bikes used by Team GB at the London Olympics, the Vekta boasts truncated airfoil tube profiles with extremely tight, accurate corners that are only possible thanks to the use of carbon composite moulds.

On top of that, it features wheel-hugging down tube and seat tube profiles designed to work alongside wide aero wheels and 25-28mm tyres as well as dropped seatstays as low as the UCI will allow, a flat top tube and a wide-stance fork.

Reap says that through its combination of layup, material selection and seatstay design it has managed to keep it sufficiently comfortable so that the energy saved elsewhere isn't wasted on imperfect road surfaces.

The Vekta is also currently rim-brake only, just to add another way that Reap are doing things differently, though a disc-brake version will be available down the line as the brand says its hand was forced by groupset availability.

Build and pricing

Although the price has been kept down somewhat, the nature of the beast demands a few pennies, so the Reap Vekta framset starts at £3,500, rising to £3,950 with a Pro Vibe carbon stem and aero handlebar.

A complete bike starts at £6,450 with Sram Force Etap AXS and Parcours wheels, topping out at £9,400 with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Enve wheels.

Its paint options are gunmetal grey, storm blue or Reap orange or, for an extra £200, sea green, sprint blue or hyper green. Bespoke paint designs, applied with the brand's in-house automotive-grade spray booth, are also available at an additional cost.

The claimed weight for a size M frame with an uncut seatmast is 1,120g.

For more information visit reapbikes.com

Price: 
Framset from £3,500, Bike from £6,450

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