BH Ultralight EVO road bike review

Lightweight climber is more than just a mountain tamer

Pro Review Road Bike
Whether climbing steeps or ripping along the flats, this bike feels efficient and precise.

Whether climbing steeps or ripping along the flats, this bike feels efficient and precise.

Lowdown: BH Ultralight EVO Road Bike

Gone are the days when road bike makers could simply roll out an ultra light claimed frame weight number and expect sales to roll in. Sure weight still does (and always will) matter, but with so many manufacturers cracking the code on shaving grams, it’s ride quality and price that are the real determinants in this increasingly competitive space. So yes, the BH Bikes (as in Beistegui Hermanos) Ultralight EVO is one very wispy bike, with a claimed frame weight of under 700 grams sans rider weight restrictions. But how does the Spanish bike maker’s stealth climbing whip handle in the real world? Read our full review to find out.

Stat Box
Frame: Ultralight EVO carbon Cassette: Shimano Dura Ace 11-28
Fork: Ultralight EVO carbon w/1.5” steerer Chain: Shimano
Wheels: Mavic CC40 carbon Bars: BH S. Lite SL 44cm
Hubs: Mavic SSC Stem: BH S. Lite 110mm
Tires: Mavic Yksion Pro 23c Seatpost: BH S. Lite 27.2mm
Brakes: Shimano Dura Ace Saddle: Prologo Kappa2
Shifters: Shimano Dura Ace Headtube angle: 73.5 degrees
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura Acve Headtube length: 19.5cm
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura Ace Seat angle: 72.5 degrees
Cable routing: Internal Chainstay length: 402mm
Crankset: Rotor 3D 52-36 Sizes: XS-XL
Weight: 15.6 pounds (size XL as tested) MSRP: $3999 (frame and fork)
Rating: 4 Stars 4 out of 5 stars

Pluses
Minuses
  • Efficient climber
  • Expensive
  • Very light
  • Only sold as frameset in U.S.
  • Superb test group
  • Tall head tube (if that’s not your thing)
  • Stealth looks
  • Stiff front end
  • Compliant rear end
  • Squeaky braking
  • Very stiff at BB
  • Narrow tires
  • Tall head tube (if that’s your thing)
  • Tedious seatpost saddle clamp
  • Smooth cable routing
  • Not comfortable off pavement
  • Tapered headtube
  • One-piece carbon fork
  • Convertible internal cable routing
  • Great power transfer
  • Sharp, precise handling
  • Confident descender
  • Bump absorbing seatpost
  • In-molded front derailleur hanger
  • Flared seat tube
  • Mid compact gearing
  • Light, stiff wheels
  • Unlikely to see many others

Review: BH Ultralight EVO Road Bike

The first thing you do with a bike that has “ultralight” in its name is weigh it. And indeed the BH Ultralight EVO fared well on the scale, posting a 15.6-pound reading while dressed with a host of high-zoot parts, including Dura Ace mechanical drivetrain and Mavic CC40 carbon wheels. So while we didn’t strip the bike all the way down to its frame, it’s a safe bet BH is not messing around with its sub-700 gram weight claim, which is based on a size medium frame. (We tested an XL.)

Our test ride weighed in at 15.6 pounds, size XL. But you can build it up any way you want, as it is currently only available as a frameset in the U.S.

Our test ride weighed in at 15.6 pounds, size XL. But you can build it up any way you want, as it is currently only available as a frameset in the U.S.

It’s also worth mentioning that this bike is a lot like its predecessor, the BH Ultralight. Besides the extra three letters in its name, the differences are subtle, focused primarily in how BH says it laid up the carbon and the shape of the bike’s bottom bracket. Lay up claims are just that, and without hunkering down on the factory floor, it’s hard to do much more than pass the information on. BH says they’ve done it better than before, which in part helped them shave 50 grams of frame weight.

The BB386EVO bottom bracket helps maximize junction space for the girthy downtube and oversized chainstays.

The BB386EVO bottom bracket helps maximize junction space for the girthy downtube and oversized chainstays.

The bottom bracket, on the other hand, is clearly a point of emphasis on this bike. It’s wide. It’s big. It’s stiff. You notice it at first glance — and more importantly, first pedal stroke. No noodly feel here. The BH Ultralight EVO takes power in and turns it into momentum out. That’s true whether grinding up a climb (where this bike shines) or blasting down a straightaway (where it also fairs quite well).

Continue to page 2 for more of our BH Ultralight EVO road bike review »

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying time with his wife Lisa and daughter Cora.


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