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