Tifosi CK5 Classico review£699.00

Urban utility bike with the promise of touring adventures

BikeRadar score3/5

At the heart of the Tifosi Classico is a well-finished cromoly steel frame with tidy TIG welds. It has a full complement of bosses for mudguards and front low rider rack plus a rear rack, so this one could easily serve as a fully-loaded touring machine.

    The bike’s equipped with entry-level kit, but it all does the job well. The nine-speed Sora drivetrain is matched to an FSA compact chainset affixed to the frame with a now decidedly old school tapered bottom bracket. It all works well together with crisp shifts and noise free gear changes.

    None of that entry-level and basic kit matters once you get on board, as the Classico has excellent road manners. Its laid back and lazy handling is totally stable and it’s as happy cruising along city streets as it is traversing countryside back lanes. The big volume 28c tyres fit inside the guards with just enough clearance and make short work of potholes and crappy road surfaces, giving an overall feeling of plush comfort. That feeling is helped by the well-shaped compact drop bar and classic-look Velo saddle with its big San Marco style rivets across its back. The saddle’s soft padding makes riding in everyday clothing comfortable, and those full-length guards will keep road grime off your clothes to.

    The basic steel frame has plenty of life, offering a compliant and comfortable ride that manages to be flex-free when you pile on the pedal pressure. The weight only shows itself on big climbs but the low gearing means you’ll still make (albeit slow) progress.

    The SKS full length guards are among the best around, combine this with some tough and well (hand) built wheels and tough tyres and you’ve a true workhorse that’ll serve your urban riding yet easily meet the needs of the hardened cyclo-tourist.

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

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