RACER ROSA Lombardi, £1000, www.racerrosabicycles.co.uk
At first glance the Lombardi may apear expensive, however, you have to realise that this is a custom bike, with a frame built precisely to an owner’s dimensions. You also get to choose a specification that suits your pocket, and Racer Rosa has made recycling a principle in their business, whether re-using old stocks of retro components or specifying recycled parts.
The frames are made in Italy from Columbus Thron steel and the bike we tested was kitted out with unfussy, top-quality kit: Miche hubs and chainset, Campagnolo brakes, quill stem and a tasty Supertype seatpin. If you like minimalist décor you will be delighted: only subtle engraving on the bottom bracket and fork crown reveal the bike’s origins.
The fillet-brazed joints on the frame are smooth and the paintwork is rich. Long term durability, rather than minimal weight, is the approach, but the bike still weighs in at less than 10kg.
The ride's comfortable and predictable as befits a frame made with double-butted chromoly. Our test bike came in grass green (main picture), but you get to choose any colour you want. Of course there's a cost to such personalisation — a grand or more for a complete bike — but then some frame-builders will charge you a similar amount for the frame alone. TB
PROS custom fit and finish
CONS custom cost