Dean­ima Soul Gravel

A lively hand­made Ital­ian gravel bike

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - re­viewed by Matthew Pioro

A lively hand­made Ital­ian gravel bike

“But what re­ally im­pressed me was how the bike felt when I put pres­sure on the bars.”

In Septem­ber, on a day that was colder than I was used to, I went on just the type of ride a gravel bike is de­signed for: a bit bumpy and con­nect­ing roads and trails on a new-to-me route. I joined Michael Yakubow­icz and Matt Nor­man of Black­smith Cy­cle on their Satur­day-morn­ing be­fore-work route, which took us through some of Toronto’s ravines and over to some light Don Val­ley sin­gle­track. I ad­mit, I de­cided to walk the bridge that looks like a prop from an In­di­ana Jones movie with its nar­row slats all gen­er­ously spaced apart. I was rid­ing a bike that Black­smith car­ries, a Dean­ima Soul. The Ital­ian brand’s prin­ci­pal is Gianni Pe­goretti, brother of the late Dario. The broth­ers did work to­gether on the Pe­goretti brand from 1996 to 2005. Then, Gianni split. Soon af­ter, he worked with San Pa­trig­nano, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that helps peo­ple strug­gling with drug ad­dic­tion, to set up a shop in which youths could learn the art of frame build­ing. One stu­dent, An­to­nio At­tana­sio, be­came quite adept at build­ing bikes. Roughly five years ago, he, Gianni and for­mer Pe­goretti em­ployee Matt Caz­zaniga started Dean­ima. Now, in a shop just east of Trento, Gianni and An­to­nio build bikes from car­bon-fi­bre tubes pro­duced in Italy, as well as steel frames. “The Dean­ima Soul car­bon frame isn’t made of tube-to-tube con­nec­tions. In­stead, it’s a bonded-style con­struc­tion,” Yakubow­icz said. “It’s still hand-wrapped at the joints, like a tube-to-tube bike would be, but you don’t have ev­ery tube as a dis­tinct part. You have sec­tions like top tube/ head tube/down tube that can be mod­i­fied for size, but you still get a stiff­ness like a mono­coque frame.” I was struck by the seat tube, which seems quite nar­row com­pared with the beefy down tube and BB386 bot­tom bracket. The seat tube takes a 27.2-mm seat­post that of­fers a nice amount of com­fort on rough roads. If you’re a big­ger rider, your build can sport a 31.6-mm seat­post. Some of my other test rides were on the coun­try roads west of Water­loo, Ont., that fea­tured long stretches of gravel and the odd twisty bit of recre­ational trail. On the straight stuff, the bike han­dled the road chat­ter nicely, not only thanks to the nar­row seat­post, but also the flat seat­stays. The Enve M525 G wheels pulled the 35c tires out closer to 38 mm, which also helped keep things smooth. But what re­ally im­pressed me was how the bike felt when I put pres­sure on the bars. Some gravel bikes can feel a bit lan­guid in the cor­ners. The Dean­ima Soul’s turns felt di­rect. If you’re a rider look­ing for a ge­om­e­try that works for big­ger trips, the builder can lengthen the wheel­base and slacken the head­tube an­gle. For my half-day to day-long rides, how­ever, the ge­om­e­try I had was per­fect. Would I change any­thing? Well, if I were to get a cus­tom Dean­ima Soul, I might opt for fen­der mounts and a third wa­ter­bot­tle mount on the down tube. It’s just the kind of bike you want to keep rid­ing and rid­ing.

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