WIN­NER Rose X-Lite Four › Ul­tra-low weight and a su­per-sharp ride

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

It was great to ride Cam­pag­nolo again, an ex­pe­ri­ence that un­leashed mem­o­ries of bike tests of yore. Hope­fully, the Ital­ian groupset great has a fu­ture as well as a his­tory.

Both Cinelli and Wilier of­fer lovely, com­fort­able rides that will ap­peal to a wide range of leisure, fit­ness and en­durance rid­ers, with the tried-and-trusted Cinelli of­fer­ing very good value. Bianchi and Ti­fosi’s bikes show how far aero bikes have come in the last decade, as both of­fer the stiff­ness and ef­fi­ciency you’d ex­pect, but the han­dling and com­fort in both cases are ex­cel­lent. The Bianchi’s Coun­ter­vail road-smooth­ing tech­nol­ogy does its stuff, but over­all loses out in the value stakes to the Ti­fosi Auriga. The lat­ter may not have Bianchi’s ca­chet, but its Cho­rus groupset and £1000 car­bon wheels give it the edge.

Our two favourite bikes are about as dif­fer­ent as you’ll find, though both give you a lot of choice when it comes to com­po­nents. Go­ing against the grain, it’s the alu­minium Con­dor that of­fers a de­light­fully smooth, com­fort­able ride. The weight is very rea­son­able for the price, the Cam­pag­nolo Cho­rus/Zonda pair­ing ex­cel­lent, the im­pec­ca­ble all-round ride is ap­peal­ing and it has the ‘wow’ fac­tor.

The Rose X-Lite Four is very dif­fer­ent. At just 6.95kg this is about as light as you’ll find for the money, Cam­pag­nolo Cho­rus does its crisp­shift­ing, slick-stop­ping stuff with DT Swiss wheels, and the X-Lite’s point-and-shoot han­dling is su­perbly dy­namic. The stiff frame means a firm ride, for sure, though there’s room for much wider tyres if you want to take the edge off, but it’s also fast, fun, flies up­hill and down with equal aplomb and takes the top podium step. Cam­pag­nolo? Hope­fully good for an­other 85 years.

At just 6.95kg this is about as light as you’ll find for the money

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