Whether it’s urban use, longer fully-loaded tours, or just a seaside experience, you can surely always count on the Neuzer X400! The long-established domestic manufacturer’s trekking bicycle will not disappoint, with lockable front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and reliable to shifting, it will deliver the rider anywhere.
I rarely use trekking bikes, it’s not really my riding style. Nevertheless the Neuzer X400 captivated me, it conveyed the sensation of riding solely for the experience. The goal is not to achieve a certain average speed or wattage, but simply to enjoy cycling, to look around while getting from A-to-B. It’s a special feeling when you put on a backpack and take off into the world. If you enjoy the scenery, stop to take pictures, if you long for a cup of coffee, a cookie or an ice cream, then have some on the way! You’re not rushing at over 30 km/h, just riding for the sake of riding. On the island of Brac, there are plenty of opportunities to look around: instead of staring at the asphalt strip directly in front, you can enjoy the sight of the palm trees, the sea and the historic buildings.
Let’s now take a “leisurely” look at the technical side of the Neuzer X400 to see what we get for our money. In the trekking bike category there are rarely wonders concerning the frame, manufacturers use durable aluminium tubes for these bikes, since it’s also common to use these bicycles for bicycle touring, making it necessary to design a massive construction. Neuzer follows this honoured principle when designing the X400 by employing 6061 T6 heat treated aluminium with a multitude of attachment points (racks, mud- and chainguards, etc.) so it could be used for a racy ride through the city, as a daily commuter or built up for fully loaded bike touring. In addition, the disc brake mounts were designed to avoid interfering with the luggage or the mudguards. Well done!
The state of the domestic roads were also taken into consideration, hence the inclusion of the Suntour NEX-P HLO suspension fork. It is a relatively simple model, but it performs its job, in addition it could even lockout it, in case you do not want unnecessarily spring movement. This comes handy on the steep on slopes, which one can only conquer while standing out of the saddle.
The Shimano mid-range components are responsible for the gear changes: Deore shift levers effortlessly operate the Alivio front and the Deore rear derailleur. In this category there is no need for a more elaborate setup, I was actually surprised to enjoy such high level of performance from the components. The Shimano crankset has conventional square-taper bottom bracket with 28/38/48 chain wheels which will withstand anything you wish to throw at the bike other than rough off-road terrain. A 9-speed wide range 11-34T SRAM cassette was chosen by the Neuzer, which helps greatly when the slopes get very steep.
The choice of the brake system may be a surprise for some, since the Alhonga brand is not generally associated with advanced disc brake technology. I was therefore quite curious as to their performance. The hydraulic model on the X400 bears the OD-5 model name, and employs and 180 mm discs for slowing the bike. I was glad to learn that they use environment-friendly mineral oil, as opposed to the all-consuming, poisonous DOT brake fluid.
Despite not boasting a well-known brand logo, the wheels seem to be strong and stiff, the disc brake specific hubs are laced to a 36-spoke Dragon L719 rim using attractive black spokes. The Rubena V84 Gripper tires come in 42 mm width, they are clearly designed for riding asphalt and light terrain on dirt roads. So we do not have to worry about losing traction when venturing off the pavement. I may even add that these tires may have been designed specifically for our domestic cycling routes where even the pavement may hold some unwelcome surprises, often turning into an off-road experience.
The handlebar has somewhat of an old-school “retro” in style, but the accessories – namely the Selle Royal Freccia saddle and the Herrmans Oxy ergonomic grips – will certainly be praised by the majority of riders. The former is quite successful at attenuating the road’s unevenness, the latter perfectly accommodating the palms.
Based on the the introduction of this article, the reader has probably guessed that I had a rather positive experience with the X400. Now I wish to dwell a little more on this. Many people find it hard to believe that from the first 5 minutes of testing almost everything becomes apparent about a particular bike, and the majority of the opinion is already formed in the review’s head. There are of course exceptions, but surprisingly it is true in most cases. The Neuzer X400 test was no exception to the rule. I sat on it, then “hit” the beach by descending a 15% slope. There was no problem with either control or stability, even though I experienced such problems with some of the other bikes on test. The X400 felt immediately familiar and easy to navigate. The brakes were at the peak of their performance from the first few meters, and I had no difficulty stopping the bike at the bottom of the above-mentioned steep slope. It is likely that they employ soft compound resin pads, hence the fast bedding in and the the abundance of braking force. Of course, this was just my the first impulse, later I rode along a rather hilly area to find out exactly what it could and couldn’t do. To my surprise, everything worked flawlessly, which made me a bit confused, since it felt unnecessary for me to go through a lengthy test procedure.
Up until now I have not mentioned the appearance of the bike. The black model seen on the photos is a pre-production sample, when the X 400 hits the stores, Neuzer will have add some decor paint and stickers to it. Judging by the official catalogue picture, this certainly improves its appearance. Likewise, while I was testing the bike, I had no idea about the retail price for the Neuzer X400. I only received this information when the review has been completed. I was a little surprised since I was expecting a slightly higher price, so in my opinion it represents good value for the money. Hence the X400 can be whole-heatedly be recommended to someone who is looking for a versatile bike for riding in town, using it for a weekend getaway or even as a multi-day touring bike loaded with luggage. It can be converted between these uses in a just a few minutes.
Additional information: There is a new offer called “Travel with Gravel” underway from Neuzer concerning all “X”-series and “Courier” bikes. Being an “X”, our test model is part of a sweepstake, where the owner has a chance to win bikepacking bags.
Frame: AL6061 T6 integrated Post Mount disc tabs
Fork: SUNTOUR NEX-P HLO 28 ”
Handlebar: AL-154 640 MM BLACK
Stem: HL TDS-C-41-8 BLACK
Brake system: Alhonga OD-5 180MM
Grip: Herrmans Oxy black-gray
BB bearing: CH-51 122 MM
Crankset: SUNTOUR XCM-T418-PBBG 170 MM 28/38 / 48T BLACK
Chain. KMC Z99
Pedal: MARWI SP-931S
Front gear: Shimano Alivio, 3s
Rear derailer: SHIMANO deore, 9s
Cassette: SRAM PG970 11-34 SILK
Seat post: HL-SP-c208 27,2X300 MM BLACK
Saddle: SELLE ROYAL FRECCIA
Wheels: DRAGON L719 29 “36H BLACK DISC
Tire: RUBENA V84 GRIPPER 42X622 BLACK
Recommended retail price: 158,900 HUF
See the manufacturer’s website for more information.