I hon­estly think I have never been so fast on a road bike. But why?

Cyclist - - Epoca | Bikes -

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.

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