If we were writing this test straight from a spreadsheet rather than after a couple of months battering around bridleways, cyclepaths and back roads, the Arkose 3 would be aceing it.
Seriously impressive spec
The 22-speed Shimano 105 shifter and gear setup would be enough on its own to put it clear of its largely Tiagra pricepoint peers, and that’s before taking into account the hydraulic 785 Ultegra brakes – complete with finned rotors. That’s remarkable value.
The increase in braking control is obvious too – not just in the greater feeling of consistency that comes with every lever pull, but also in terms of wear over time. That’s because the fully hydraulic system automatically compensates for pad wear – unlike some cable-braked bikes where we’ve had to stop and manually adjust the pads mid-ride on particularly wet and gritty days.
Hydraulic brakes with finned rotors at this price?
And that’s not the end of the good news, either. The Alex Draw rims are tubeless-ready if you’re looking to reduce impact punctures on rougher tracks, and the loose-ball Novatec hubs potentially prolong lifespan if you learn how to adjust them. Together with the Kenda Small Block Eight tyres they’re responsively light and fast rolling, but still have enough tread to give you some control over where you’re going in gravel or mud.
Workhorse ride character
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