Tere - Maori translation - “Be quick, swift and fast”
Although in this day in age, it is hard to get the same pleasure out of an ‘out and out’ road bike like we once did, this latest generation, all-encompassing roadie with some fancy new stoppers does help to reignite those boyish pleasures we once felt for a white-line chaser.
It’s been some time since I got giddy about a new bike, or something within the bike industry that we can claim as one of our own. I have to think back to 2014 when Avanti launched the new Corsa SL model, to recall that feeling of excitement over a bike.
It has been years since anything new has come out of our little corner of the globe, and as a proud Kiwi, I was busting keen to throw a leg over this homegrown product.
Chapter2, is the brainchild of Michael Pryde. Previously the bike designer for NeilPryde bikes (his father’s company) Mike has now gone out on his own, with a career of industrial design and bike industry experience behind him.
First and foremost, it is plain to see that Mike’s industrial design background has played through into the design of his new flagship model, the Tere. Even from afar, the elegant lines and clean aesthetics strike you, but once up close, the subtle details like the fork integration into the downtube and Kiwi-inspired top tube motifs will have even the seasoned bike-nerd looking impressed.
Thankfully for me, in a way, NeilPryde isn’t a name I’d ever heard of until learning more about Chapter2 and its heritage. Whatever legacy the brand had, isn’t something I factored in, when riding the Tere, simply just focusing on what was beneath me.
Maybe somewhat ignorant, once receiving the bike and seeing I was getting to ride the disc version of the Tere, I was quick to adopt the notion that any road bike with disc brakes, is therefore a gravel bike. This may have been my undoing, but it sure made for a true test of the bike’s compliance.
One of the many advantages of riding a bike equipped with disc brakes is that you no longer have the same limitations with tyre size due to brake calliper clearance. So, the disc version of the Tere came rolling on 28c rubber, paired to a set of wide and deep Zeal Carbon wheels.
My time aboard the Chapter2 was spent riding an even mix of sealed and gravel paper roads, for several hours at a time. No, this wasn’t some hellish ‘training’ ride loop, but more a mix of enjoyable roads that add up to offer large distances, with minimal traffic.
The thing that was most apparent first and foremost was the comfort of the frame. The Tere is a truncated (cut off aerofoil) frameset, built with high-modulus carbon fibre, so isn’t the kind of bike you would expect to scream comfort.
However, the frame has been strategically designed and built so that maximum comfort could be found while still offering up a stiff, race capable platform.
Where other brands are quick to lay up the stiffest, most minimal amount of carbon possible in a single, one piece monocoque, Chapter2 has built the frame in two sections. The first of which is the front triangle and bottom bracket junction, using stiffer carbon fibre to achieve well, a stiff front end.
The seat stay, chain stay section is laid up using a much more forgiving weave of carbon to help offer comfort and compliance. The two sections are then bonded together, creating a seamless frame, so much so that you wouldn’t even know it had been made up of two sections unless you had done your homework.
Out on the road, the Tere rode better than I had expected. I had reservations that the Compact-Aero frame would ride like that of other brands, offering up not all that much comfort on our harsher roads and leaving you feel beaten up after several hours, but the Tere had me looking down in search of the dampers given it was that comfy.
Out of the saddle though and opening the throttle, the Tere lives up to its Maori meaning – ‘be swift, quick and fast’. It takes off like a dog on heat and is lively, punchy and shit load of traditional tarmac fun.
When pointed downhill, the bike has you feeling so confident and safe that you can’t help but really try to push the limits and rail those corners like a wannabe pro. I was quick to test the cornering capabilities of the Tere disc, but when a tight switchback crept up on me after linking a fast snaking section of road, the disc brakes didn’t offer up the controlled power I needed to slow the steed.
The brakes had me feeling like I could either pull to a gentle stop over a fair distance, or be breaking traction and skidding out. The ‘in-between’ I have always found disc brakes to have on mountain bikes wasn’t on offer with the road iteration. I did my best to get around, but she bucked me off good and proper into a gravelly embankment.
Don’t worry though, the bike and kit are fine!
Although I did my best to ride the bike in places you really shouldn’t on a bike of this nature, it didn’t once have me thinking I was on the wrong bike.
The Tere is designed to be a semi-aero disc road bike, but thanks to its open-minded design, it makes for a very versatile all-road bike. With our notoriously rough chip seal and the abundance of gravel roads we are privileged with, the Tere disc would be a wise choice, even against purpose-built all-road bikes with fancy shock dampers.
If an out and out race bike is what shifts your gears, then perhaps look at the Tere with rim brakes for a light, stiff and well-powered braking option.
The disc version didn’t have me disappointed though, just questioning whether I not I need lessons on how to ride again.
Words & Images: Cameron Mackenzie
Subscribe to our print edition for the best of New Zealand Cycling.