Many might wonder who would spend £75 shy of £2000 on a winter trainer, but Tifosi’s £1925 carbon Corsa is a bike that’s not only plenty capable of performing its winter duties – it can do so much more. The Tifosi Corsa is a truly accomplished road bike. Forget the ‘winter’ label, if you’ve only the budget for one road bike this is what we’d recommend.
Living in the UK, if we were rational in our bike choice we wouldn’t be buying the latest pro peloton-derived super-light, super-skinny lightweight dream machine. No, what we would be looking for is a fast performance bike that can cope with British weather, particularly rain, and can take full, permanent mudguards. With the Corsa that’s exactly what Tifosi has designed: a full-carbon chassis optimised for bigger tyres and mudguard clearance that’s a more than presentable weight and maintains the geometry and ride of a competitive performance bike.
The Corsa’s ride is comfortable enough to handle any sportive. It achieves this with decent volume tyres, an accomplished carbon frame and a fork that manages to both track well and dull road buzz. The frame is set out with a mid-level head-tube height, a top-tube of 57.5cm, and a longer than usual stem – a racy 12cm length as opposed to the usual 10cm – resulting in a position that’s more than capable of handling flat-backed in-the-drops efforts. The steering, though, with a classy combination of Deda bar and that long Deda stem, is sharp enough to cope with mixing it up in a sprint. Add in a carbon seatpost and Selle Italia SL saddle and it all makes for a classy and racy ride.
It’s driven with a complete Campagnolo Veloce groupset that performs smoothly and reliably and is also hardwearing. A real highlight, though, is the wheelset: the selection of Campagnolo’s cyclocross-specific Khamsin CX wheels is inspired. While they weigh no more than the standard road version, the CX specification adds double sealing to the hub bearings, and that’s exactly what you want for a bike designed to spend most of its time in the wet. The quality SKS ’guards are welcome too, staying put without rattling or rubbing.
Riding the Corsa it’s easy to forget that you’re riding a fully winter-booted sensible bike. The way it reacts to both steering and pedal input is as good as anything at this price, and it’s easily the equal of many sub-£2000 pure performance bikes. The relatively low weight certainly aids in the reaction of the bike and its potential for pace. This also makes it a very capable climber, aided hugely by the 50/34 compact chainset up front and the 12-25 cassette out back.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a second bike for winter but you’re looking for a true all-rounder to ride all-year-round then the Corsa should be high on your list.
Gears: Campagnolo Veloce, Wheels: Campagnolo Khamsin CX. SKS chromoplastic mudguards.