Sarto Dinamica Custom review£2,850.00

Bespoke Italian carbon tailoring

BikeRadar score4.5/5

These days, when off -the-peg carbon frames are generally excellent, reliable and affordable, is there a need for custom carbon? Or put another way, when a chain store suit fits, why go to Savile Row?

Handily, Veneto-based Sarto takes its name from sartor, Latin for tailor – which is just what the Italian company does with its carbon frames.

    As well as a range of stock sizes, it offers a full bespoke service. If you want it, Sarto will build it. Our example was made for a flexible 63-year-old who has short legs for his height. Because of a lower back problem, he wanted something that would remain comfy and handle well with no toe overlap, as he mostly rides in the saddle.

    What we have is a fairly long semi-compact frame and, thanks to its 130mm stem, a fairly aggressive position. The 160mm head tube has only a 5mm spacer, adding solidity to the 1 1/8–1 1/2 in steerer tube, and the tubes are generally rounded, with no angular shaping. A subtle sweep in the chainstays and slightly flattened seatstays with a Y-shaped brake bridge are the most notable features.

    Made in italy to your own specification – so if you don’t like the look of the finished bike it’s all your own fault:
    Made in italy to your own specification – so if you don’t like the look of the finished bike it’s all your own fault:

    Made in Italy to your own specification – so if you don’t like the look of the bike it’s your fault

    This isn’t a cheap frame, but if you’re wondering whether you’d feel the difference between it and your current ride, the answer in almost every case is yes. The Sarto has a refined sense of urgency, and within a couple of miles we felt completely at home, the bike seemingly working with us to speed our progress.

    It might ‘only’ have a BSA threaded bottom bracket, but power transfer from the Shimano Ultegra crank and the rear end is such that you’ll not want for more. With a 31.6mm seatpost, albeit in carbon, we wondered if the ride might be firm, but the carbon layup and vibration-reducing Y-Tech bridge is dismissively smooth even on the worst roads.

    Spin’s koppenberg fat boy wheels are designed and built in england:
    Spin’s koppenberg fat boy wheels are designed and built in england:

    Spin’s Koppenberg Fat Boy wheels are designed and built in England

    The Spin wheels play a part too – rims that are 25mm wide and tall fitted with 25mm rubber not only roll over road obstacles, but grip gloriously. Seat tube clearance is tight, but as an all-round wheelset, the Koppenbergs are excellent.

    The Sarto’s handling is impeccable, combining stability and seat-of-the-pants telepathic control. Climbing is fast, and the Dinamica’s descending composure gives confidence. On a hard, hilly ride, there was nothing we could fault. The Dinamica is race bike-rapid, sportive-crushingly capable and all day comfy. Whether it’s for Sunday best, or just because, try custom, you won’t be disappointed.

    Spec as tested:

    • Weight: 7.29kg (custom geometry)
    • Frame: M46J custom carbon with 3k finish
    • Fork: M46J carbon with 3k finish
    • Gears: Shimano Ultegra, 50/34, 11-28
    • Brakes: Shimano Ultegra
    • Wheels: Spin Koppenberg Fat Boy
    • Tyres: 25mm Continental Grand Prix 4000S II
    • Bar: Deda Zero 100 shallow alloy
    • Stem: Deda Zero 100 alloy
    • Seatpost: Sarto 31.6mm carbon
    • Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Flow Team Edition

    This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Robin Wilmott

    Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
    Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
    • Age: 45
    • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
    • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
    • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
    • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

    Related Articles

    Back to top