Pinarello, Bianchi, Colnago and Wilier may be steeped in history and longevity compared to Basso’s modest 44 years, but the Veneto-based brand has established a celebrated reputation since it was founded by Alcide Basso, brother of one of the 1970s greatest sprinters, Marino Basso.
Alcide built steel bikes before transitioning to aluminium then carbon, but he’s always retained the handmade-in-Italy ethos with designs firmly rooted in racing informed by his star sibling. To this day, Basso remains an independent, family-run operation.
Boutique brands usually come with a premium attached, more so if they have Italian heritage, so it’s surprising that the Venta is so competitively priced.
The components are in line with its rivals – the Lapierre Xelius SL 5.0 and Cannondale Supersix EVO 105 also on test – and the Venta looks every inch the classy race-bred machine.
Basso Venta Disc 105 frame and geometry
The Venta is a long-standing model in Basso’s line-up, occupying the first rung on the brand’s road ladder. This new Venta borrows design cues from Basso’s flagship bikes, such as the Diamante SV, but relaxes the riding position closer to a pure endurance bike.
The tube shapes are styled with aero features, with the deep head tube smoothly transitioning into the oversized down tube.
The seat tube is kammtail-shaped (a truncated airfoil like the cross-section of an aircraft wing). This shape ‘cheats’ the air into acting like the tail is still there, so it doesn’t create a disruptive ‘wake’ and therefore reduces drag.
The 610mm stack and 388mm reach offer a more comfortable riding position than the slammed position of the Diamante, yet Basso has stuck with classic road angles of a steep 73.5-degree seat and 73-degree head angle, a smart choice for long days out.
Keeping these road angles ensures the Venta can be hustled through fast corners, pushed to the limits on technical descents and is able to combat obstacles and potholes without drama.
|Seat angle (degrees)||76||75||75||74||73.5||73||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||71.8||71.8||72||72.3||73.5||73.5||74|
|Seat tube (cm)||45||48||51||53||56||58||61|
|Top tube (cm)||50.5||51.5||52.5||54.5||56||57.5||59|
|Head tube (cm)||12.5||12.5||15||16.2||18||20.4||22.8|
Basso Venta Disc 105 ride impressions
The Venta comes with a full complement of Shimano 105, which impresses with its smooth, accurate shifts and controlled confidence from the powerful, noise-free hydraulic disc brakes.
The compact chainset and 11-32 cassette are classic endurance choices – they’ll get you up the steepest of slopes.
The Venta’s ride is a little on the unforgiving side. This displays Basso’s race-focused heritage, as does the solidity through the reinforced head tube and oversized bottom bracket, which means the handling is rock solid.
It picks up the pace under pedalling in a way sprint star Marino Basso would have appreciated in his prime. Though the ride is firm, it’s not uncomfortable and still dissipates the buzz from poor road surfaces.
The 28mm tyres are true to size on the broad 30mm-deep alloy rims so, if you want more compliance, the Venta has space to spare.
Microtech (MCT) is the in-house brand of Basso and it’s all well-crafted kit – the dedicated aero-shaped carbon seatpost is a touch of class on a bike at this price.
The backward sweep of the angular stem gives a great on-the-tops position for grinding up long climbs while the compact drop handlebar encourages you into an aero position. Yet the MCT graphics look more nineties computer game than cutting-edge Italian design.
The MCT wheels run on smooth hubs and the pick-up from the freehub is quick. They weigh over 2kg, though, which doesn’t feel excessively heavy but did make me think how light the Venta could be with upgraded hoops.
The wheels are shod with Continental’s hardy 28mm Ultra Sports tyres.
The Venta does have one irritating flaw: the integrated seat clamp. The bolt head is angled towards the seatpost, which makes getting anything but a ball-ended hex key into it difficult, and the bolt head already looks worse for wear.
On a bike that’s otherwise so well crafted, this oversight could put it out of action if you have to order a replacement. With a redesign of this, the Venta would be hard to beat.
How we tested
Spending up to three grand on a bike is a big deal, and there’s a huge range of performance bikes at this most competitive of price points. So we’ve picked four contenders that we think bring style and superbike levels of performance for under £3,000 and are worth your consideration.
All of the bikes were tested head-to-head on our local loops, climbs and descents.
Also on test
- Lapierre Xelius SL 5.0
- Cannondale Supersix EVO 105 (2021)
- Giant TCR Advanced 1+ Disc
|Available sizes||45, 48, 51, 53, 56, 58, 61|
|Tyres||Continental Ultra Sport 28c|
|Saddle||Selle Italia Model X|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano 105|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano Press Fit|
|Cranks||Shimano 105 50/34|
|Cassette||Shimano 105 11-32|
|Brakes||Shimano 105 hydro|
|Wheels||MCT Disc clincher|