In Mekk’s short history it’s marked out a decent niche for itself by making some distinct and well-priced machines with great specs for decent value prices. The aero-flavored and racing focused Primo was previously the bike it put together with some impressive specs for the budding racer. For 2017, it’s (rightfully) turned its attentions to the more endurance flavored Poggio.
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The curvaceous lines of the Poggio give the look of an Italian designed machine and the arched top tube and sculpted profiling of the tubes wouldn’t look out of place under the Pinarello or Bianchi stable.
It’s not just style for style’s sake though with an oversized head tube and substantial top tube junction flowing into a diminishing and flattening (horizontal) shape where it meets the seat tube.
Skinny stays offer a contrast to the chainstays and the large down tube changes from a curved diamond shape to a broad and more triangulated junction at the bottom bracket.
The ride position is on the aggressive side of endurance, so those coming from a more traditional endurance machine may find the shorter head tube and racy angles a little on the sporty side.
On the road it translates into a bike with a great combination of power transferring stiffness through the frame’s lower half and a decent level of road-buzz killing compliance through the fork and seatstays.
Previous incarnations of the Poggio felt firmer than this new chassis. The Toray T800 carbon frame has shed a few grams in the process of adding a little more compliance and an increase in clearance, so it’ll now accept a 28c tyre front and rear to boot.
The 105 drivetrain and brakes are pretty much the standard on bikes at this price for 2017 and I like the 50/34, 11-28 combination for when the road starts to rise (earlier versions did tend to be a little over geared for sportive rides).
The Saturae C44 carbon clinchers will turn heads both out on the road and in store (deep section full carbon wheels are a rarity at this price). It’s a very well put together wheel, with a magnesium alloy hub laced with DT Swiss spokes to a modern, wide blunted aero profile rim.
On the road they’re free of flex so there are no signs of tell-tale brake rub when sprinting or honking on the bars on out of the saddle climbs. The braking performance, so often a downfall on full carbon rims, is strong, with a grab-free feel that’s good. It’s not quite on a par with the likes of Zipp or Enve in out-and-out feel (though both of those cost not far from the Mekk’s complete bike price for a set) and you do get an occasional squeak under hard braking. In the wet they take a fraction longer than an alloy rim to take hold of slowing you down too, but they’re miles ahead of first generation carbon rims where braking was pretty woeful.
The overall performance of the Poggio is a fine balance between rapid acceleration and sharper than average steering responses for an endurance bike. It climbs with a snappy action and the descending prowess is nicely balanced between stable and sharp, which allows you to exploit speed through swooping turns.
The Continental Ultra Sport tyres are reasonably supple, showing just enough of the character of Conti’s top-flight GP4000s to impress with the added hard wearing reputation the Ultras carry. You may want to upgrade to a higher grade tyre come sportive season, but these treads are a fine training/performance tyre in their own right.
The Saturae branded finishing kit of bar, stem and post is all fine quality stuff, middling weight wise but decent. The bar is well shaped, though the tops are on the slender side, and are wrapped with nicely textured polyurethane tape to help keep things nice and comfortable. The alloy 27.2 post nicely matches the bar and stem, but I’d quickly upgrade to a carbon post to lose a few grams and further aid ride comfort.
Not that the Poggio is carrying an excess weight wise, the sub-8kg all up on the scales is decent, impressive even when you factor in deep section carbon wheels. At £2,200 the Poggio represents one of 2017’s better value buys, so if you’re in the market for a non-disc, stylish-looking machine with a ride to match then the 2.8 deserves a place on your shortlist.
|Front Derailleur||Shimano 105|
|Front Tyre||Continental Ultra Race 25c|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano 105|
|Rear Tyre||Continental Ultra Race 25c|
|Saddle||Selle San Marco Era|
|Wheelset||Saturae C44 carbon clinchers|
|Frame size tested||56cm|