At a time when many manufacturers have looked to the Far East for production, Time continues to make all its own carbon tubes from scratch in-house, maintaining total control over how each frame rides.
The RX Instinct sits roughly middle of the range, which might surprise you given its price tag, but let’s not forget, Time’s RXR VIP costs nearly £7.5K, so it’s a premium producer. The Campagnolo Athena groupset is well matched, also being mid-range, but the shifting and braking performance surpassed expectations.
We felt the new Athena kit offered really light action, yet positive shifting – noticeably smoother than the Campag of old – and delivered excellent braking power in all conditions. Campagnolo’s Scirocco wheelset added the final ingredient to what was a polished performance component-wise.
Frame-wise, the RX Instinct lacks something of the punchy, direct feel we might have liked from its handling. It’s a long way off being a dud, don’t get us wrong, and, in fact, in most circumstances it gets a big thumbs-up, but faced with bigger loaded efforts, the back and front don’t feel as solidly connected as other competitors’ frames.
Focusing on individual areas, the BB30 bottom bracket and carbon crank combo feels stiff, as does the fork and head tube, so we can only deduce that something in-between is letting the side down a tad. It’s only cost the RX Instinct one point in terms of its overall score, so not the end of the world, but at this price you expect a frame to be greater than the sum of its parts, and the RX isn’t.