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Oozing Italian flair, we take a first look at the titanium Top Force W

Ah the Italians... they know road bicycles better than most. Their hills are topped with heritage, they can boast some of the most iconic racers in the history of the sport and, well, you could fill many many books about cycling and Italy in the 100 or so years since the sport started out.

Passoni remains faithful to the old ways of building frames, by hand. From their factory just outside Milan in Italy, Passoni build just a handful of frames a day, thus ensuring their rarity value is sky high. The company started life in the early 80s when Luciano Passoni had a dream to build the best, most luxurious  bikes in the world. He recruited a custom frame builder who had been one of the first to build with titanium in the 70s.

Passoni have a soft spot for titanium although you’ll also find carbon and steel in their range of 11 bikes. Now Cyclefit in London are distributing the brand into the UK, we’ve at last been able to get our hands on an example... and what an example the Top Force W is! I feel the photos could write the words themselves... But I’ll give you a little more detail.

The Top Force is designed to be a stiff frameset, using Passoni's own specification 3AL/2.5V titanium tubing, that's ready to race. Very often titanium is seen as a material for those riders seeking a comfortable ride, but comfort isn’t the guiding principle with the Top Force; going fast is.

Cyclefit sell the frame with a Columbus Genius carbon fibre fork and headset which will set you back a cool £5,499. It’s then down to you how you would like it built up. The W part of the name stands for 'Wired' and this demo bike wears a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. The wires are neatly routed internally to keep the aesthetics very clean.

The bike is finished with a Passoni aluminium stem (with a carbon faceplate), a carbon-fibre aero handlebar with internal cable routing, a titanium seatpin and a Selle Italia SLR saddle. The wheels are Marchisio 50mm carbon fibre tubs with Veloflex tyres. That build kit delivers a complete weight of 7.41kg (16.33lb) which is very respectable for a titanium bike. Ours has a 55cm top tube with a short 145mm head tube, so its certainly built with a racing geometry.

And how does it ride? Hold your horses - we haven't got that far yet. We’ll be finding out very soon, and we’ll let you know how we get on.

Have a look at this video that shows the making of a Passoni titanium frame.

Find out more at www.cyclefit.co.uk

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

18 comments

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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Good to see a premium bike brand on here, Passoni are fantastic bikes but nothing new for Cyclefit. They've been doing Passonis for at least 18months.

Doesn't surprise me not had a test ride yet guys. I'm still waiting for the TK3 review, why do you take so long to ride them?

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Pierre [95 posts] 3 years ago
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Gorgeous bike - had the luxury of seeing a couple of other Passonis at CycleFit earlier this week and they do just ooze quality.

Front QR's on the wrong way round, btw.  3

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BigDummy [314 posts] 3 years ago
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One day, when I'm really, really rich, I'm going to buy a £10,000 custom-made titanium bike with a massive stack of plastic headset spacers on it. Just to annoy people.

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euanlindsay [82 posts] 3 years ago
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Lovely. Gutted I wasn't first with the QR comment

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notfastenough [3674 posts] 3 years ago
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BigDummy wrote:

One day, when I'm really, really rich, I'm going to buy a £10,000 custom-made titanium bike with a massive stack of plastic headset spacers on it. Just to annoy people.

One day, when I'm really, really rich, I'm going to buy a £10,000 custom-made titanium bike with a massive stack of plastic headset spacers on it. Just because I don't like back pain but I still want to ride nice bikes...

Ok, so the spacers might be ti as well.

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David Arthur @d... [685 posts] 3 years ago
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I know what you mean about the spacers. But, demo bikes (which this is) are often supplied with a handful of spacers because the company doesn't know who is going to ride the bike, so leave a couple on so there's scope for adjustment. This one does seem a little excessive I'll grant you that

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chris75018 [99 posts] 3 years ago
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Karbon Kev wrote:

why do you take so long to ride them?

Maybe 'cause they have to give them back afterwards?  3

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RobinC [8 posts] 3 years ago
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I guess you meant 3Al/2.5V?
Grade 5 ti = 6Al/4V
Grade 9 ti = 3Al/2.5V

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andyspaceman [244 posts] 3 years ago
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One day, when I'm really, really rich, I'm going to buy a £10,000 custom-made titanium (or possibly steel) bike with a proper length headtube - extended above the top tube weld if necessary, a la Pegoretti. Just because that is the best engineering solution when you suffer with neck/back pain, or happen to have long legs and a short body and need a short/tall frameset.

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theincrediblebike [40 posts] 3 years ago
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bellissima moto

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jediknight [22 posts] 3 years ago
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Love the look of this bike, ticks all the right boxes can only dream  20

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Repo Man [1 post] 3 years ago
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Sweet bike. From the video, it looks like they file down the welds. Too bad as they are the sign of a great craftsman.

Anyone know what kind of bar wrap was used? Never seen it in the states.

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SammyG [274 posts] 3 years ago
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Dear Santa...

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robert.brady [155 posts] 3 years ago
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Is that top pick seriously set up for testing? Is there no one at road.cc who fits that bike?

Rob

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dave atkinson [6214 posts] 3 years ago
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//25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lji8fqhDjY1qimhiho1_500.jpg)

takes all sorts, y'know

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grasen [11 posts] 3 years ago
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My passion weighs 7.6kg with pedals
Those batteries must weigh a ton
So what is the point of them? To make light bikes UCI legal?

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Mat Brett [618 posts] 3 years ago
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Karbon Kev wrote:

I'm still waiting for the TK3 review, why do you take so long to ride them?

The TK3 Just In went up three weeks ago. We give a reviewer four weeks with a bike in order to adapt to it, live with it, ride it over various distances and terrains, and in different conditions. We won't cut corners with our testing and will not be shortening this time period.

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bencolem [45 posts] 3 years ago
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Disappointingly monochrome for Passoni, I love their usual signature brown saddle and bar tape finishes.