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We put the disc-braked, Tiagra-equipped, entry-level model of Wiggle's new Eastway bike brand through its paces, the Zener D3

eastway zener d3 tiagra 2016 new
Overall Score
Light, solid dependable handling carbon frame and fork
Lack of mounting points for racks and mud guards

On-line retailer Wiggle have built an impressive reputation for themselves for customer service and value. This latter quality is especially evident in their new own-brand Eastway range, of which the Zener is the entry-level model with disc brakes and Tiagra drivetrain.

Typically from Wiggle the bike turns up in a big box with the pedals, wheels and handlebar to put on. The most daunting part of this is the handlebar, but as the cables are already threaded and handlebar tape wrapped, this is just a question of setting the bar tops level and centred then tightening the stem bolts.

It's a nice touch that as a reward for the inconvenience of having to assemble your own bike, Wiggle include a nice Allen key multi-tool and decent plastic-handled pedal spanner.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you taking the boxed bike to your local bike shop and asking them to assemble it for you. Apart from the safety angle, this will also ensure that you optimise the performance of the brakes and gear change, as well as the final height of the bars and saddle height.

The ride is instantly comfortable, despite the super-efficient carbon frame and full-carbon fork. This well-balanced ride is no-doubt thanks to the big, stiff, over-built box-section down-tube, tempered with thin, tapered seat-stays and a fairly relaxed geometry.

Internal cable routing makes for an unfussy looking frame that, along with the disc brakes and Tiagra double chain ring make for a great weather an muck-resistant set up.

Added to this, the disc-brake option means there is loads of clearance for fat tyres - and claggy mud for that matter - at the fork crown and at the top of the seat-stays.

Considering the excellent ride, which was efficient and comfortable thanks also to the plump 28C Continental Ultra Sport tyres, the braking performance was surprisingly poor for cable disc brakes. You really have to haul on the levers to slow down.

The other slight disappointment was with the rear upshifting, which needed a lot of pressure to actuate. Downshifts, however were as light as you would hope for from the well-proven Tiagra groupset.

In terms of gearing, the compact (34 x 50 tooth) double front chainrings combine well with the 12-28 tooth 10 speed cassette on the rear to give a range that is good enough for taking all but the steepest climbs sitting down.

Perhaps both braking and shifting performance would be improved with extra adjustment in a professional workshop.

The Ritchey finishing kit is good, and you get a comfortable, branded Fizik Aliante saddle.

The wheelset is the solid Shimano RX05, which will take plenty of punishment as a pay-off for its fairly hefty weight.

As a bike for adventure the Zener is capable of day-in-day-out, comfortable and fast riding. We would have liked to see some fixing points for mudguards and racks to widen its appeal for light touring, but then, at this excellent price (£850 on Wiggle's own website) for a full carbon frame and fork, perhaps you can't expect everything!


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