Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of Superior Bikes, they’re relatively new to these shores, hailing from the Czech Republic. They support a UCI race team focused on cross country racing, the team was created by former World and Olympic champion Bart Brentjens, so we’ve just taken this race-ready Team 27 Elite in for review.
That they’re coming into the UK is thanks to Chicken Cyclefit, the distributor that looks after a number of brands like Geax and a host of other road-specific brands. They’re making a move into the mountain bike market with Superior, and they sent in the Team 27 Elite. The clue to the wheelsize is in the name, this is a 27.5" wheeled (650b) hardtail. They also do a 29in version too, but we thought it would be good to look at the latest version with the middle size wheels, seeing as that seems to be they way the market is going at the moment.
Why SUP on the down tube? That’s the name they use for all their high-end bikes. They use Superior on their more affordable models. With that cleared up, let’s have a first look at the bike before it hits the trail. The frame is full carbon, made from unidirectional high-modulus fibre and is available in two sizes. This the 'medium', the larger of the two sizes. The medium is pretty racy in its dimensions: a 11cm head tube with a 42.59in wheelbase, 23.81in top tube, and a 71 degree head angle.
The frame features a direct mount E2 Type front mech, PressFit 30 bottom bracket, and a 12x142mm bolt through rear axle, all contemporary details. Cables are also internally routed. Bolted to the frame is a Shimano SLX/XT/XTR groupset, a bit of a mix with an XTR Shadow rear mech, SLX 38/24 double chainset and XT disc brakes with 180/160mm rotors.
Their own inhouse brand ONE supplies the wheels, with Race Ultralight hubs and ZTR Rapid 28h rims and Sapim Laser/Race spokes. It’s nice seeing tubeless-ready rims on a bike of this sort, as though it’s provided with inner tubes, it’s an easy job to go tubeless. The ONE theme continues with the 680mm handlebar and 90mm stem. Well, this is a race bike.
Superior Bikes Team 29 Elite Vitals
FRAME Carbon UD Hi-Modulus
FORK Rock Shox Reba RL Tapered, 15mm+PushLoc remote Lock Out. System spring/damping: Solo Air/Motion Control. Travel: 100mm
BB Set PF BB30 Adapter
STEM ONE Pro 31.8mm, 90mm
HANDLEBAR ONE Race 31.8mm flat 680mm; back swept 10°
SEAT POST ONE Pro 31.6mm/400mm
GRIPS ONE MTB Lock-On Ultralight Foamgrip
SADDLE Fi'zi:k Tundra 2 MG
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano XT
BRAKES (front/rear) Shimano XT hydraulic disc brake, rotor 180/160mm
SHIFT LEVERS Shimano Deore I-Spec Rapid Fire Plus 2x10
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Deore E2
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano XTR Shadow GS
CRANKS w/CHAINWHEELS Shimano SLX Hollowtech ll 38/24 15.5"/170mm 17.5",19"/175mm
FREEWHEEL/CASSETTE Shimano HG62 11-36
CHAIN FSA CN-910 DriveLink
FRONT HUB ONE Race Ultralight 15mm
REAR HUB ONE Race Ultralight, 6-Pawl 12x142mm
RIMS ZTR Rapid 28H
SPOKES Sapim Laser/Race stainless
TIRES (front/rear) Schwalbe Thunder Burt Evo 2.1"
More information: Superior Bikes Team 27 Elite