Halford’s new carbon version of the 13 Intuition Alpha series is pretty much defined by the wheel, the cockpit and the fork and head tube of the model. The frame offers some simple advantages and disadvantages. The bike is basically for casual riders. It is not an MTB, but only a simple bicycle that offers a comfortable, laid back riding experience.
The plus points include smooth and a comfortable performance position with minimal drag. The negative points include the unreliable brakes in lubricated terrains. This shortcoming prevents the bike from delivering the reliable ride it could have offered. There is no precision, neither confidence from the bike. Also, the soft tracking and flexible under power adds to the unreliable performance of the model.
As Halford’s 13 has used its own components for most of the parts, the components are quite in sync with each other. For example, the semi-aero rim has been color coded to complement the frame. The matching spokes not only add to the aesthetic orientation of the model, but also makes spotting punctures easy.
The Tektro brake system is found mounted at the back of the semi-aero fork crown instead of in the front. This kind of placement reduces the drag effect by a huge margin and is common in the bikes exclusively meant for time trial races. The commitment of the Company towards wind cheating reflects in the premium aero-like frame design of the Intuition Alpha Carbon.
The TRP T822 side-pull brakes are way softer compared to the traditional twin-pivot brakes. The power boost is high but it takes time for a rider of the usual dual-pivot bikes to get used to the system. The internal cables run a long way to ensure that the TRP T820 center-pull rear brake is held underneath the chainstays.
The Aero-Optimized 11/4 to 11/8 inches tapered steerer fork unit is made of carbon fiber while the head tube as well as the neck are too soft for steering precision. It is no different with the front wheel either, because of the skinny hub. The wheels from Vittoria Zaffiro don’t have impressive traction as already mentioned, but apart from its inefficiency on the wet road, the tires are durable and can turn fast.
The soft brakes combined with the low-traction tires do not do much good for the technical aspect of the ride. The large BB30 crank does not help the Intuition Alpha be any less powerless in terms of drivetrain. The bike is a light one, so it is convenient for the regular city street rides, but the lack of power and grip makes it unfit for sloped areas. The 27.2mm seatpost hardly offers any more drag than an aero finished model. The vibration in the fork and the bar is negligible despite the use of a 23mm rubber instead of the standard 25mm.
With a little getting used to, the bike can produce a steadily progressive speed with efficient spinning instead of stomping. The aerodynamics maintain the momentum when the bike has been spun to a higher speed. The bike is ideal for relaxed long rides instead of a power-packed ride.