Scappa Purosangue

The two-wheeled equivalent of a Savile Row suit

BikeRadar score5/5

You’re very unlikely to know anything about Scappa… but should get to know because this bike is something special. This Italian brand was founded in 2010 by Gernot Mueller, a man with some 27 years’ experience at the top level of the cycling industry.

The mission was a simple one – to create the ultimate. It had to be handmade, state-of-the-art, superlight and bespoke, with the luxury experience of buying a supercar, something that probably isn’t entirely alien to anyone that doesn’t choke on the price.

  • Pros: Handling, stiffness, compliance, weight, bespoke sizing and colours, exclusivity
  • Cons: Selling all your other possessions to buy it

So far Scappa is a small company but it's growing surprisingly fast. The range already includes an aero-road and a TT bike (neither of which seem obvious places to start because of the intensive aero R&D required), alongside a sportive steed, a women’s road machine and a hardtail mountain bike. Titanium and steel road frames will follow, plus a track bike and an urban range. On top of that, Scappa already has its own stem, seatpost and bars (fitted here) and in the works is a saddle and complete wheel range. It’s all designed in-house and is, of course, super light.

Just in case you forget that purosangue means 'thoroughbred':

Just in case you forget that Purosangue means 'thoroughbred'

The Purosangue (it means ‘thoroughbred’ in Italian) is the flagship, a featherweight race bike as pure in its design as its name suggests. There are no token aero features nor fussy bump-absorbing kinks or hinges – you get round tubes and straight stays. Within that package, though, is great attention to detail: the head tube tapers from 1.5in at the lower race for steering fidelity, the chainstays are beefy and the seatstays are pencil-thin all the way to the seat tube.

The claimed frame weight is a barely-there 630g – and that includes around 80g of paint because it has three full layers to get this deep finish. If you don’t like this paintjob (it is rather divisive), fear not; you can have literally any hue you show them to match.

The claimed frame weight is a mere 630g – a sub-5kg build is therefore possible:

The claimed frame weight is a mere 630g – a sub-5kg build is therefore possible

That frame weight undercuts everything we know of: the new TrekÉmonda, Cannondale SuperSix Evo Nano, AX Lightness Vial, Cervélo RCA, Scott Addict… A sub-5kg build is possible if you choose the very lightest components.

What none of those frames can offer, though, is bespoke sizing. Scappa can, because its frames are made by hand to order using a tube-to-tube process rather than a mass-production friendly monocoque. We sent Scappa our tester's fit data and they built a bike that fits beautifully. We say this a lot, but bike fit is so important to get right and it will never be better than with a bespoke frame.

Our test bike is built with appropriately high-end parts: Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, Rotor 3D+ cranks, tubular Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels and Scappa’s own carbon bars, stem and post. It totals 6.0kg…

Under your hands, scappa's own carbon bars:

Under your hands, Scappa's own carbon bars

The lightness is tangible all the time, not just on the climbs, and it’s coupled with very impressive stiffness. You can sprint up a short, steep ramp with a big effort and the frame is completely unflustered.

Ascending is – predictably for a 6kg machine – an utter pleasure…:

Ascending is – predictably for a 6kg machine – an utter pleasure

That’s thanks to consistent rigidity through every part of the frame and cockpit. On longer steep climbs, out of the saddle or spinning a low gear, it surges forwards under every pedal stroke with a deeply satisfying efficiency. This is how you’d hope a bike like this would feel.

The Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimates have been around for a few years but they’re still stunning – to look at and to ride. There’s a little lateral give but their power transmission is absolute. And as they weigh under 1,200g, the Scappa climbs and accelerates with vigour.

Mavic's cosmic carbone ultimates deliver ultimate power transmission:

Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimates deliver superb power transmission

The Purosangue impresses on descents just as much as on the climbs. It’s stable, precise, neutral as the lean increases and confidence inspiring. It’s on your side. Dry braking is superb but there’s the usual delay in the wet.

The icing on the cake is the great comfort from the compliant fork, seatstays and post. We’ve done a couple of five-hour rides on it and by the end it really made a difference.

The compliant rear end ensures it'll only be your ego that receives a massage after a few hours in the saddle:

The compliant rear end ensures that your ego will be the only thing receiving a massage after a few hours in the saddle

Light, stiff, comfortable, precise, desirable and tailored; the Purosangue really is a special bike. It’s exclusive, too. So far only 25 have been made. If you can afford one, you will never regret it for a second.

Specs as tested:

  • Frame: Scappa Purosangue
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
  • Crankset: Rotor 3D+, 53/39
  • Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-28
  • Wheels: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
  • Tyres: Mavic Yksion Griplink/Powerlink
  • Headset: Scappa UL 1 1/8” – 1 1/2”
  • Stem: Scappa carbon
  • Handlebar: Scappa carbon
  • SeatPost: Scappa carbon
  • Saddle: Fizik Arione 00
  • Fork: Scappa, full carbon
  • Weight: 6.0kg (as tested, no pedals)
  • Price: €7,400 (frameset) - €10,700 (as tested)
Rides fast everywhere, all the time. Jamie started riding age 12, first on mountain bikes, progressing through cross-country and downhill racing (followed by motorcycle road racing and a dark time as a runner). A dedicated roadie since 2007, Jamie has dabbled in road racing, crits and time trials, but has the most fun simply riding hard with a couple of friends, chasing daft average speeds. Needless to say, Jamie values pure performance above all else and loves aero kit. Fiercely honest in his reviews. Has a chain-cleaning fetish.
  • Age: 36
  • Height: 185cm / 6'1"
  • Weight: 71kg / 156lb
  • Waist: 79cm / 31in
  • Chest: 96cm / 38in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Mountains, rolling stuff, flat and windy, hacking through the city…
  • Current Bikes: Ridley Noah SL 20, Scappa Purosangue, Canyon Speedmax 9.0 SL
  • Dream Bike: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 LTD, in red, please. And a Pashley Guv'nor.
  • Beer of Choice: Recovering teetotaller, still working this one out
  • Location: Bath, UK

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