The first issue of MY BIKE magazine – since the beginning of this year the new common title of former magazines TrekkingBIKE and E-BIKE – entirely dedicated its first bike test to the perhaps most popular category: All-round bikes selling between 1,000 and 1,500 Euros.
Standard part of the test protocol were daily commuting, weekly grocery shopping and weekend outings over bike paths along the river. The average cyclist demands a lot from their bike, the editors pointed out.
They continue: ”these bikes are versatile, robust, can be used anytime and very easily and – first and foremost – they’re reasonably priced. The STEVENS 7X Lite Tour at around 1400 Euros is right in the middle of the test field. In frame size 55 cm it weighs in at 12.65 kg (27.9 lbs), which is the lowest and therefore at the top of the competition, just as in the categories ”safety” (grade 1.2) and ”practicality” (1.0). The grades from all categories summed up to an average of 1.5 winning the 7X Lite Tour the best-in-test which it shares with another model.
The major reason for the best possible grade of 1.0 (the grading system is the same as in German schools with grades from 1 to 6, where 1 is ”very good” and 6 is ”very bad”) were the very well-proven frame design providing a ”well-balanced seating position” and ”go-fast ride characteristics”: ”Frame and fork are very stiff and offer a very sporty, yet always comfortable seating position matched by the handling and a nimble ride.”
Adding to the sporty character were the fast (i.e. light) ”grippy and smooth-rolling tires with extra-low rolling resistance” from Schwalbe. With these tires and the precisely steering fork you can really ”let it rip”. The My Bike editors had an especially keen eye on the functionality of the pannier racks. For grocery shopping as well as for multi-day touring it needs to be stiff in order to the added weight not affecting handling too much. So the editors loaded the racks with panniers of 22kg (50lbs) in weight.
The pannier rack of the 7X Lite Tour was designated ”travel capable” due to its well-designed ”sturdy frame interface”. At the bottom the rack directly rests on the drop-outs and the U-shaped strut running along and below the mud guard added to the rack’s stiffness. Internal cable routing and the tail light housed inside the pannier rack are good examples for how far advanced bikes can be in terms of integration.
”Gentle deceleration, stopping on a dime or brutal emergency braking – all perfectly executed …”, says My Bike about the hydraulic disc brakes which have become standard in this price range. These Shimano Deore components contribute to the 7X Lite Tour winning the ”safety” category.
My Bike, though, criticised the lack of a kickstand. This is due to this bike being derived from STEVENS’ City Cross line that in the past was only available without a touring kit. A sturdy rear-triangle kickstand can easily be retrofitted on the left chainstay which is already equipped with threaded eyelets.
Conclusion: Many clever details are an expression of Stevens’ high standards in making bikes. The 7X Lite Tour gives proof of its outstanding versatility and is a nimble ride.
The 7X Lite Tour is available in sizes 48, 52, 55, 58 and 61cm (Gents) and 46, 50, 54cm (Ladies). The City Cross line from STEVENS also features the models 8X Lite Tour, 6X Lite Tour and 4X Lite Tour.