Dedacciai makes bikes and carbon fibre, which means framesets like the Atleta are packed with technology, in both their design and their construction.
The Atleta is made using a special resin with nano-sized particles that fill any voids in construction, and Deda’s AWP – Anti-Wrinkle Process – eliminates any wrinkles, creating a lighter and stronger frame.
Highs: Aero styling, with fast handling and an aggressive riding position. Great kit too
Lows: Seat slipping woes are a serious flaw; sort that and this is a sorted bike
Buy if: You’re after an aggressive aero-biased speed machine that’s as quick as it is good looking
At 980g, its frame is lighter than most aero designs, while the bladed aero fork adds another 370g. It’s unashamedly aggressive, with a low head-tube and long top-tube, parallel 73-degree angles, and a short wheelbase with short chainstays.
On rolling terrain it’s rapid, and the aggressive riding position feels perfect on technical descents, though the low front end meant we spent more time climbing with our hands on the tops than usual.
The large aero seat-tube and seatpost suggest stiffness, which plays out through the pedalling but doesn’t translate into harshness. The 25mm tyres and saddle help, but by shifting the seatstays lower down the seat-tube, reducing the wall thickness of the carbon above the junction and using a lightweight aero seatpost, Deda has introduced a controlled amount of comfort-inducing flex.
Athena might be the entry-level into Campagnolo’s 11-speed groupsets, but its precise shifts and great brakes are a match for Shimano or SRAM equivalents. We like the 52/36 chainset, too, as the Atleta really deserves the high-speed potential a 52-tooth ring offers. The Scirocco wheels’ aero profile is well suited to the frame as well, with impressive pick-up and stiffness.
Although the finishing parts on the frame are impressive, with carefully machined bolt-in guides for the internal cable routing (electronic and mechanical), the same can’t be said for the paint finish.
Overspray inside the seat-tube meant no matter how hard we tightened the clamp we couldn’t stop the painted seat-mast from slipping. We cleaned both with degreaser and applied liberal amounts of carbon prep, which did halt the slipping issues, but by then scuffs on the mast and seat-tube had given the bike a decidedly secondhand look. Ours might have been a one-off, but we’d expect better quality control; otherwise, we think Dedacciai is onto a real winner here.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.