Aero road bikes are the hot speeding ticket for almost every major brand these days, with the British outfit Moda the latest to join the fray.
And while the Finale isn’t exactly what you’d call cheap, it’s a long way from being the most expensive bike of its type, and we reckon it could suit a diverse range of riders.
HIGHS: Super light, aero all-rounder
LOWS: Flexible if flogged
BUY IF… You want an impressively light aero road bike
Even though it’s not the latest 22-speed setup, the SRAM Red groupset is still one of the lightest around, and it combines with the Finale’s full carbon frame and fork to keep the overall weight down to just a whisker over 7kg, which is impressive for an aero road bike.
As a result the Moda is definitely on your side any time the pace increases or the road heads upwards.
Even though it’s not the latest 22-speed setup, the sram red groupset is still one of the lightest around: even though it’s not the latest 22-speed setup, the sram red groupset is still one of the lightest around Robert Smith
SRAM’s Red groupset helps keep the overall weight to just over 7kg
The American Classic wheels are light, stiff, take minimal effort to spin up to speed and have a great braking surface – and you’ll be very glad of the instant snap of SRAM’s shifts just to keep pace with the Finale’s rapidly spiralling speed every time you give it some gas.
The fine-boned wind-slicing frame feels efficient and even when we took it out in the high winds that battered Britain at the end of October, neither the bike nor the wheels behaved badly.
The slim tubes and seatpost also avoid the jarring ride that some deep-tubed aero bikes dish out, with the result that the Finale is much more forgiving than most over longer distances or on poorer road surfaces.
Low-slung seatstays meet a tidy seat tube junction : low-slung seatstays meet a tidy seat tube junction Robert Smith
Slim tubes and seatpost help make for a forgiving ride
Handling is similarly balanced, and while it’s not the sharpest bike when it comes to carving a line on technical descents, it is consistent and predictable with a compliant feel throughout rather than having obvious stiffness in one area and flex in another. The softer ride also adds a noticeable amount of traction to the normally slippery Kenda tyres, allowing us to ride them without compromise once we’d built up confidence.
As much as the Finale’s low weight will help you when it comes to accelerating, more powerful riders might have to temper their torque, as this can cause the frame to twist enough for the brakes to rub against the rear rim under power. This is more pronounced riding on the flat when you’re crouched low to crank out maximum power than it is when you’re dancing on the pedals.
But the overall feel is still enthusiastically responsive, and if you’re not trying to wrench the handlebar out of the stem or mash a monster gear, the reduced drag and the low weight of the bike is more noticeable than any unwanted flex. This is especially true on longer rides where its enhanced comfort comes more to the fore.