Hoy may be a new kid on the block in bike design, but the aluminium Alto Irpavi .004 will make the competition take note
The Alto Irpavi .004 is the most expensive model in Hoy’s all-aluminium range. The frame is constructed of 6066-grade aluminium, with the welds smoothed out.
From a distance, the Alto Irpavi looks like it’s made of carbon-fibre — the fork actually is carbon-fibre, but the two materials are so closely finished that they appear as one. Close inspection gives away that it’s aluminium, of course — the welds are obvious and the bottom bracket shell is seriously beefy. All cables are neatly routed internally.
The name originates from the Alto Irpavi velodrome in La Paz, Bolivia, which was the scene of Sir Chris’s 500-metre track sprint world record.
A full Shimano 11-speed Ultegra drivetrain is installed on the bike, with Shimano RS805 hydraulic disc brakes matched to RS685 shift/brake levers.
As the Alto Irpavi .004 was conceived with discs in mind, there are bolt-through axles rather than conventional quick-releases. This counteracts the braking force from the discs and ensures that the fork and rear triangle are stiff.
The cyclo-cross oriented Novatec CXD wheels are solid and relatively lightweight. The bar/stem and seatpost/saddle are own-branded units, and none the worse for it.
The Ultegra groupset is virtually flawless while Shimano’s RS805 brakes are among the best road brakes currently on the market, with firm stopping power and decent feedback through the lever.
The bike’s 8.49kg weight is impressive for an aluminium-framed bike with hydraulic discs and cyclo-cross wheels. This assists in the bike’s lively acceleration, and power transfer is helped by the chunky bottom bracket cluster resisting flex.
The wheels and frame feel well balanced, and the Continental Grand Sport Extra tyres add to the sense of sure-footedness.
There are few other aluminium-framed bikes at this price for comparison, but the spec of the Hoy compares favourably with bikes made of any material. Factor in the disc brakes, full Ultegra groupset, frame quality and that the Novatec wheels cost £350 on their own, and this is a good deal for £1,800.
The Hoy Alto Irpavi .004 offered a great balance between a stiff chassis and ride comfort. A full Ultegra drivetrain is a positive — and is further boosted by the inclusion of Ultegra-grade Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. The use of bolt-thru axles front and rear is a sensible move to improve rigidity. Hoy’s integration of discs on the Alto Irpavi is one of the best I’ve experienced. Hoy has used disc brake wheels designed for cyclo-cross and these turned out to be a good choice. Hardy, yet not too heavy. And it’s the Hoy’s overall weight — a respectable 8.49kg, even compared to disc-equipped carbon-fibre bikes at this price — that marks the Hoy out as a great value machine.