Tifosi Cavazzo review£1,349.00

How versatile is this lightweight gravel road bike?

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Featuring a carbon frame and fork and with enough clearance to take up to a 35c tyre, the Cavazzo is a lightweight gravel road bike which the manufacturer says has been designed to be as versatile as possible. 

That said, the Cavazzo is most at home on the road, highlighted by the wheelbase that’s minimally longer than a standard Tifosi road machine, while the front end’s only 10mm taller and the reach shortened by just 5mm. These numbers equate to a bike that really hustles along on the tarmac.

The Tiagra drivetrain is set with road gearing, and this good-looking 10-speed number is just as smooth shifting and reliable as its more expensive 105 and Ultegra cousins.

The Shimano cable discs are, sadly, less impressive. The bulky size of the calipers we can live with, but the way the power is delivered feels spongy next to the TRP Spyres and Avids, and in a much lower league than the Polygon’s hydraulics. 

The disc brakes feel a little spongy
The disc brakes feel a little spongy

We like that Tifosi has specced a shallow-flared bar which enjoys road-bike familiarity but with plenty of wrist clearance when you’re shifting around through twisty off-road terrain.

The tyres occupy the middle ground between dirt and tarmac, Schwalbe’s S-One a hybrid between the slick One and the aggressive G-One. On the road the S-One’s dimpled tread grips and sticks through corners, and off road they offer enough compliance to avoid pinch punctures. With Schwalbe’s microskin reinforcement they avoid cuts and wear well, too.

The carbon frame is paired with a carbon fork
The carbon frame is paired with a carbon fork

Ultimately, on tarmac the Cavazzo proves itself a quick, slick and responsive bike, but when you hit the dirt that stiffness and lack of volume in the tyres means that you end up backing off sooner than you’d like. 

You find that bumpy descents and anything approaching rocky has to be handled with far more care than the monster bump-eating Giant Anyroad 1 or the silky-smooth steel of The Light Blue Darwin One.

But that could be horses for courses. If you’re less inclined to take on mountain bike trails and just want a bike that’ll handle the occasional byway, towpath or trail shortcut on your urban and suburban rides, then the Cavazzo is a considered choice. 

The Cavazzo really hustles along on tarmac
The Cavazzo really hustles along on tarmac

It’ll speed you across town as well as any road bike, and we’d have no apprehensions taking the Tifosi on challenging sportives or long all-day road rides. Just leave it aside for real tough efforts in the mud.

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