A classy bike that lends itself to long days in the saddle thanks to its comfy geometry ■
Not very sprightly
Benefit from a wheel upgrade
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Tifosi appears to be a quintessential Italian brand. Its bikes have the aesthetic appeal we’d expect from the stylish nation, and are fitted with Italian components such as Campagnolo and Selle Italia. So it may come as something of a surprise to learn that Tifosi was created by UK distributor Chicken Cycles. Since the brand’s inception over a decade ago, it has become very popular with cyclists looking to bring a little style and class to their riding.
The frameset of the Tifosi CK8 Duro Veloce is constructed with 3Al-2.5V titanium butted tubing. It’s nicely put together, with very neat welds and a classic brushed finish. Tifosi calls the geometry ‘compact’, which essentially translates to ‘comfortable’, because the upright position is ideal for long days in the saddle. A full carbon fork retains some stiffness at the front to keep steering precise while maintaining the comfort expected of a titanium bike. With mudguards pre-fitted and pannier mounting options included, the Duro gives a stout nod towards potential fast touring or winter Audax rides.
The components are suitably Italian, with Campagnolo’s Veloce gruppo at the heart of the machine. The 10-speed groupset is as efficient as anything from Shimano and SRAM, although we do find that Campag kit sometimes
requires a slightly more hands-on approach to fettling, to keep it performing at its absolute best. Having said that, during testing, we didn’t hear a peep from the groupset, other than a slight tweak as the new cables bedded in — so don’t be too put off if you’re a ‘clean hands’ type of cyclist.
The levers and hoods are renowned for their superb ergonomics. They use a thumb-shifter to switch to smaller gears that takes a little getting used to but gives consistently firm, crisp shifts.
Entry-level Campagnolo Khamsin hoops come as standard. Though well-built, they don’t bring the frameset to life in the way a lighter, more expensive wheelset could. The Vittoria Zaffiro tyres are great for puncture protection and ride comfort, but are lacking in excitement. Indeed, the overall specification, which includes mudguards, is very much in keeping with the Duro — even its name implying toughness. This bike is very much at home knocking out the winter miles.
Testing bikes at this time of year can be interesting. Bikes like the Tifosi Duro are ideal when the weather turns cold and the rain begins to fall. As the race and events season winds down, it’s great to have a bike like the Duro on which to carry on cycling through the worst British weather.
The mudguards and rack bosses are a useful addition to the Duro’s armoury, but the ride is the key aspect — and it didn’t disappoint. For a bike designed to rack up miles, the Duro is suitably comfortable, reliable and easy to handle. The supple nature of titanium is fully evident in this frame, and although the budget wheels are rather less impressive, they do soak up the bumps and ripples quite effectively.
In Italy, the word ‘duro’ means ‘hard’; for a bike designed to suffer winter conditions, haul loads and carry on going, it’s suitably apt. Thankfully the ride isn’t hard, and we enjoyed using the Duro on epic training rides — where comfort and reliability are more desirable than low weight and speed. If you remove the mudguards and fit lighter wheels, the Duro may well come alive, but we were quite happy to enjoy it for what it is — a true all-rounder, ready for anything.
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