A few people have asked me my opinion of the Basso Diamante so I thought I'd make things easier by directing them to this short post.
Its been about a year since I last rode it, so my memory of it is somewhat foggy. I rode ~1700km on it prior to selling it. Build:
- 2015 Basso Diamante 53cm
- 110 mm Basso Stem
- FSA K-force compact 40cm
- Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR with 25mm conti competition tubs
- Bastadized Campy groupset (mostly 2015 Chrous/Record/SR mix with 2014 SR cranks)
- Romin Evo Ti saddle
- Dura-ace 7800 pedals
- Cant remember the exact weight, but it was around 6.9kg Build quirk of note:
The cable routing for the front and rear derailleurs is made easy with a well designed sheath that runs the course of the frame. The same cannot be said for the rear brake however. It was a total PIA trying to thread the brake cable through the top-tube without a cable guide. A very strong magnet and about 45mins was required to thread the cable. Obviously it could be done faster by a proper mechanic. Fit and Handling:
The thing that really stuck in my mind about the bike was the geometry and the handling. The comfort-kit headset is a great design because it caters to a wider range of fits than much any other frame I know (I think the Cipollini NK1K has a similar system). Naturally I chose an ultra-aggressive position simply because it was available. I rode a 53cm, which has an unusually long reach of 593mm. With a tiny head tube, 110 mm stem one 5 mm spacer, I had an enormous saddle-HB drop of 11.5 cm. Though on paper it seems too long and too low for my height (173cm), it wasn’t! The low centre of gravity combined with a tight wheel base made for a frame with outstanding handling. I had never, and haven’t since experienced such a confidence inspiring handling. The bike feels firmly planted on the ground so you can just throw the bike into a corner without feeling your precariously perched high up on a thin piece of carbon. An ingredient that contributed to this brilliant handling was the sense of unification in the frame. The sense of unification is probably created by the front end being just as stiff as the rear. The bike feels like it’s just one whole piece beneath you rather than something in between the contact points of your hands n’ butt. Ride quality:
Obviously, wheel choice makes a big difference to how a bike feels, but the overall ride quality is somewhat muted. Road feel back is dulled out so you don’t get a great sense of the texture of the surface beneath you. Overall, I found its manner on smooth tarmac to be uninspiring. I recall riding around centennial part thinking to myself “Gee this bike is boring”. Admittedly centennial park is pretty boring to ride around, but I don’t get that feeling with either of my current rigs (Oltre, Dale, SLR01).
In terms of responsiveness at the pedalling platform, the bike really rides like a diesel truck – it’s slow off the mark and anything but snappy (compared to some other bikes in its league e.g. Madone 9.9, Oltre XR2, Cannondale Evo etc.). This is one feature of the frame which I felt let it down somewhat. Nonetheless, this is not to say the BB is soft. Rather, once you lug the bike up to speed, it stays there happily. As such, it’s a fastish feeling bike. The analogy of a diesel truck is really is spot on I think. Basically it didn't communicate much to you, it just plodded along.
As you might expect, comfort is ample for a racing bike. Overall body fatigue after 3-4 hours is noticeably less than I typically experience with my Oltre. Though tbh I cant really remember exactly what the comfort was like.
In a nutshell, it has some really nice traits - the amazing planted handling and the sense of unification - and some not so great traits i.e. slightly dull ride quality and slow acceleration profile.