Battaglin Stealth review

Comfortable value-packed ride

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £879.00 RRP | USD $1,459.14

Our review

Easy to live with, providing you ditch the saddle
Skip to view product specifications

Entry into the rarefied world of Italian bicycles is usually an expensive affair but Battaglin’s Stealth aims to put Italian exotica into the hands of those with more modest means. 

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  • Frame & fork: Simple looks hide a seriously comfortable ride (7/10)
  • Handling: Steady with no drama, an easy bike to live with (7/10)
  • Equipment: Excellent groupset and finishing kit, terrible saddle (8/10)
  • Wheels: Not light but among the best you can expect at this price (9/10)

Giovanni Battaglin may not be as well known as Eddy Merckx, but like the Cannibal, the Italian rider went on to make bikes after ending his racing career. And though his palmarès doesn’t compare with the great Belgian’s, he did pick up both the Giro and Vuelta in 1981, and stage wins in the Tour of Switzerland and the Tour de France in the previous decade. So there’s no doubting that Signor Battaglin knows a thing or two about bikes.

Battaglin’s range is topped by the Super Record-equipped all-carbon C12, with the much more modestly priced Stealth propping up an extensive range of road machines.

The Stealth is based around a 7005 series aluminium frame, though given the proportions of our test bike’s head tube, it wasn’t the stealthiest looking bike around. That said, the black paint scheme is subtle, or ‘stealthy’ if you prefer. The top tube and down tubes have a triangulated profile, a distinctive touch at this price.

When it comes to the kit, most bikes between £800 and £900 come with Shimano kit – Sora, Tiagra, 105 or combinations of the Japanese company’s various groupsets. Things are a bit more interesting on the Battaglin, which sports a groupset from comparative upstarts SRAM, in this case 10-speed Rival, the cheapest of SRAM’s three groupsets. Straight out of the box on the Battaglin – and on other bikes that we’ve tried – the gruppo worked perfectly.

Fulcrum’s Racing 7 wheels are at the budget end of the Campag spin-off company’s range, but they kept rolling smoothly throughout testing and are an unusual and welcome sight on a sub-grand bike. Marketed by Fulcrum as a training wheel, they tend to be seen on bikes from £1,000 to £2,000, and we have seen them on bikes over two grand.

All the finishing kit is supplied by fellow Italian company FSA, including its excellent shallow drop bars. These are ideal for a new rider looking to get used to the riding position on a road machine.

The saddle, a Selle Italia XR, was most unforgiving. It’s a saddle that only Pinocchio could love. “You’d need an arse made of mahogany to get comfortable on it,” said tester Warren Rossiter.

When it comes to riding, the usual preconceptions of low-end aluminium frames is that they’re going to be pretty harsh rides, transmitting road imperfections into buzz at the bars and discomfort through the seat. We’re happy to report that the Battaglin does none of this.

In fact, a combination of a comfortable fork and compliant frame made this a surprisingly pleasant place to be, while an all-up weight of just over 20lbs made it light enough when the road started to rise.

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Handling wise, the Stealth is quite neutral. It’s not a flickable sprinting machine, but as a steady long weekend ride and commuter it’s spot on – and as a first foray into serious road bikes it’s sure to inspire you to ride further and faster.

Battaglin Stealth
Battaglin stealth: battaglin stealth
www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk

Product Specifications

Product

Name Stealth (09)
Brand Battaglin

Available Sizes 47 52 55 59cm
Rear Tyre Size 700x23C
Top Tube (cm) 60.5
Standover Height (cm) 86
Seat Tube (cm) 58
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27
Weight (lb) 20.1
Weight (kg) 9.11
Stem FSA OS 190 forged alu, 130mm with 4 bolt o/s clamp, twin bolt 1 1/8" steerer
Shifters SRAM Rival carbon, 10-speed DoubleTap
Seatpost FSA forged alloy, 350mm length, 27.2mm twin bolt clamp
Seat Angle 72
Saddle Selle Italia XR, steel rails
Rims Fulcrum Racing 7 pre-built, machined aero rims,
Rear Tyre Zaffiro
Bottom Bracket SRAM external type alloy cups, sealed cartridges, English thread
Rear Hub forged sealed cartridge
Rear Derailleur SRAM Rival
Headset Type FSA IS-2 integrated sealed cartridge, 1 1/8" ahead
Head Angle 73
Handlebar FSA Vero Compact, 42 c-c, shallow anatomic, o/s clamp
Front Tyre Size 700x23C
Front Tyre Zaffiro
Front Hub forged sealed cartridge
Front Derailleur SRAM Rival
Frame Material Tig-welded shaped alu with machined head tube, replaceable gear hanger.
Fork Carbon blades, alloy 1 1/8"steerer, crown and dropouts
Cranks SRAM Rival forged aluminium 2 piece arms,172.5mm, tubular steel spindle, 110 bcd, 50/34 alloy rings
Cassette SRAM PG 1070 10-speed, 11-26
Brakes SRAM Rival forged alloy dual pivot
Wheelbase (cm) 102