Tifosi Cavazzo 1.2 review

British-designed, Italian-named all-road machine

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £1,475.00 RRP

Our review

Clever disc bike that’s every bit the equal of offerings from the big brands
Buy if, You want a good-value cruiser and are prepared to upgrade the brakes
Pros: Well-balanced frame with very good handling and comfort
Cons: Average brakes hamper its overall potential
Skip to view product specifications

Tifosi is the brainchild of British company Chicken Cycle Kit, distributor of Campagnolo and Cinelli, alongside other – mainly Italian – marques.

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It started out making audax and winter training bikes, but has now branched out to race bikes – and this disc-braked road-cum-gravel Cavazzo.

It comes with front and rear thru-axles, though the mix of a 15mm front and 12mm rear is one you’re more likely to find on a mountain bike than a road machine. However, it does ensure resolute rigidity with no disc rub at any point.

Understated good looks

The Cavazzo has a somewhat low-key frameset, though some described the combination of matt and gloss primer grey and black as ‘handsome’. The angular frame has pretensions towards being an all-road machine, but the geometry is very much standard road bike fare, with only minor nods in the direction of distance and rough-stuff riding.

The front end is a scant 10mm taller than tifosi’s out-and-out road bikes: the front end is a scant 10mm taller than tifosi’s out-and-out road bikes
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The front end is just 10mm taller than Tifosi’s out-and-out road bikes

The wheelbase is only marginally longer than on Tifosi’s road bikes, with the front just 10mm taller and the reach a mere 5mm longer. So when you’re in the saddle and pushing hard it still feels sharp and responsive, with just enough room to relax if you want to spin a little more and take in the scenery. And why wouldn’t you…?

The straight-bladed fork looks like it will be unforgiving, but Schwalbe’s wonderfully plush 30mm One tyres easily compensate for any potential harshness. Their circular dot pattern tread is superb in pretty much all conditions, and particularly impressive in the wet.

Tifosi has created a bike that handles well and that’s reasonably specced for the money: tifosi has created a bike that handles well and that’s reasonably specced for the money

Tifosi has created a bike that handles well and that’s reasonably specced for the money

On noisy surfaces a bit of road buzz will reach your hands through the super-stiff Race One alloy bar, but it’s nothing we couldn’t deal with, and thicker bar tape or a layer of padding under the tape would easily cure it. The Cavazzo’s low-slung super-skinny seatstays do a first rate job of killing rear-end buzz, and the stiff alloy seatpost is topped by Selle Italia’s well-padded Novus saddle.

All-round capabilities

The Cavazzo is well set-up to take you off the beaten track. Its compact crankset and ultra-wide 11-32 cassette offer bail-out gears for even the steepest climbs, and a top gear big enough to power you down descents and along the flat. The wheels are from Weinmann, which was a big name back in the 1970s and ’80s, though its wheels are a much rarer sight today. The XC180 rim is a little wider than standard, and their 18mm internal width proved a good match for the 30mm tyres. The hubs ran smoothly too – even after being submerged in some of December’s flooded roads.

The trp mechanical disc brakes worked well enough, but don’t compare with hydraulic options: the trp mechanical disc brakes worked well enough, but don’t compare with hydraulic options
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The TRP brakes are okay, but don’t compare with hydraulic options

The wheels felt less weighty on climbs than we expected from budget disc wheels. Their 437g rim weight is reasonable rather than light, but they held their speed well over rolling terrain. It’s only on descents that the spec starts to hold back performance. TRP’s Lyra cable disc brakes work well enough, but the feel at the lever is hard and a little numb, and they’re outclassed by TRP’s justifiably popular cable-actuated Spyres, and are a long way behind the hydraulic options out there.

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But that’s the Cavazzo’s only obvious weakness. Tifosi has created a bike that handles well and which is reasonably specced for the money. The frame is easily good enough to justify some kit upgrades too, most notably those rather average brakes.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Cavazzo 1.2
Brand Tifosi

Available Sizes XS S M L XL
Saddle Selle Italia Novus
Wheelbase (cm) 99.5
Top Tube (cm) 53
Standover Height (cm) 78
Seat Tube (cm) 46
Chainstays (cm) 41.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 28
Wheelset Weinmann XC180 disc
Weight (kg) 8.85
Trail 6.5
Stem Race One alloy 31.8mm, 95mm
Shifters Shimano Tiagra
Seatpost Race One alloy 27.2mm
Seat Angle 72.5
Rear Wheel Weight 1880
Bottom Bracket PressFit
Rear Tyre Schwalbe S-One Tubeless Easy V-guard 700x30c
Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
Headset Type FSA
Head Angle 72
Handlebar Race One alloy 31.8mm, 42cm
Front Wheel Weight 1390
Front Tyre Schwalbe S-One Tubeless Easy V-guard 700x30c
Frame Material UD Carbon
Fork Offset 4.5
Fork UD Carbon
Cranks Shimano Tiagra 50/34t
Chain KMC
Cassette Shimano CSHG500- 10, 11-32t
Brakes Tektro Lyra mechanical discs
Frame size tested L