The Cape Town-based company, started by Jon Colledge and Andrew Bloom, aims to capitalise on the growing market for high-end bikes sold directly to the public online. “Cyclists have shown great appetite for this model,” said Bloom. “Internationally, cyclists are enjoying access to the best products and better prices with online companies like Canyon Bikes and Chain Reaction Cycles.” The scope and ease of internet shopping is not missed on local buyers.
“Many South Africans buy cycle equipment from abroad, which doesn’t help our local bike industry,” said Bloom. “Cabal tips the scales in favour of local buyers. We provide performance and value in the South African context.” The start-up is also considering exporting its performance machines.
Rider fit and performance are cornerstones of the new brand. Cabal offers full customisation options. Not only can bikes be ordered with a specified stem length and bar width, but Cabal is offering a complimentary basic bike fit, in Joburg and Cape Town, with every bicycle purchased. Better rider comfort through fit can and will translate into marginal performance gains.
“I’ve been riding competitively for a long time,” said Jon Colledge, who puts Cabal’s bikes through their paces. “I expect a lot out of the machines and am very happy with the performance of the frames and the specification that we’re able to offer them at. The frames are packed with nearly every modern feature there is.”
For instance, Cabal bikes have short-back aerofoil tube profiles and use some of the most exotic carbon fibres available. Each frame is EPS moulded, ensuring a controlled wall thickness and all-round clean finish, even on the inside of the frame. “All Cabal bikes are SRAM E-Tap and Shimano Di2 compatible and have frame integrated seat clamps,” added Colledge. “It’s all there. But the proof is in the pudding, really. I race these beasts and they’re fast – very fast.”
Cabal is offering three frame models: lightweight climbing road, aero road and timetrial, in frame only or with straightforward selections of groupset and wheels: SRAM Rival, SRAM Force, their own brand carbon or Fulcrum alu rim wheels. All groupsets are offered as full groups, no swapped out budget cranks, chains or cassettes, only the good stuff.
The Ascent 1.0
From the website: The Ascent is designed to be the one rock solid bike that does it all. Take it out training and smash some Strava KOM records or get it out into the race peloton and lead the way up those mountains, it’ll give back every drop of muscle you can throw at it. Hit it with wind and weather from every angle and it’ll stay steady.
The Ascent strikes a refined balance of aero and weight – it applies a SAS headtube and downtube, 40mm deep, toroidal rim carbon wheels and an advanced frame that’s made from state of the art T1000 EPS moulded carbon. And the frame comes in at sub 870g. Allowing for a build weight that can dip well below the UCI 6.8kg limit. Cake. Had and eaten.
The Aero 1.0
From the website: Aero isn’t a fad, there’s plenty of science to back up the statement that reducing a bike’s drag will save you watts.
That’s why every part of the Aero is created to help you cheat air resistance. Because watts gained means better course times and that means getting closer than ever to your personal best. So gain some watts in your favour with features like SAS shaped tubes and seatpost, Di2 compatible cable integration, direct mount front brake, under-mount rear brake and EPS moulded Toray 800 materials.
The Timetrial 1.0
From the website: It’s not a coincidence the TT looks like a stealth bomber. Everything on it was designed to cut through air and fly at low-altitude (We haven’t tested if it’s detectable by radar but we wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t).
Maximise every watt and hit the afterburners with features like deep section SAS shaped tubes and seatpost, fork integrated front brake, undermount rear brake, Di2 compatible cable integration and EPS technology moulded T800 materials.
Cabal also offers three clincher wheelsets in various rim depths: a 40mm set, 56mm set and combo 56:86mm set, for various use cases. All rims feature a rounded toroidal shape, designed to create an efficient wheel that has similarly low drag on the leading and trailing side, as well as better crosswind stability, compared to a conventional V-Shaped deep section rim. All rims follow the trend towards a wider rim width, with a 27.25mm outer rim width in the widest area of the rim and a 16.9mm inner width. All the wheels are built up with Pillar Bladed J-bend spokes on lightweight Cabal hubs and cartridge bearings for easy servicing and replacing. Some numbers:
All frames and wheels are thoroughly in-house stress-tested and are EU ISO certified. The bikes ship free within major SA cities and can be returned or exchanged within 7 working days.
All models are available now online and will be on show at the 947 Expo this coming weekend, with special pricing on a limited number of bikes.