With Time giving the range a complete revamp over the last two years, we had concerns that one of our favourite all-round race machines could be compromised by complex carbon shapes and new tube designs.Happily, our doubts have proved unfounded as the Instinct is simply better in all situations than the outgoing Time frames.
What sets the Time apart from all other carbon frames we’ve ridden is the sheer comfort. TheSpecialized Roubaix is a brilliantly balanced blend of comfort and ride, but the Instinct reigns supreme. We found ourselves looking for poor surfaces to test the RX’s mettle and we never found it wanting. Its ability to smooth the road is something you’ll never tire of, and it’s not at the expense of handling.
The build of our test bike is modest, with Campag’s Chorus 11 (albeit in carbon) and Zonda wheels adding up to its 7.42kg weight. Despite this the RX climbs better than most, the weight simply being of no issue because this wonderful frame is just so cosseting. With a basic Cinelli aluminium bar and stem up front, rest assured all of the RX’s qualities are coming from this brilliant chassis.
Its taller head-tube might put some off, but it’s no sit up and beg touring bike in disguise; you’re not as flat backed as on a full-on race machine but it’s still a racy enough position for spinning up to speed. And the planted feel and connection with the bike makes you fire down descents as fast as your nerves will allow.
What makes the Instinct special?
The Time’s carbon frame tubes are hand-woven, with each tube composition being tuned to its precise purpose, and stiffness or ﬂex built in. This results in the most comfortable carbon frame we’ve ever tested.
Time’s Safe+ fork passes every impact test out there and is supremely rigid side- to-side where it needs to be, fore and aft it’s allowed some movement. It’s brilliant at taking the sting out of rough road surfaces.
Time use its own headset, the ‘Quickset’. Like Canyon’s system it eliminates the use of a bung, which loses some weight. It also means the stem and stack height can be adjusted without having to readjust the headset.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.
Time RX Instinct Black Review - BikeRadar