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Ceepo Mamba review

9 Sep 2015
Verdict:

The Ceepo Mamba is a race-ready road bike built for pure speed.

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£2,500
For 
Aggressive geometry and aero design
Against 
Tricky handling on technical courses

You wouldn’t be alone if you hadn’t heard of the Ceepo brand before, but it isn’t a new company. Founded in 2003, Ceepo specialises in bikes for triathlon – middle and long distance in particular. When we found ourselves coerced into entering a duathlon (run-bike-run), it seemed like the perfect opportunity to test a bike from a company with proper multi-sport heritage.

Previous Ceepo bikes have been tri-specific, so have never needed conform to UCI regulations regarding aerodynamics and rider position. The Mamba attempts to be more of an all-rounder, combining aerodynamic design features you’d expect to see on a specialist wind-cheating triathlon or time-trial bike with more traditional drop handlebars. It’s UCI compliant too, so you could use it to enter a road race – or a sportive, or anything else that requires a fast bike.

Ceepo Mamba seatpost

Key to the Mamba’s do-it-all ability is the reversible seatpost that offers the rider two positions. Set backwards, it mimics a normal road bike, but set forwards, it gives a very aggressive riding position designed for use with clip-on aero bars. In use, the Mamba immediately feels different to a standard road bike. The steep seat tube angle gives a shorter reach and puts you in a lower, more aggressive position. This geometry is mirrored by the ride, offering fantastic stiffness and power transfer, while the 1,100g frame weight is competitive for an aero road machine and means a light overall bike weight is easy to achieve.

The short reach does affect climbing out of the saddle, with less room to the cockpit out front, but the Mamba wasn’t designed for climbing alpine cols and while sat in the saddle, climbing performance is fine. With the Mavic Ksyrium SLS wheels and 23mm tyres, the ride is firm but switching to a set of deeper, carbon fibre Reynolds Attack wheels improved comfort while also boosting performance. Our test bike came fitted with a mid-spec build of Shimano 105 and PRO components. The Rotor chainset, fitted with 53/39 oval Q-Rings is another nod towards what it was designed for: going fast. 

Ceepo Mamba Rotor chainset

The Mamba really comes into its own when fitted with a set of clip-on aero bars and set up in the forward seatpost position. A low stack height on the head tube gives plenty of scope to improve fit, allowing even shorter riders to achieve an aerodynamic position. On the road, when used in this position the bike handles well and doesn’t feel fidgety or nervous. It takes wide sweeping corners with ease, although tighter, more technical cornering and descending takes a little more effort. We used the Mamba to take part in ‘The Pig’, which claims to be the toughest duathlon in the UK, set in the Welsh mountains with a 105-mile bike section featuring a whopping 3,300m of climbing. The course was constantly rolling, with several prolonged climbs, but also flatter sections along the beautiful North Wales coast. The bike proved more than able, being comfortable and fast, helping us to set the fastest bike split. Ceepo makes a big point about the far forward position making the transition from bike to run easier and we’d agree. Expecting to be slow after the arduous cycle leg, we found we could run as normal from the very beginning, with no ‘jelly legs’.

Ceepo Mamba headtube

The Mamba’s versatility makes it ideal for people looking for a bike that can adapt to different types of riding quickly and easily. It’s great for multi-sport events, where it can perform at a similar level to triathlon-specific bikes, and would be a great choice for anyone dipping a toe into time trialling too. Ultimately, the Ceepo Mamba clearly isn’t designed for long-distance cruising, but if you’re addicted to speed and want a bike that can perform well – with or without aero bars clipped on – it’s well worth considering.

Spec

Ceepo Mamba
Frame Ceepo Mamba w/ PF BB30, full carbon fork
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano 105
Chainset Rotor 3d, 53/39 Q-rings
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-25
Bars PRO Vibe
Stem PRO Plt
Seatpost Ceepo
Wheels Mavic Ksyrium SLS
Tyres Mavic Yksium, 23c
Saddle Fiziki Arione
Contact velotechservices.co.uk

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