It’s hard to see why Forme designates the Axe Edge a sportive rather than a race bike, unless it’s due to the slight lack of directness in the front end: the steering is nice and responsive at low speeds but for high-speed descents it could do with being beefed up a little, especially as high-speed descents are usually more a feature of sportives than they are of road racing, in this country at least. Perhaps we’re just being spoilt by super-stiff forks with tapered head tubes — these days many bikes cheaper than this are now rocking them.
Smart paintjob, colour-matched components
Sub-kilo carbon frame
Poorly performing own-brand brakes
No tapered steerer
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Forme started with five models in 2010 and now has over 50.
The original range was made up of mid-range road bikes to fill a gap in the market that Forme’s parent company, distributor Moore Large, had spotted.
Since then its stable has expanded upwards — with the range topper a £5,000 superbike called Flash — and downwards with bikes under £300 in the urban and mtb categories. Which means the Axe Edge is mid-range, Forme’s original speciality.
There are four Axe Edge models, all built around a carbon frame with a claimed weight of 950g – very impressive especially as the Axe Edge Pro, which comes with the latest Shimano Ultegra 11 speed, costs a very competitive £1,799.
The 1.0 is equipped with a mix of Shimano 105 and Tiagra, with an FSA Omega chainset and own-brand calipers. The finishing kit is One23, which is a house brand of Moore Large, and the wheels Mavic Aksiums.
Forme has done a fabulous job with the Axe Edge 1.0’s aesthetics — the graphics are striking but not shouty and colour matching of everything including the wheel decals makes it look really high end.
The Forme instantly felt like a quality bike, a feeling enhanced by the faint but exciting rumble that carbon tubes sometimes — but not always — emit. The position, though not as aggressive as that of some pure race bikes, is just right for feeling comfortable but still fairly powerful and aerodynamic on the hoods, with the drops putting the rider in a perfect attacking crouch.
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