This is not a modest bike. It’s one of the most expensive we’ve ever tested, at close to £10K with our equally immodest spec, including Lightweight’s Standard wheels. But it sure is a head turner.
Build specification aside, the VIP frame module costs £4K, so it’s the cream of Time’s crop. Campagnolo Chorus equipment seemed like the right choice, in not escalating the price any further with Super Record, but still delivering the high level of performance and aesthetics the VIP frame deserves.
Time’s own top-end Ulteam carbon stem and Ergo Force bar combo looks the part, with matching, glittering graphics, but you might be paying for bars you won’t use. We found the stem wasn’t super stiff, though acceptable nevertheless, but handlebars are so much a personal choice.
Time’s specific one-piece carbon fork with oversized lower bearing no doubt helps deliver a firm feel. Particularly noticeable out of the saddle on a climb, it feels solid beneath you. The rear too has a solid, bordering on harsh feel, accelerating well but kicking you in the backside on bumpy roads. The only downside lay somewhere between the two, with the frame allowing a small amount of twist under load.
It’s hard to pinpoint whether it’s a top tube or seatstay issue, but there’s visible torsional flex, which causes the handling to suffer a touch, in a ‘back not immediately following the front’ kind of way.
The bike is clearly capable of winning races, providing the rider is, so our comments about the torsional flex is more of a nit-pick than a deal breaker.
However, at this price you’d be right to expect the moon on a stick. It looks awesome and the heritage and name are hard to better, but we’d prefer a more connected and responsive ride.