CX, cycling, cyclocross, gravel, hub velo, review, Stevens -


STEVENS has earned a notable reputation in cyclocross, Vojo states at the beginning of an in-depth test report about the Stevens Vapor. The aluminium-frame bike with carbon fork is less expensive than the Super Prestige and attracts less attention than the top model. No wonder since in the past many cyclocross legends like Niels Albert, Mathieu van der Poel and Marianne Vos won their titles on a Super Prestige, while at the time World Champions Wout van Aert, Sanne Cant and Ben Tulett (U19) try to repeat their success riding Stevens’ top-of-the-line ‘cross bike.

Yet, the experience made with the Super Prestige would trickle down to the Vapor, that in addition to its competitive heritage boasted a tire clearance of 42mm and eyelets for fenders and pannier rack, bridges the gap between Gravel and four-season sports bike, Vojo magazine continues. The Vapor’s geometry was rather race-like and only differed slightly from the Super Prestige.

Despite the 1,999 Euros retail price, specs are far from being low-shelf, says Vojo magazine and points out the full Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and the Fulcrum Racing 600 wheels shod in Schwalbe X-One tires. The finishing kit from in-house brand Scorpo was functional and very well crafted. All in all, including frame and specs the magazine weighed the Vapor in at 9kg (20lbs) in frame size 58cm.

The welds on the 7005 aluminium frame were nicely crafted and together with the matte paintjob made a lovely appearance. The fork was directly taken over from the Super Prestige.

Seating position was on the sporty side, meaning a little different from so-called gravel bikes. Yet, it was not too stretched-out, rather well-balanced. The testers could also imagine that, retrofitted with road tires, the Vapor would make a decent road bike. Despite its 9kg it accelerated quickly, and the frame was so sturdy and stiff that it converted pedal force directly into forward motion. When descending it made a calming impression.

The hydraulic disc brakes were powerful and the tires kept stuck to the ground even in rather slippery downhill sections. On gravel roads the Vapor was surprisingly comfortable. Only a few aluminium bikes Vojo magazine had tested possessed a rear triangle as compliant as that of the Vapor, says the report. Due to these properties the testers had a lot of fun riding the Vapor even on technical trails.

Conclusion: The Vapor feels at home on tarmac as well as on tight, technical trails and offers a broad range of use. So is it good for road, gravel or cyclocross? For all of the above, making the Vapor something special for all those who are looking for a versatile, sporty bike.

The STEVENS Vapor is available in Dark Olive and Foggy Grey in sizes 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 and 62cm for 1,999 Euros at certified STEVENS dealers. It features eyelets for fenders and pannier rack and tire clearance of up to 42mm wide tires.