Rondelli First Ride review

Cycling Weekly Verdict

All in, the Rondelli is a supremely stiff frame, in every respect, which makes it an uncompromising race bike. Frameset: £1,250 Bike as tested: £1,999

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Good looks

  • +


  • +

    Custom spec

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Harsh ride

  • -

    Bit sluggish on the climbs

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Its swooping rear seatstays and aggressive angular main tubes make the Rondelli a fierce-looking piece of kit, with its looks suggesting that its priority is all about stiffness.

What this translates into is an incredibly stiff ride and you certainly don't feel as if any energy is being lost, particularly when sprinting hard, which is ideal in a frame designed for racing. With it being so stiff this naturally translates into a superbly responsive frame, allowing you to turn in with the confidence that the bike is going to end up where you put it through a turn. This is partly thanks to the large, square-edged top tube.

The downside to the frame being so stiff is that the ride is somewhat compromised with a harsh feel that translates a fair amount of the road vibration to the rider. I like a solid feeling ride but the surprised even me with the amount of road feedback. You'll either love that feeling or you won't.

There was only one other area that it was left wanting. Sadly it lacked a light-footed feel of a truly classy ride and although the bike was not sluggish, the lack of vivaciousness was definitely felt on the steeper climbs, something I put partly down to the overall weight and specifically the wheels. Rondelli builds all its frames to the customer's requirements so the weight is something that could quite easily be reduced.

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