Here at omloop, we are quite obsessed with speed and tend to treat even the shortest of journeys as a race. Imgaine then, our surprise when we found ourselves testing
the Pelago Stavanger. Our first inclination was to flip the stem and 'slam' the bars. But that would be missing the point of this bike. If you are looking for a pure racer, the
market has no shortage of them, however, the point of this bike is to get you swiftly to the end of a long day in the saddle while leaving you fresh enough to do the same the next day.
The double butted 4130 CR-Mo frame is luggless and boasts tidy welds. Coupled with a CR-MO fork, the frameset absorbs vibration from rough roads and trails. We sent our tester through the eastern Czech Republic and through rural Poland, where the roads are often left to fall into disrepair. Throughout the trip the ride was never found to be jarring or harsh.
Shifting is taken care of by Shimano's 10 speed 105 5700 groupset, which is a great balance of budget and performance. The cassette is 11-32, matched to a 48/34 compact groupset. At this pricepoint, we would rather an external bearing or press-fit bottom bracket chainset rather than the heavy Sugino Alpina square taper bottom bracketed chainset. Despite that, the low gear ratio will help you to defeat gravity up the mountains.
The Avid BB7 mechanical disk brakes are more than adequate and are since long established in the cyclocross circuit. The added benefit of disk brakes over calippers is the extra tyre clearance. The frame can accommodate up to 47mm tyres, with Schwalbe 35mm as standard, allowing us to run lower pressure for added comfort.
Saddles are almost always down to rider preference, but we were nonetheless impressed with the provided Brooks B17. No carbon seatpost here, though. The bars and stem differ from the standard spec. Rather than 'polished' components, ours is specced with aluminium parts, the bars oversize, with a compact, shallow drop.
Pelago pitches the bike as a fast touring machine, and appropriately includes sturdy pannier racks and polished mudguards as standard.
Overall, this is a bike that we would be happy to tour long distances on. Comfort and versatility are its strong points. Rough roads do not faze it, and stripped of its extras, could make a good cyclocross bike. At this price point the buyer is looking for an investment, and we are in no doubt that this bike will provide solid service for decades. The only unanswered question is where our next tour should be!
Strengths: Premium Workmanship. Comfortable and Versatile.
Weaknesses: Expensive. Heavy.
Buy: If you need a reliable and versatile bike, especially for long distances.
Avoid: If speed is your top priority.