We have covered several high end bicycles on TGIFriday Chillout sessions, and today, we feature the new Basso Diamante SV of a good friend. A bike which is fitted out at the highest end of the market with Campagnolo Super Record EPS and Campagnolo Bora WTO Wheelset.
The owner of the bicycle is my friend Bobby Tonelli, who is a local YouTube and Media celebrity. The camera used for the majority of these photographs was also by courtesy of Bobby, who brought the Sony A9mkII with the amazing fixed focal length Sony G-Master 135mm f/1.8 lens.
This is not a review of the Basso Diamante SV, nor of the Campagnolo components. But a presentation of a high end road racing bicycle.
Chillout TGIFriday: Basso Diamante SV with Campagnolo Bora WTO and Super Record EPS 12 on High End Bicycles
Basso Diamante SV
Basso Bikes is an Italian manufacturer of road racing bicycles, founded in 1977 by Alcide Basso, brother of Marino Basso, an Italian sprinter of note in his generation. Marino was the World Champion for the UCI Road Race in 1972. The Basso name is not related to the other famous Italian cyclist – Ivan Basso.
The Diamante SV is the highest end offering from the company, who maintains that all manufacturing activities are done in Italy. Most Italian bicycle manufacturers, in fact almost all major manufacturers regardless of origin, have their factories in Taiwan or China. A case in point is one of the most celebrated Italian brands, Pinarello, is made in China with Italian quality control. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as carbon frame building is a labour intensive exercise, and China is has currently one of the highest skill levels in this industry.
The Diamante SV is pitched at the aero road racing bike category, a genre dominated by Specialized (Tarmac SL7), Cannondale (System Six), Merida (Reacto), Giant (Propel) and Canyon (Aeroad). The aero market is quite tech intensive, requiring wind tunnel testing, and have made it difficult for smaller brands to stand out. Some of the other Italian brands like Pinarello, Colnago do not offer an aero specific bike, but their top of the line models offer some aero capabilities, while maintaining an all round approach.
The Diamante SV was first launched in 2017, and the model we see here is the second generation model, which is only available as a disc brake version. The SV moniker stands for Super Veloce, or super fast in Italian. This tag is typically assigned to Italian machines which announces its intents to be very fast. For example, the Lamborghini LP 670SV was an all out attempt to produce the fastest car by the legendary maker.
The paintwork on this particular Diamante SV is called Black Camelot, originally in a matte blue and black. Bobby has added a ceramic overcoat, which transformed the matte finish to a glossy one. As presented to us, the frame looks a very beautiful dark blue/purple hue and black. Depending on the direction of the light and viewing angles, one can pick out different shades and hues. A fine, glittery finish in the paint, makes it glint and glow beautifully in the sun. The frame is available in 7 different sizes, and Bobby’s frame is a medium sized 56cm.
A series of aerodynamic tweaks have been made to the original 2017 Diamante, with changes to the tube shape now featuring the camtail styled truncated angular shapes. The seat stays have been dropped in the name of aerodynamics and a fork/tyre/wheel interface now offers the ability to use up to 32mm tyres to maximise airflow and reduce drag. This also brings increased comfort due to lower pressures accommodated by the wider tyres. The overall aesthetic is very slippery, and all cables and hoses are hidden in the fully integrated cockpit. Or as we say in cycling…very aero.
As a package, the Diamante SV is a beautiful machine. The frame is constructed from a meld of 3K Torayca T800 and T1000 HM carbon fibres. As a comparison, the Pinarello Dogma has been using Torayca T1100 carbon fibres since the Dogma 65.1 and perhaps the only bicycle manufacturer to use the T1100 material, which is usually only applied to aerospace and F1.
Campagnolo Super Record EPS 12s Groupset
A top of the line frame requires a top of the line wheelset and groupset. And this Diamante SV does not disappoint. The wheels specified are the Campagnolo Bora. This is not the top of the line Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO, but the Bora WTO 60 which features the wind tunnel optimized (WTO) carbon rims measuring 60mm in height. The main difference between the Bora WTO and Bora Ultra WTO is the Ultra version uses the company’s ceramic bearings which they call CULT. The wheelset feature the signature Campagnolo G3 lacing pattern. Pirelli P-Zero Classic tyres in a tan sidewall in 700x28c complete the package. In the wind, the WTO 60 provides a stable and slippery platform for the bike to ride like it was on rails.
The rest of the groupset is also Italian in origin. The Super Record EPS 12s is the top of the line offering from the Campagnolo. And as with all products from this legendary maker, offers beautiful aesthetic touches to the ergonomically excellent and a reliable, practical groupset.
Shifting is electronic via the company’s EPS system. I am familiar with the EPS system, having ridden it on a Baum Coretto. And the system is fast, efficient and works flawlessly. The crank is made from beautifully sculptured carbon fibre, and is 170mm long configured in a standard road racing 53/39 chainring setup.
The pedals used are the Garmin Vector 3 power meter pedals on Look cleats. These power meters are dual sensing, and the power data is reported individually for both left and right pedals. Cycling dynamics data is also relayed to the Garmin EDGE 1030 head unit. The rear cassette is Campagnolo’s 12 speed cog set configured for 11-32 teeth.
The Super Record EPS uses a hydraulic disc brake system, with Campagnolo Ekar steel disc rotors. In comparison to the rival Shimano’s Dura-Ace Ice-tech system which uses a laminate of steel and aluminium, the Ekar is more robust at the cost of a small weight penalty to the lighter, and cooler operating Shimano. The rotors used in the Diamante SV are 160mm in diameter and provides sure-footed and powerful braking power, with excellent modulation at the brake levers for precise control.
Specialized 3D printed S-Works Power with Mirror saddle
The saddle mounted on this Diamante SV is the very special Specialized S-Works Power with Mirror saddle. This is an expensive (SGD 675 retail) customized saddle, which is 3D printed in a high tech process. The process, which Specialized call the Mirror technology, is a 3D printing process utilizing a liquid polymer to perfectly reflect the rider’s anatomy. This revolutionary process creates a complex honeycomb structure that allows Specialized to fine tune the material’s density in a way impossible with foam. The result is a patent-pending matrix of 14,000 struts and 7,799 nodes, each of which can be tuned individually.
According to Bobby, the saddle is supremely comfortable while being very supportive, even for long rides. I did not try sitting on the saddle, but the material feels very compliant and comfortable to the touch.
The Basso Diamante SV with Super Record EPS and Bora WTO is a beautiful bike. Bobby reports that he finds the frameset to be very stiff, with excellent power transfer while remaining comfortable. The geometry makes the handling very stable, and the frame fits his riding style and body better than his earlier Ridley Noah. The ride quality probably errs on the firmer side despite the use of vibration dampers located in the stem spacers and seat tube junction.
While we did not put the bikes on the scale, on a side by side estimation, the Diamante SV in 56cm feels a tad heavier than my 53 cm Pinarello Dogma F10 which weighs in at 7.7kg including pedals.
Except for the photograph of the Pinarello F10 and Basso Diamante SV together and the image of the saddle which was photographed with a Leica C, all other photographs on this page was made with the Sony A9II with the Sony G-Master FE 135mm F1.8 GM.