I honestly think I have never been so fast on a road bike. But why?
that are made nearby, to the paintjob, which is done on-site by another Bittante, cousin Giancarlo.
This R60, then, is not only unique in paint, but also in geometry. I was measured up by bike-fitting veteran Giuseppe Giannecchini – the sort of guy who can guess your inseam from a thousand paces – who then sent his plans to Epoca. Eight weeks later the R60 arrived in a large wooden crate (also bespoke), and the questions over the bike’s paintjob commenced. What quickly materialised as redoubtable, though, was the R60’s speed.
Aero in part
If there is a more ready inflator of the amateur cyclist’s ego than Strava, I’ve yet to find it, and while I don’t chase segments I must confess to combing over ride data to look for motivating numbers. I must also confess to being disappointed often. Until the R60 came along.
PBS fell like despots’ statues to the roars of imaginary crowds, and venturing down into the wilds of Devon I claimed KOM scalps that left all nine of South Hams’ Strava users weeping gently into their cream teas. I honestly think I have never been so fast on a road bike. But why?
The frame undoubtedly has aero pretensions. The sculpted seat tube hugs the rear wheel like a time-trial bike, while up front is a bladed fork and semi-hourglass head tube. Yet the R60 is not an aero bike per se. There has been no CFD or wind-tunnel testing and the massive triangulated down tube is about as aerodynamic as an airport-sized Toblerone.
Spec-wise, Deda’s new Superzero cockpit does turn the aero dial up a bit with flattened tops and stem, but Campagnolo’s Bora Ultra 35 wheels, although supremely stiff and light, are to my mind more of an aero-fied climber’s wheel than an all out wind-slicer like their bigger brother, the Bora 50. Thus I can only attribute the speed to two things: position and stiffness.
Fitter and faster
This is not the first bike I’ve been fitted to. One fitter optimised my position for a stock bike, while another drew up plans for a bike I built myself. The variances between those two were big, but nothing close to the vastly different position the R60 offered.
My usual top tube was elongated to 565mm, up from 553mm, the head tube 152mm, down from 170mm, and the advised stem was 120mm, up 10mm. The overall effect initially felt alien, and I was left pondering the idea that I might actively dislike this bike. But as bodies do, I adapted, and before long the fit extended well past the glove-like ergonomics of the Super Record levers and radiated through every
TUBES The R60’s down tube is a mighty, triangulated affair offering incredible levels of stiffness, while the top tube is still triangulated for strength but slimmed down to avoid adding extra weight.