Bike Test: The BH G7 Disc
While many Aussie riders may not be across the BH brand, it is worth noting that they are not a Johnny come lately to the cycling scene and can lay claim to being a brand with plenty of heritage. BH was established in Spain over 100 years ago and originally put their skills to use as an arms manufacturer. After WW1 they changed tack and pursued a more peaceful pursuit in manufacturing bicycles for the locals and thus a tradition was born.
You may not see many BH’s in your Sunday bunch, but they have been available locally for quite a few years through a few different distribution channels. The predominantly online retailer Pushy’s, has now taken on the local distribution and has the brand front and centre where they believe it belongs.
Introducing The G7 Disc
The latest offering from BH is the G7 disc brake model. The ‘G’ series has been rolling out for some time as the numbering would suggest, and I myself have been riding a G6 for a few years now. We rarely do ‘long term tests” here at Bicycling Australia, but I would imagine my experience on the G6 would be somewhat analogous to that of the newer model in relation to my overall satisfaction. It has been a bike that has remained as my main ride for longer than any in recent times.
It is getting a bit long in the tooth, has a few signs of general wear to its paintwork, but other than that I’m really struggling to find a good reason to swap it out, or more importantly I can’t think of what will be better than it. It is light and lively, especially for an aero frame, it has been eminently comfortable and fits me just right!
Aero Design, Lithe & Lean
The G7 carries a lot of the same design cues as the G6 with its aero frame looking lithe and lean. The seat mast of the G7 is one of my favourite features. It offers the benefits of a fully integrated seat mast with much more adjustability. The G7 rear end has spindly seat stays that are slung low on the seat tube, keeping the rear triangle tight and stiff yet still allowing the seat mast some independence to reduce any road buzz. The frame is also optimised for both mechanical and internal battery electronic shifting systems, allowing for the option of future upgrades.
'Direct To Public'
Pushy’s are offering the BH as a ‘Direct to Public’ purchase. As the importer and the retailer they are able to cut out an extra level of cost usually attributed to the wholesaler, meaning the bikes get to you cheaper. The downside for this distribution model can sometimes be that the bike is delivered in a box for the consumer to build and tune. Pushy’s have gone the extra mile on this front to guarantee a seamless transition from their door to yours and then onto the road.
Before repacking the bike the mechanics work through a thorough checklist ensuring the BHG7 will be good to go as soon as possible after unpacking. The end result is a bike that takes only minutes to have ready to roll and is well adjusted to boot. In fact the brakes on the G7 were the possibly the best adjusted in relation to minimal lever freeplay of all the hydraulic braked bikes I have ridden.
Shimano & DT Swiss
There is not too much point in elaborating on the groupset as by now we are all aware of just how well Shimano’s Ultegra groupset performs. Again the shifting was crisp and accurate straight out of the box. The wheels on the G7 are DT Swiss’ R32 Spline wheelset which are a mid-depth alloy aero rim. Through the test they proved to be a durable and capable wheelset however I couldn’t help thinking the sporty look of the G7 was screaming for some deeper carbon hoops.
The bars on the G7 are Easton’s EC70 carbon bars. At a price point where cost cutting or in house brands are often the norm, it’s nice to see something a bit special specced on a bike in this category. The flat topped aero profile bars I found to be super comfy when riding on the tops, however if you need to mount a few of your favourite digital accessories on your bars it can get very tricky as there is minimal round bar adjacent to the stem to accommodate standard mounts.
A Natural Progression
Coming from the G6 it was easy to get acquainted with the G7. Apart from an unfamiliar saddle I felt at home pretty quickly. Whether it’s the intrinsic handling of the G7 or my familiarity with the brand I can’t be sure but I was immediately able to throw the G7 hard into corners and lay it over as far as I dare. Part of the reason I have kept my G6 for so long is that it rides superbly, something overlooked on an aero frame, and the G7 hasn’t lost any of that feel. The saddle and DT Swiss Wheels made the ride a little firmer than my own BH but it was still a great way to while away the miles. The Shimano parts performed their duties admirably and the disc brakes, the reason for the G7 coming into being, provided effective and consistent braking. The lever feel is great on the Shimano discs and the braking can be modulated between feathered and downright scary with just one finger.
While BH makes a dedicated ‘Ultralight’ bike their standard bikes aren’t exactly portly. The G7 weighs in at just 7.8kgs in the medium frame size, which in Ultegra spec with disc brakes and a durable wheelset is pretty impressive. However, as I can vouch, my BH, irrespective of its light weight, has proven to be a long term reliable performer and I would assume the G7 to be the same given their shared engineering and heritage.
Quality: Kitted out with a predominantly Ultegra groupset along with an Easton cockpit and DT Swiss R32 Spline the G7 is a step down from the Ultralight spec, but is hard to fault for quality.
Performance: With this frame already being a pro team performer there is no doubting its race pedigree and won’t disappoint. In a straight line it will go as fast as you can push it and at the end of the straights throwing it low in corners gives childlike excitement.
Value for money: At $4,499 the BH is right in the sweet spot for this type of bike and at this specification. There is however, on the BH no skimping on house brand parts or wheels. While the bike is a ride away performer, the frame is the same throughout the range so any upgrades won’t be over capitalizing on the frame.
Overall: The G7 is a well-equipped, great looking frame that, based on my experience with the brand, should give years of trouble free cycling. A quality aero frame that won’t shake your fillings out and braking that will make your eyes pop—at a price tag that won’t break the bank.
Frame: BH G7 Carbon
Fork: BH G7 Carbon
Head Set: FSA
Stem: Easton EA70
Handlebars: Easton EC70 Aero
Saddle: Prologo Zero 2
Seat post: BH Carbon
Shift Levers: Shimano Ultegra Hydraulic
Brakes: Shimano Ultegra Hydraulic (140mm rotors)
Front derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
Cassette: Shimano 105
Chain: KMC X11EL
Crank: Shimano Ultegra 52/36
Bottom Bracket: EVO 386 Integrated
Wheels: DT Swiss R32 Spline
Tyres: Challenge Forte
Weight: 7.8 kg