ALTER CYCLE’S REFLEX 300 BIKE REVIEW
It’s the most unique bike I have ever ridden and one of the most unique bikes on the market. PERIOD!
When describing the Alter Aycle’s Arc Reflex bike, I would say that this bike is capable of many different rides. Whether you like to ride road, cruise around town, or ride on trails this bike will prove to be sturdy and enjoyable whatever you choose to do.
We’re also in the process of reviewing the more cyclocross/road specific Route 400, which features drop bars and CX tires. Stay tuned for that review as well.
HERE’S SOME QUICK INFO
Model Tested: REFLEX 300 with #2 White Rider Fit Tube with Optional Bottle Cages
Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Shimano Sora/Acera Groupset
Frame Sizes: Medium (5’2”-5’10”); Large (5’8”-6’1”); Extra-Large (5’11”-6’5”)
Where to Buy the Reflex 300: ALTER Cycles Website | Request it at your LBS
Some Quick Features: With the REFLEX 300 frame design, you’re getting a bike that has refined technology, which helps you ride comfortably and efficiently. The aircraft grade aluminum frame is partnered with the Rider Fit Tubes of varying stiffness. These Rider Fit Tubes take power from your downward pedal motion and place it in your upward motion to make pedaling more efficient. This flexibility absorbs bumps and eliminates the need for a heavy expensive shock on the front, which can be a total hassle to maintain.
We think this bike is perfect for riders who want to be able to go from commuting to trails without the need for much maintenance or a big investment. At under $1k, riders who don’t want to or can’t afford multiple bikes will find this a sweet spot to satisfy their cravings for the trails, but also meet a practical transportation needs with high power transfer.
A cool feature that comes along with this bike is that you are able to switch out the Rider Fit Tubes to better fit you and what performance level you desire–available in a variety of colors.
Alter’s ARC technology is significant because it builds in a higher performance than you might expect for bikes in this price range. Active frame construction means that the bike actually coils and flexes with your pedaling motion to store and release power when needed.
I know this may sound like marketing hype, but the claims are actually true. This bike almost seems to push you up the climbs. I definitely found it much easier to attack the hills while riding–making it much less of a negative with a 9-gear cassette (Alter’s other models do come with more gearing options).
In addition, the customizable Rider Fit system, which quickly swaps out tubes, lets you achieve the comfort/power ratio that fits your riding style using the ST Quick Connect System.
The model I tested featured the #2 flex; although, we are also testing the Route 400 model with a #1 Tube. The difference in flex is quite noticeable between the models, with the #1 feeling a little smoother off-road. Strangely, although you can tell the difference in the ride between Tubes, the flex isn’t so noticeable that you feel the frame is unstable. In fact, it’s almost as if the bike works with your pedal stroke and your movements, so there isn’t any loss in control.
For a better visual on the technology in use, check out Alter Cycle’s video:
I have to say that Alter Cycles’ Reflex 300 technology is the best thing I have seen yet and the most effective alternative form of shock absorption I’ve ever tried. It held up to everything I put it up to. If you are looking for something new and capable this is the bike for you! After getting this, it’s smooth and fast riding from here on out.
Get more info, or grab your own at Alter Cycles Website
Or, head over to part 2 of our review, where we discuss how well the Reflex did on varied terrain.