Tifosi pitch the CK7 as a fast touring or audax bike, but that gives it the essential attributes of a capable winter road bike.
Highs: An excellent value winter bike that gives a lively ride
Lows: Bigger tyres as standard would improve performance on rough roads, and there’s clearance
Buy if: You want a winter bike with a dash of flair
The frame is a gimmick-free construction, with double-butted 7005 aluminium tubes. The down tube is a tall ovalised section and the seatstays make a bit of a sideways wiggle on their way to the dropouts, but that’s about it for distinguishing features.
The paint and graphics on our test bike lend it a classy air, though. It’s equipped with 23mm Vittoria Zaffiro tyres but there’s room under the SKS mudguards for 25s.
With an Italian name on the down tube (though the bikes are designed in the UK) it’s not surprising to see most of a Campagnolo Veloce groupset teamed with a Miche compact double chainset.
It’s an effective setup – shifts are more pronounced than on equivalent Shimano kit and the ergonomics of Ergopower versus Shimano STI are a matter of personal preference.
Whatever you think of Ergopower’s lever-and-button configuration, the shape of the levers and hoods is great, with a prominent yet unobtrusive ‘horn’ giving a very secure hand position. And while the CK7 has a relatively tall head tube, we still managed to get the bar down to our desired height.
The Tifosi’s Miche Reflex wheels with cartridge bearing hubs and bladed spokes are a particular highlight – they’re not as minimally spoked as some but are lighter than most. The whole package is impressively light, at 9.56kg (21.1lb) especially considering the CK7’s price.
Miche hubs and gears continue the italian theme:Tom Simpson/Future Publishing
Miche hubs and gears continue the Italian theme
Out on the road the Tifosi is confident yet lively. The CK7 is nimble, though the slender fork blades give away a little stiffness compared with larger-volume legs. Power delivery is entirely acceptable, with the oversized down tube keeping things in line between head tube and bottom bracket.
It’s a little more skittish on rough surfaces than some of the competition and you’ll feel a bit more of the road, but that’s largely down to the fairly narrow tyres.
We’re very impressed by the CK7 – it’s well equipped, it rides well and it looks good. The low asking price is the icing on the cake.