Wednesday, September 18, 2013 7.00am
By Cycling Plus
The Dedacciai K-19 may look simple but a close inspection of its titanium frame reveals plenty to admire. The weld quality is consistently high; the down-tube is subtly shaped, as are the tapered chainstays (tapering is unusual to see in titanium, and it’s done very tidily); and the high-polish finish and white painted sections add a jewel-like quality to the overall look.
The usual criticism of a metal frame is that it can’t compete with carbon fibre for weight. But with a claimed frame weight of around 1,300g, combined with some quality equipment, the K-19's 8kg overall weight is perfectly respectable. Build it up with top-end components and it’s potentially an impressively light bike.
But looks and weight are only part of the equation – it’s the riding that counts. Thankfully the K-19 surpassed our expectations. The titanium scores well with its responsive, vibration-dulling ride, with none of the lack of front-end stiffness that can be an issue with the material. The K-19’s beefy tapered and machined head tube and light (350g) but broad all-carbon fork create a front end that tracks brilliantly and doesn’t wander when sprinting, and its short wheelbase and classic parallel 73-degree angles give a surefooted feel on rough roads.
The components are solid performers, though the aluminium post, stem and bar don’t really belong on a £3,000 bike. Campagnolo’s excellent Athena groupset with carbon chainset is easily a match for the Shimano Ultegra found on many of the Deda's price rivals. Campag also supply their Zonda G3 wheels, a high-quality but budget option. The front is radially spoked, the rear has banks of three parallel spokes for a distinct look, but they stayed true over some very rough surfaces and felt impressively stiff under load. The Vittoria Rubino tyres have enough volume for comfort, stayed puncture-free and offered impressive grip on both gravel and tarmac.
The frameset sells for £2,199.99, so an extra grand for the components of this build is reasonable. The K-19 isn’t just a good titanium bike – it’s a great bike regardless of its material. Carbon rules the road bike roost, but Cannondale and Giant show there’s life in aluminium, Cherubim and Genesis fly the flag for steel, and titanium bikes like this dream machine from Dedacciai suggest that we ignore the benefits of metal at our peril.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.
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