SCHINDELHAUER Ludwig, £1500,

This German-designed bike won’t be found in many London shops, but perhaps exclusivity is part of the attraction. At the Ludwig’s core is a smooth-welded, triple-butted alumimium frame and fork; internal cable routing adds to the classy look.

The drivetrain is an 8-speed Alfine hub gear with Gates carbon belt-drive and it’s a combination that delivers direct power, quietness and reliability. Some might be put off by a lack of familiar components, but roadside repairs are no more difficult than with a regular setup. Brakes are Tektro road calipers, which offer good stopping power.

The 700c wheels use Shimano hubs and deep-dish Alex rims, shod with 28c Continental City tyres. The seatpost, stem and handlebars are polished
aluminium, which contrast nicely with the brown leather grips and Brooks saddle. Our test bike came with very effective brushed aluminium mudguards too.

On the road, the Ludwig is a pleasure to ride. The cockpit’s not too stretched or low down, encouraging pacey but not back-breaking progress, and the steering feels responsive, There are enough gears for all but the steepest hills.

Sizes 52, 56, 59 and 62cm, with singlespeed, 11-speed and 14-speed Rohloff options.

PROS classy spec, style
CONS you’ll want the Rohloff