The well-established Neuzer bike brand has updated its popular cyclocross-fitness Courier model. This entry level multi-purpose bike has gone through many iterations in the past two decades, the newly revamped version offers gravel-riding capabilities along with the potential amateur for cyclocross racing, touring and daily commuting. It’s now available in both disc and rim brake versions the wheels are furnished with gravel style tires. Let see what we get for a surprisingly modest outlay!
We should begin the inspection with the frame. It’s constructed from 6061 series aluminum alloy, which is reassuring as it provides not only great strength but less rigidity, thereby enhancing comfort. The fork is a simple steel affair, which won’t win any favors among the weight-weenie crowd. Together they form a stable chassis, strong enough for tackling gravel roads as well as general bike riding on hard surface roads. It also provides a ride experience free of excess vibration, which in itself is a great achievement from the designers. The rather narrow 27.2mm seat post also assists in taking out some of the road buzz. The headset is the age-old semi-integrated type and the wheels are secured with conventional quick release axles. At this price it’d be silly to expect thru-axles and other high-end technology. On the other hand, the frame tube profiles are quite elaborate, demonstrating that some effort was made to make the bike both compliant and aesthetically pleasing. Moreover the bottom bracket feels very solid when pedaling out of the saddle, and the rear end employs beefy but internally hollow dropouts. The frame is certainly a well thought-out design belying the bikes modest price tag.
Shifting and braking duties are carried out by Shimano Claris components, comprising of 2×8 speed Claris brake-shifters, front/rear derailleurs and matching mechanical disc brakes. Drive components include the Shimano HG30 cog set paired with a KMC chain and finally an integrated crankset called “OUNCE” with an oversize axle. All components seem to work well in harmony, shifting is smooth and noise-free. Although Neuzer made some concession in the choice of components, the end result is surprisingly good.
The wheelset delivers all that we can expect at this price level, but there is nothing to write home about. The hoops comprise of Assess (Quando) hubs laced with trendy black spokes to Remerx rims topped by 35mm wide Mitas (ex-Rubena) tires.
The accessories are non-branded parts, the stem and handlebar both indicate modern design. The seat post on this test bike is rather basic affair with a pressed steel clamp. We were told by the manufacturer that the final production Courier Adventure model will come with a higher spec post. The saddle comes from Velo, which proved to be quite a comfortable companion during my rides. It’s actually a mid-range offering with strong and light Cro-Mo steel rails.
Since I have written so many good things about the bike, the reader may rightly ask: “Where is the catch?” I’m a bit puzzled too, since I cannot really criticize anything in view of the Courier Adventure modest price tag. Nothing seem out of line, there are no grave shortcomings to report on. This no-nonsense bike rides well, shifting and braking performance is on par with mid-range bikes, and it tends to provide more comfort than most gravel bikes I have ridden. All in all, I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to award it a “Best Buy” tag.
There are some minor details that I would have done differently: such as the rear mech’s cable stops and the radius of the chain stays. The manufacturer was grateful for my feedback, promising to implement them in the next generation of Courier models. If I were nit-picking, I may add to this list the bare number of eyelets on the frame, making mounting both a fender and some racks a challenge. It would certainly be helpful to have another set on the seat stays and possibly the front fork for extended touring. Apart from these, I think we have a real hit on our hands, so those who’d like a well-performing bike on a budget finally have a decent option with very few compromises.
Speaking of options, this bike is also available with rim V-brakes as well, and there will be a 650b wheel size version in the pipeline.
Frame: AL6061 ALU
Fork: RIGID, STEEL
Brakes: SHIMANO BR-R317
Chainset: PROWHEEL OUNCE 522C 34/50T
Front derailleur: SHIMANO CLARIS 2 SPD
Rear derailleur: SHIMANO CLARIS 8 SPD
Wheel hubs: QUANDO ALU 32H
Rims: REMERX TAURUS 700C DOUBLE WALL
Tires: RUBENA V45 WINNER 700X35C
Recommended retail price: HUF 199,990
Rim brake version: HUF 187,990.