- Good value for money
- Ultegra Di2
- Semi-compact chainset
- Good finishing kit
- Can feel sluggish
- Not the most exciting ride
Price as reviewed:
Internet retailer Wiggle is well known for its in-house dhb clothing brand, and it’s now aiming for the same quality at affordable prices with its line of Eastway bikes.
The Eastway Emitter R1 Ultegra Di2 2016 sits at the top of the road bike range. Presently offered for less than £2,000 and with a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 build, this looks like great value for money.
The Emitter’s frame is full carbon composite, as you’d probably expect. It’s light and fairly responsive, and climbs with ease. However, it can feel sluggish when sprinting out of corners and pulling away from a static start.
First ridden on the smooth winding mountain roads of Majorca, this machine sailed up to the summits, even with a heavier rider on board. The larger, but not huge, bottom bracket allows for fairly efficient power transfer through the Ultegra Di2 groupset.
Back on UK roads, with potholes, road debris, and rolling hills, the bike has continued to handle well and the frame’s geometry offers all-day comfort without being a fully laid-back sportive bike.
Unless you’re planning on breaking into the pro ranks, there seems little need to fork out the extra cash for a Shimano Dura-Ace-equipped bike when the next tier down option of Ultegra does the job so well.
Particularly the Di2 version – while many riders still claim to prefer mechanical, when affordable electronic shifting is this good, it really is hard to see why.
The full Ultegra set-up on the Eastway Emitter R1 perfectly complements the frame quality and slightly racey feel. Also, at the lower price this is a great deal for such a good groupset.
For anyone willing to overlook this bike not being a big-name brand, this machine will see them through any sportive or amateur race without trouble.
The Shimano Ultegra brakes have excellent stopping power against the Mavic Ksyrium Equipe rims. The wheelset itself is perfectly adequate for a bike of this price and for the kind of riding it’s likely to see.
As always, though, a new set of wheels might be the first place a rider will look to make an upgrade as the Ritchey finishing kit and Fizik Aliante saddle are already top-end.
As mentioned, this bike was first ridden on winding Balearic roads, but the majority of the mileage I’ve done on this bike has been on British tarmac.
Despite feeling slightly slow when accelerating, once up to speed this bike can hold momentum just fine. It’s not a full-on race bike, nor a slouchy sportive machine, and it fills this area of the market pretty well.
I’d gladly race on this bike and, having ridden it for hours on end, can confirm that it is very comfortable.
The value for money of this bike has already been touched on above, but it’s worth reiterating.
The bike has a quality carbon-fibre frameset, a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset and some top quality, big brand finishing kit.
With Wiggle currently discounting the bike by 15 per cent, at well under two grand it’s a bargain. With such huge savings, for many riders this will leave money to put towards a new set of wheels down the line, should they feel it necessary.
Aimed just right at the faster sportive rider or competent club racer, Wiggle has pitched this bike at the top end of what most riders require. Few of us really need Dura-Ace, and fewer still would tell the difference between that and Ultegra. Full Ultegra Di2, carbon frame and very good finishing kit on a bike that will keep you riding all day is a great package for the sub-£2000 sale price. The bike can feel a bit sluggish, however, and might not be the nippiest in a criterium or frenetic road race, but for most this will be of little concern and they’d do well to consider this as their next road bike
Miles ridden: 678 miles (1091km)
Size tested: 56cm
Size range: 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60cm
Frame: Full carbon composite
Fork: Full carbon, tapered
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2
Chainset: Shimano Ultegra mid-compact
Gear ratios: 52-36, 11-28
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra
Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe
Tyres: Continental UltraSport 700x25c
Bar: Ritchey WCS Road Logic
Stem: Ritchey WCS
Seatpost: Ritchey WCS Carbon
Saddle: Fizik Aliante