Neilpryde’s background is wetsuits, windsurf and sailing gear, but it has recently come ashore to develop a range of road bikes. At this time two models are available – the Diablo sitting top with the Alize as its cheaper alternative.
With plenty of carbon expertise crossing over from its other industries we were keen to see what kind of stall NeilPryde had set out. It already has a Pro Continental team, UnitedHealthcare, so that perhaps gives an indication.
Our test bike was draped in a Dura-Ace 7900 groupset with Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels and FSA SLK carbon finishing kit. Such a familiar and well-proven spec was a plus, as limiting the ‘unknowns’ enables more focus on the characteristics of the frame and fork. That said, the Diablo’s not particularly shy about how it greets you.
It looks butch (aside from its skinny seatpost), and it’s not a false front. From the get-go it has a way of being upfront about how it wants you to ride it – and that doesn’t involve tickling it through the lanes.
The platform that NeilPryde has created with its unidirectional carbon monocoque, ribbed design, is stiff and then some. Its solidity is instantly apparent, delivering a lively feel, with sharply responsive handling and to be fair it's a sprightly climber too. My feeling though is it's most likely to win the hearts of the more aggressive, or possibly heavier riders who will deal best with, or be more able to tame, its fairly unsympathetic persona. The rubber seal around the seat clamp to keep out water and filth, plus NeilPryde's custom colour option are thoughtful touches. I'd sum the Diablo up as great in small doses.