Last month, we told you about Halfords’ new bike brand, 13 Bikes, and now a living, breathing 13 Bikes Intuition Beta carbon road bike has arrived at road.cc for review.
Check out our original story for all the details on the 13 Bikes brand but here’s a concise version in an easy-to-read bullet point format. Man, we're generous.
• There are road platforms in carbon and alloy, mountain bikes, road and mountain bike-influenced city hybrids, and an aluminium cyclocross bike in the range.
• The five road bikes are priced from £499.99 to £1,799.99.
• Each of the road bikes is designed with aerodynamics in mind.
• The front brake is positioned behind the fork and the rear brake is hidden under the chainstays.
• The bikes are available now through Halfords.
• 13 Bikes has its own microsite.
Right, so now we’ve got you up to speed in double-quick time, let’s have a look at the Intuition Beta.
This is the second tier bike in the range, priced at £1,399.99. It’s built around a carbon-fibre monocoque frame and fork that 13 Bikes describe as ‘aero optimised’.
They say that they’ve spent time in the wind tunnel with the road range, hence the dropped seatstays for an aerodynamic improvement, and the positioning of the brakes behind the fork and underneath the chainstays.
The head tube is tapered, but rather than going for a 1 1/2in lower bearing like many manufacturers these days, 13 Bikes have chosen 1 1/4in to keep the size of the bike’s frontal area down.
With no need for a brake mounting point, the wishbone seatstays are clean and elegant, while internal routing for the gear and rear brake cables adds to the tidy looks.
13 Bikes claim a frame weight just below the magic 1kg mark – 980g. Our complete 56cm bike hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at 8.04kg (17.7lb).
It’s built up with a largely Shimano 105 groupset – shifters, mechs, 11-28 tooth cassette – with an FSA Gossamer Compact (50/34 tooth chainrings) chainset, and brakes from TRP. It’s a T822 side pull brake at the front and a T820 centre-pull brake at the back, both of them direct mount (the arms are bolted directly onto the frame/fork rather than via a central mount).
The wheels are 13’s own – the same ones that they put on the top-level Intuition Gamma bike – with deep, wide aero rims (we’ll give you more details in our review) and 18 bladed spokes at the front, 24 at the rear. 13 have stuck with 23mm tyres rather than following the trend for 25s, fitting Vittoria Rubino Pro IIIs.
They have gone with the drift back towards skinnier seatposts, though, fitting a 27.2mm alloy post for a bit more comfort-inducing flex over a fatter one. The saddle that sits on top is a Fizik Aliante Delta with manganese rails.
In terms of geometry, all three of the Intuition models are the same while the two Intrinsic bikes are different – but not massively different. Both setups are pretty race-orientated. There wouldn’t be a lot of point adding a load of aero features and then having the rider sit upright in the saddle and catching the air full on the chest.
The 56cm bike that we have here comes with a 565mm top tube, a 16cm head tube, and 73° frame angles. The Intrinsics, by the way, get the same length effective top tube and an extra 0.5cm on the head tube – so they’re just a smidge taller. Our bike came with a whole stack of headset spacers so there’s quite a bit of scope for fine-tuning the front end height.
Speaking of setting the bike up, that’s exactly what we need to do in time for the weekend. We’ll be back with a review on road.cc soon. In the meantime, check out the entire range at the Halfords/13 Bikes website.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.