Mezzo d10, and d9 on test
Firstly, if you would like a chance to see and try the latest d9, we expect to have the test bike at the Oxford Origami Ride, and we would like to get as many people to try it and contribute to our report as possible.
As far as the d10 goes, the first thing to say is that this in NOT a replacement for existing models! - it is intended as a lighter, higher spec, more expensive addition to the range. The most striking thing is the new frame - rather than being welded from tube, it is a ''monocoque'' design, welded from a left and right hand part; seen from the side, it is more elegant, though you may be like me and find the resultant centre-weld (as found on many modern frames) looks a bit agricultural. I understand that this frame is more expensive to manufacture than the existing tubular one, so there is no immediate prospect of it replacing the existing frame on the more modestly priced models. Based on what I saw of the pre-production model, it is quite like the latest Birdy frame in style. There is apparently a small saving in weight, but choice of components also makes the d10 lighter than the d9 (at a price). The gear range is extended by the use of a 10-speed cassette, and there is a rear V-brake, but retaining the caliper at the front: brake levers are cleverly chosen so that they match in appearance, but the left one is set up for the V-brake, and the right one for the caliper, so no compromises here.
We should have our comprehensive test of the d9 on our web site soon after the Origami Ride on 11 August (see below), and if one becomes available, we will report on the d10 later. Initial impressions of the current d9, compared with early d9 we tested previosuly, are that there have been a lot of detail improvements - nothing major, but these add up to make a substantial improvement over the early versions.