Dutch bike maker Koga – formerly Koga Miyata – is looking to raise its profile via its latest offerings, including the Solacio. Pitched as a comfortable race bike, the Solacio is available in four builds, of which this slick-shifting Ultegra Di2 version is the priciest: you get the full 11-speed groupset along with competent, if slightly portly, Mavic Aksium wheels, and Koga finishing kit.
Highs: Ride quality, value
Lows: Alloy seatpost, basic wheels
The Solacio’s carbon frame doesn’t have any radical tube profiles or fanciful acronyms to its name, but smoothly flowing lines and a satiny black finish with red highlights are stylish and understated. Slightly less stylish is the battery slung beneath the bottom bracket, but hollow carbon dropouts, press-fit BB86 and a full carbon 1 1/8–1 1/2in tapered fork are all bang up to date.
While it has the angles of a race bike, albeit with a slightly taller than average head-tube (14cm on our small test model), the Solacio certainly isn’t an uncompromising bone-shaker – Koga has achieved a very acceptable trade-off between stiffness, comfort and liveliness. The 27.2mm seatpost is a basic alloy one that’s underwhelming on a bike of this price, but there’s enough give through the rear end that we never felt battered, partly thanks to the 25mm Vredestein tyres.
Our one real gripe was that the Koga Comfort Race saddle was far too soft, applying pressure in all the wrong places. A 50/34 chainset and 11-25 cassette give a range of gears that’s generally adequate, but committed spinners may find themselves wanting a bigger sprocket at the back.
Although our 49cm test bike had a fairly typical 53.2cm top-tube, it felt a little cramped with a stem measuring just 9.5cm. The Koga own-brand bar was narrowish too at 40cm, but we got on well with the thinly wrapped skinny compact ergo drops which provide excellent bar-feel.
While we’re talking about kit, it’s worth mentioning that all the major fasteners have T25 Torx heads. While laudable from an engineering angle – and while Koga does supply an Ikea-esque multitool with the bike – it’s a potential frustration if you’re of a forgetful disposition, particularly as many standard tools lack Torx bits.