Comtat’s carbon Tourmalet is light enough for racing and comfortable enough for long-distance sportive-type riding too. Prices start at a reasonable £,1399 for a complete bike; the version tested here is a custom build with more expensive parts.
Let’s face it, you shouldn’t be able to go far wrong with Campagnolo’s Record groupset, Fulcrum Racing 1 wheels and carbon kit from Shimano’s component manufacturing arm, PRO.
Throw in a couple of carbon bottle cages, a pair of Conti’s GP4000S tyres and a light but not particularly comfortable-looking Selle SLR Kit Carbonio saddle and the weight without pedals is a mere 7.09kg.
That’s only just over the UCI’s 6.8kg minimum weight limit, and so light that non-cyclists picking it up are staggered by its featheriness.
The price, at over three grand, is far from cheap, but it’s pretty competitive for a Record/Fulcrum Racing 1-equipped bike.
And with Comtat offering a straightforward online ‘Bike Creator’ speccing system, you could easily trim a fair amount from the overall cost without noticeably compromising the performance or adding hugely to the weight.
The superlight saddle alone costs £160, for example, and the PRO carbon handlebar, stem and seatpost are top dollar items.
As for the ride, it’s an absolute treat. The handling is fast without being twitchy, with changes of direction being made pretty much instantaneously.
It’s no surprise that at such a weight it climbs well – offering you the luxury of climbing in a higher gear than usual – and that wheel and tyre combo makes for very rapid acceleration.
Campag’s Record brakes are excellent too, offering great stopping power and a high degree of control on descents. The only weak is the saddle, which not everyone was comfortable on.