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Basso’s bikes are in select company. In what has become an increasingly rare decision, especially when the material of choice is carbon, Basso still makes frames and forks at its Italian factory, providing an extra layer of control over the entire build process. The Diamante SV, Basso’s top-tier aerodynamic road bike, is among these made-in-Italy models and sets out to prove that an aero bike can deliver blazingly fast straight-line speed coupled with a balanced, elegant ride quality.
The “SV” in Diamante SV stands for Super Veloce. For those of you who don’t speak Italian (us included), that means “super-fast”—quite an apt name for an aero bike. At a glance, you will notice a couple telltale signs of aerodynamic design, including a seat tube shaped to shield the rear wheel from the wind and a fork semi-integrated into the downtube. But other tube shaping is a bit more subtle.
Up close, you will see that every aspect of the ultra-highmodulus carbon tubing is shaped to flow into the next. Perhaps the best line on the frame runs from the head tube down along the trailing edge of the downtube, then through the bottom bracket and into the chainstay. It all flows together tastefully, showing that style was not left to the wayside when pursuing maximum aerodynamic gains.
The Integra bar/stem is a beautiful component that perfectly complements the Diamante SV frame. With rounded bars, it fits more comfortably in the hand than many other integrated cockpits. We would prefer it if the cables were routed through the stem to minimize exposure and maximize the amazing aesthetics of the front end.
Any doubt about where the Diamante SV is from is dispelled by the “comfort kit”—a spacer painted like the Italian flag. Because of an aggressive racing geometry, some people might find some relief in this stealthy spacer that integrates naturally into the look of the frame. And, of course, those who don’t need it can easily remove it for the most aggressive aero position possible. To impart additional comfort into this bike, the 3B seat-post clamp, a three-point closing system, features a vibration-damping system while also providing a strong, secure grip on the seat post.
This bike isn’t cheap, but it’s less than we would have expected for a frame made in Italy. Costing $9,650, the size 56 build is on a par with other high-end bikes whose production more often than not is outsourced.
Every once in a while, a bike comes along with a particular ride quality that’s difficult to describe or quantify. This ride quality stands alone from any single familiar metric such as weight or stiffness or even aerodynamic slipperiness. Rather, it’s an amalgamation of these qualities, how everything comes together to create a greater whole. It’s the bike’s essence, its soul. Over hundreds of test miles in the saddle, there wasn’t a ride where we didn’t ask ourselves: “Why is this bike so good?”
Basso seems to know the Diamante SV rides phenomenally, too, chalking it up to a meticulously designed geometry combined with a stiffness-inducing oversized bottom bracket, downtube and chainstays. Maintaining control over the entire design and build process probably doesn’t hurt either. Featuring surefire Ultegra Di2 and a Selle San Marco Mantra CFX saddle, our build was well-outfitted. The only shortcoming came from the Microtech MR38 wheels. While just as fast as any 38mm wheels, in hard-driving efforts and criterium-style cornering they were a bit soft, absorbing some energy rather than focusing it all into forward momentum. For the strongest racers who might notice this effect, this is an easily amended situation thanks to the ample number of high-quality race wheels available today. Plus, Basso lets you configure different wheel options on its website.
This bike excels in racing situations where it’s pushed to the limit, accelerating out of a crit corner or charging up a short, shallow hill. The Diamante SV’s comfort makes it a ride-all-day race bike, a notoriously difficult distinction for aero bikes to obtain. And luckily, speed doesn’t seem to have been compromised to grab this distinction—the Super Veloce moniker is well earned.
$9,650 (as built)
18.60 lbs / 8.45kg (size 56, w/o pedals or cages)
Shimano Ultegra Di2 (50/34 crank, 11‧30 cassette); Microtech MR38 Disc wheelset; Basso carbon seat post; Selle San Marco Mantra CFX saddle; Basso Integra one-piece handlebar/stem.