There’s quality carbon and there’s cheap carbon, and the Forme Axe Edge 1.0 definitely rides like the former. It has that beautifully damped but fast feel that is unique to a good carbon frame. The geometry is perfectly judged and riding in the drops makes for a powerful and aerodynamic position. It isn’t as stiff as you might expect, but the Axe Edge does everything well, except stopping. The brake pads may need more miles to bed in than we gave them.
Overall on the heavy side
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Forme began in 2010 to fill a gap in the market former pro rider Adam Biggs, a brand manager for Forme’s parent company, spotted.
The original range consisted of five models and they now offer 10 times as many bikes. The Axe Edge is aimed at the mid-range, where the gap Biggs spotted was, so should play to their strengths.
There are four Axe Edge models, all based on a carbon frame, with a claimed weight of 950g made from Japanese Torayca 700 12K carbon — not long ago, only pro-level frames were this light.
Forme markets the Axe Edge as a sportive bike, but the geometry is a classic racing 73° parallel, and the head tube is 1.5cm shorter than the equivalent-sized Condor’s. The fork — carbon with an alloy steerer — has 2mm more rake than the classic racing fork, which helps front-end stability.
Forme has put together a competitive package, with a 105 groupset (10-speed), with the exception of the FSA Omega chainset and own-brand brakes. The FSA die-cast C-section cranks are not as stiff as the Hollowtech II 105 Shimano originals, but you’d have to be enormously powerful for it to make a big difference. The calipers, however, are underpowered.
The Forme’s finishing kit is Moore Large own brand One23, which looks the part and performs fine but must contribute to making the Forme frame half a kilo heavier than the Condor.
Mavic Aksiums are tough, reliable and easy to maintain, but at 1,735g there are lighter wheels around. In the past, one of two Aksium bladed spokes had a habit of turning 90°, facing the wind turbine-style rather than slicing through it.
We’ve had no instances of the latest version doing this, so hopefully Mavic sorted it out. It’s a boon to get the fast-rolling Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres, with matching baby-blue graphics, too.
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