Blue Competition Cycles has been hard at work rebuilding its distribution and brand since a brief hiatus and change in ownership. And the results speak for themselves, with an extensive product line and aggressive pricing.
We’ve been reviewing the Ultegra Di2-equipped Norcross EX cyclocross bike, and at Sea Otter 2016, we saw three new Blue Competition Cycles bikes: The ultralight high-mod Dura-Ace-equipped Norcross SL, the more affordable carbon Norcross SP, and the company’s first gravel bike, the Prosecco AL.
At the 2016 Bike Press Camp, Blue Competition Cycles was showing the Norcross SL and SP again, but unveiled a brand new bike: the $2,699 USD Prosecco EX carbon gravel bike, dressed with Shimano Ultegra Di2 and R785 hydraulic STI levers.
That’s not a typo. You can often get a carbon frame with Ultegra or hydraulic braking at that price. But electronic shifting with Ultegra Di2 derailleurs and R785 STI levers for less than $3,000 USD? Blue Competition Cycles is certainly making a big push to capture consumers’ attention with this new model, and it’s captured ours too.
Typically price point-busting bikes make some component sacrifices to save costs, but in the obvious areas here, like the crankset and brakes, are still full Shimano Ultegra and BR-RS805 flat mount hydraulic calipers.
As with other Blue models, the bike is dressed in the company’s house brand Aerus cockpit and wheels. The wheelset could be the one area that might be the one area that owners may eventually want to upgrade. Not because the stock wheels are the affordable Aerus house brand, alloy 30mm deep rims, but because they’re not tubeless.
Of course, for a token investment they can be converted, but it’s a small miss for a bike that looks to be a great value.
Subtle details indicate Blue Competition Cycles has been studying up on trends. Thru axles front and rear, hidden seat clamp bolt, flat mount brakes, internal routing and flat, compliance-oriented seat stays check the boxes on the modern gravel bike report card.
The Prosecco EX is aimed at both the endurance road and gravel bike markets, and comes with Hutchinson 28c Nitro 2 tires. Since usage of this kind of bike will vary greatly in terms of terrain, tires are the one area where it actually might make sense to cut costs, knowing customers will likely replace the stock tires with something better tailored for their surfaces and events. Tire clearance on the Prosecco EX is said to top out at 40c tires, the “new normal” in gravel tires in many areas. Up front there’s plenty of room, out back it looks a little tight.
See more photos of the 2017 Prosecco EX gravel bike and its spec in the slideshow below (along with a few shots of the cyclocross line). Stay tuned as we await a Prosecco EX test bike to see how this price-point killer actually rides. It’s expected to arrive in the next few months.
More info: rideblue.com
2016 Blue Competition Cycles Prosecco EX Gravel & Norcross Bike Photo Gallery: