A top-flight cyclo-cross bike ridden by leading Continental professional riders, we've put German brand Stevens's Super Prestige through its paces here in the UK
Hamburg-based bike brand Stevens is little known in the UK. It didn’t have a UK distributor for a few years before being picked up by East London-based Hub Velo at the end of last year.
But it’s a brand with a larger presence on the Continent, in particular on the cyclo-cross scene, with its Super Prestige model ridden by Dutch national champion Matthieu van der Poel and women’s world champion Sanne Cant.
Stevens offers the Super Prestige in the top-spec Ultegra Di2 model priced at £3,200, which we have tested, and an Ultegra mechanical variant priced at £2,499. There’s also a canti version for the diehard; most cyclo-cross professionals have switched fully to discs this season.
Stevens’s frame is high-modulus carbon-fibre with a chunky down tube, wide bottom bracket shell and tapered seat tube and seatstays to add some compliance. The full-carbon fork is also chunky and sits in a relatively slack 72° head tube.
There’s loads of clearance around the high fork crown and the bridgeless seatstays, although at the chainstays it’s relatively tight and I did find some clogging on muddier courses.
Along with its flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes, Stevens provides the thru-axles which are now more-or-less standard on disc-brake bikes. They’re 12mm front and rear, with 142mm spacing at the rear. Thru-axles help with rigidity of the wheel-to-frame connection and also with disc rotor alignment to prevent rub. We never found rubbing to be an issue.
Stevens decks the bike out with its own-brand Oxygen Scorpio finishing kit. This includes an alloy stem and a bar with quite a deep drop. There’s also an Oxygen Scorpio-branded carbon seatpost and an Oxygen Triton white saddle.
Needless to say, along with the white bar tape, the saddle quickly shows the effects of splattered mud. The 33mm Challenge Grifo Pro open tubular tyres look pristine in white too, but again they’re unlikely to stay that way for long. The matt camo green paintwork with its white detailing does look smart, and the Super Prestige Disc is certainly a pretty-looking bike. It’s also available in white/red.
Stevens specs a quality DT Swiss R24 Spline disc wheelset. Despite the Challenge tyres fitted to the test bike, it’s tubeless ready and it should stand up to some abuse too.
I was impressed with Ultegra Di2’s performance off-road. Having electronic shifting takes away the fuzziness that can develop once a cable-actuated derailleur becomes clogged with dirt. Even when dirt-covered, gear changes were precise and the ability to shift under load along with self-trimming of the front mech helps you keep moving over more tricky terrain.
The light touch of the shift levers is nice too. I didn’t find I was making any mis-shifts despite the closeness of the up and down shifters, although it does take more care than with a manual system particularly when wearing winter gloves. The hoods are slightly wider than on Shimano’s mechanical hydraulic levers too, adding a bit more comfort over bumpy terrain. They also have a textured top surface which helps with grip.
Watch: Shimano Ultegra groupset review
Braking is effective with good modulation and a light touch, as you’d expect from a hydraulic system.
The Super Prestige Disc provides a nice ride off-road. Through tricky terrain it’s edgy enough to allow good navigation without feeling like a handful. It feels comfortable, although with a 101cm wheelbase there’s not quite the stability you find on some bikes with longer wheelbases and there was a little toe overlap.
It’s relatively comfortable to shoulder too, although the underside of the top tube has a couple of curved edges that dig in a bit more than some other brands’ frames.
It’s also not the lightest cyclo-cross bike out there, coming in at 8.63kg with the stock wheelset. With a cassette going down to 28 teeth, it’s also quite high geared for steeper uphills.
For a top-flight cyclocross bike, the Super Prestige Di2 Disc is reasonably good value, particularly as it comes with expensive electronic shifting. But beware of the cost of replacement if you do wreck the rear mech in a race – at full RRP it’s £220!
For a machine ridden extensively at the top flight of professional cyclo-cross, the Super Prestige Disc Di2 is relatively modestly priced. It’s well specced too, with the Ultegra Di2 hydraulic groupset proving a highlight, its precise shifting and light braking well suited to off-road conditions.