First Impressions: RSD Catalyst 700+

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We recently got our hands on the Catalyst 700+ from Toronto, Canada-based RSD Bikes. The Catalyst 700+ is designed for the urban jungle as well as gravel and similarly surfaced paths. It’s available in three different materials: 4130 steel, titanium and stainless steel. We will be reviewing the 4130 version, which comes in a sparkling dark green. MSRP is $1,399 for the complete bike or $529 for the frame.

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I’ve taken the Catalyst out for a few spins around town, and have spent┬ásome time on the crushed gravel trails of my local park, and the bike has handled everything well. The 700x45c Maxxis Overdrive tires feel great when rolling on smooth surfaces while also providing enough bite to keep me safe at reasonable speeds on the looser stuff, so it seems like RSD Bikes made a good choice here. If you feel the need for some bigger rubber, there is impressive clearance for up to a 2.25″ in the rear and a 1.9″ up front.

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The Catalyst’s drivetrain consists of a 40-tooth front chain ring matched up to a 11/36 10 speed SRAM cassette. So far it’s been adequate for the hilly terrain that I encounter on my daily jaunts. The included bash guard serves up a bit of protection from the wandering pant leg, as well.

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RSD outfits all of its┬áCatalyst models with a FSA Metropolis handlebar which features a dramatic back sweep. My gut tells me I’ll probably swap this out for a straighter offering, but that’s just personal preference. That being said, the bars do place my hands in an extremely comfortable position and I understand their allure.

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The Catalyst 700+ is relatively simple, good-looking, comfortable bike and I’m really looking forward to putting it through its paces. Look for a full review in an upcoming issue of Bicycle Times. Make sure your subscription is up-to-date so you don’t miss anything! You can subscribe or renew here. Bicycle Times makes a great gift for the holidays, too!

 

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