First released 22 years ago, the Basso Diamante is the Italian marque’s longest-running road bike. The 2023 update looks to ensure that it stays relevant.
Now in its eighth iteration, the new Diamante remains a race-ready lightweight bike, well-suited to long climbs and technical descents. In fact, it’s lighter than ever before. According to Basso, the redesigned frame, made from Toray 40t and 30t carbon, weighs 200 grams less than the previous model. A 53cm frame has a claimed weight of just 760 grams, which Basso says allows for complete bikes to “easily” remain under the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit.
The disc-brake Diamante sees a few tweaks to its geometry, although the super-short chainstay length remains a feature – just 400mm on the 53cm. For context, the new Trek Madone aero bike and Specialized Allez Sprint crit machine both sport a rear end of 410mm.
Now, this might not sound like a huge difference, but bear in mind that the recently released Pinarello Grevil gravel bike was rocking chainstays of 425mm – which aren't that much longer again than the Madone is compared to the Diamante...
Essentially take home here is that small changes to the length of the rear end have an outsized effect on the handling and feel of a bike. Longer chainstays tend to make a bike feel more stable and confidence inspiring, but with the caveat that they tend to be a little less agile and slower through the corners.
The fact that 15mm is all that separates a gravel bike from a World Tour road bike, to go 10mm shorter again is notably tight. Still, Basso has sought to allay this by lengthening the Diamante’s front wheelbase to aid “responsiveness at low speeds and stability at high speeds”.
Whilst this points to a responsive ride, with the sharp handling you’d expect from a modern race bike, there are some concessions to comfort too. The Diamante now allows for road tyres up to 32mm in width, in keeping with tubeless technology that promotes wider tyres run at lower pressure.
Elsewhere, the stack height, 558mm in the 53cm size, is less aggressive than many of its competitors and should translate to a bike that’s suitable for long rides as well as fast ones.
While many bikes are being ‘aero-ised’, such as Canyon’s new Ultimate, Basso has kept the circular diameter tubes of previous models. Reading its marketing material, it sounds like this is both an aesthetic decision as well as one designed to reduce weight while still obtaining stiffness. It reads:
“The circular shape, in addition to reducing the thickness and weight of the tubes, gives greater torsional rigidity, so that all the pedaling energy is translated into advancement and riding precision. This solution allows to obtain greater lightness, rigidity and control, with the result of not wasting power and acquiring reactivity on the climb and stability on the descent even at high speeds.”
The result is a slender looking set of tubes by today's standards.
The Diamante continues to buck trends with its seat stays. While dropped stays are now commonplace, Basso has maintained the Diamante’s higher stays, which it says “provide rigidity”. It’s seemingly all part of a balancing act in the pursuit of versatility. Basso described the latest Diamante as “stable, responsive, light”, essentially opposing forces that it hopes to harmonise to achieve the desired balanced ride.
In the professional peloton visible brake hoses have gone the way of cables and rim brakes as teams search for improved aerodynamics at every juncture of the bike. So, like any self-respecting race bike released in the past couple of years, the Diamante also comes with its own cockpit.
Named ‘Levita’, the integrated bars and stem route the hoses internally, resulting in a clean look that matches that of the frame and forks. The bars are offered in six sizes, with widths from 400mm to 440mm and stem lengths from 90mm to 130mm. The shallow drop of 119.7mm remains throughout, as does the reach of 76.7mm. As for the weight, the 420x100mm size claims to tip the scales at just 330 grams.
The Diamante comes with a proprietary seat post, offered with either zero or 15mm setback. It pairs with Basso’s 3B Clamp System Gen II, which secures the post internally.
The 2023 Basso Diamante comes in three colours, Opal White. Candy Red and Stealth, and is offered across seven sizes, from 45mm to 61mm. It’s available as both a frameset and complete build, with complete bikes offered with a range of builds including SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo electronic groupsets.
For more information visit bassobikes.com
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