The one thing you need to know about Time is that all its bikes are carbon and lovingly handmade in France, mostly by women. So when asked to ride its first women’s-specific bike, I was intrigued by the possibilities and wondered what Time would come up with.
Technically, there are three Fluidity Performance bikes in the range with sportive rather than race-friendly geometry. The Fluidity L sits alongside the Fluidity, both below the more expensive Fluidity S in the pecking order.
Keen to see how the women’s-specific model differs from the standard version, I’m surprised to find that the only actual difference is the sizing (the Fluidity L starts at XXXS and goes all the way up to a medium) as well as its good-looking paintjob.
While the colourway name ‘Stiletto’ grates somewhat, the white and silver finish is more than easy on the eye.
And the good news? The ride itself is cracking. With a taller head tube than my race bike (14.7cm for the XXS size) and a seat tube angle of 73.7° it neatly slots into its sportive role and is more than comfortable for a day spent in the saddle.
Time says the comfy ride is thanks to additional layers of Vectran fibre within the frame and fork. In practice, this translates to minimal road buzz, and enough compliance to create an edge of raciness that makes the experience feel playful rather than squidgy and sofa-like.
Falling between sizes, the XXS was the nearest to my ideal top tube length, a full 5cm short of 52cm. This meant opting to ride with a longer-than-usual 120mm stem, but any concerns about what an extra centimetre would do to the steering were quickly forgotten on the ride thanks to the predicable and stable balance of the front end.
Still, there is a tiny snagging list… The entire Fluidity range can’t fit anything over 23mm tyre-wise and at a wallet-emptying £2,200 for a frame and fork, you’re going to be looking over £3K to get this beautiful chassis rolling.
SRAM Force 22 (not included in price)
Carbon RTM with Vectran
1,490g (claimed, frame and fork)