THE JAVA CARBON XCA IS SOMETHING WE’LL LIKE TO OWN PERSONALLY FOR INSTANT CRACKING FROLICS
ON URBAN PATHS AROUND THE SPIN OFFICE OR TWISTY OFF-ROAD JUNGLE TRACKS WHEN SERIOUS PLAYTIME IS ABOUT. IF CONDITIONS ARE RIGHT, A CARBON HARDTAIL ON 26” WHEELS RIDES AND BLASTS ABOUT LIKE NO OTHER.
Java Bikes is a relatively young company. With its bicycle frames designed in Italy and manufactured in China, Java Bikes’ production process appears to incorporate a unique blend of mixed-cultural expertise. Be it a union of east-meets-west, east-meets-east or west-meets-west, it is undeniable that the sparks from the fusion has created some of the most handsome-looking bikes on earth.
The XCA in our hands is supremely beautiful and eye-catching. The color of your bike tells a lot about you and is a surefire way to let riders you meet get a glimpse of your personality or what you want people to think about you.
People who ride a yellow-colored bike are often perceived as being fun, bright and happy and stand out on the trails. On the trendy scale of the mountain bike world, yellow rocks and rocks hard. Think of the legendary Judy Rock Shox forks of the 1990s and the last time we checked, the winner of Tour de France wears yellow too. If you are of the adventurous lot (very few mountain bikers we know aren’t) and take pride in being the center of attention of the two-wheeled masses, yellow is definitely the way to go.
Is the 26” versus 27.5” wheel argument really over? For us the riddle will never be solved as in reality all riders are different and the wheel size you are keen on depends on your body type, personal preferences, and the type of riding you do, and the general terrain you do 90% of your riding.
If there is an urge to take corners at the tightest angles, accelerate quickest from dead stops and stalls, and ride with a comparatively lower center of gravity than other wheel sized bikes, a 26”er just might float your boat more buoyantly. And from our general experience, 26”ers are typically lighter and stronger (wheelsets) at similar price points.
The JAVA Carbon XCA is constructed from proprietary XCA T800 carbon and features a Manitou Marvel LTD fork with damping and lockout adjustment. Handlebar and seatpost are matching DECAF T700 carbon pieces to keep the weight down at feathery levels.
Additional quality DECAF stuff found on the bike is the wheelset with in house hubs that are thick and robust-looking. The freewheel makes a sweet audible click and to provide fast ‘off the throttle response’ a high number of pawls in the rear hub run off more ridges in the engagement surface and pushing onto the splines when you start pedaling. Skewers are normal (traditional) quick-release units and to us that’s a plus point to keep some weight down. You’re not going to bomb downhills with this rigid rig anyways with the supplied XC wheelset.
Shifters and derailleures are SRAM X7 although the crank is a three-ring X5. Nothing wrong with that but we would have definitely preferred a matching X7 unit. Brakes are top –notch and well reviewed Avid DB-3 units, acclaimed for their great modulation, comfortable lever shape and braking power. Owners are bound to go fast on the superlight and stiff JAVA Carbon XCA, and so the Avid’s consistent and confidence-inspiring larger caliper piston brakes tapping on G2 Cleansweep rotors are much welcomed if not greatly needed.
Various contact points include a WTB VOLT saddle for the back, and quick and grippy XC-specific Michelin 2.0 Country Dry 2 tyres.
Overall the JAVA Carbon XCA is a nice bundle of a lightweight race-geometry frame with carbon damping characteristics complemented by a race-worthy kit and drivetrain. Just a couple of minor component upgrades could bring this affordable steed into the sub-10kg category. Now the only question remains – does it handle better and go faster in yellow?
For those who have already visited JAVA Singapore, do note that the showroom has moved to a new address. And if you’re thinking of going down to check out the rest of their carbon mountain bikes, do so immediately as JAVA has a new on-going clearance sale for all carbon mountain bikes. They have limited models and sizes at superb discounted prices so it’s while stocks last according to the showroom staff.
Java Bikes Singapore
Address: 3005 Ubi Ave 3, Singapore 408861