We’ve had a few Italian bicycles pass through the road.cc office in recent weeks, and the latest is the Battaglin S11. Perhaps not as well known as many other Italian brands, Battaglin is a company that was founded in the early 80s by ex-professional racing cyclist Giovanni Battaglin, with victories in the Giro d’Italia and La Vuelta.
Brief history lesson over (there’s lots more on their website if you want to gen up), let’s turn our attention to the S11 we have here for testing. Battaglin are brought into the UK by Wiggle and, they say, will be available in mid-August. They’re currently selling the S11 for the discounted price of £498.95.
That gets you an aluminum frame with a Shimano Sora 9-speed groupset, including the latest Dual Control shifters with the downshift lever behind the brake lever rather than the old thumb button. That means the same shifting action essentially as Shimano's high-end groups. There’s a compact chainset so you should have no concerns with scaling steep hills.
Battaglin have specced their own 30mm semi-deep aero wheels shod with Michelin Dynamic Sport 23mm tyres. The compact handlebars, seatpost and stem are branded Uno and the saddle is a Selle Aventis 3. You can't expect flashy kit at this price, but the parts are all nicely shaped, well finished and look the part, and certainly feel good based upon an early inspection. We've not ridden this bike yet, though - that comes later.
The 7005 aluminium frame is smartly finished, and while it doesn’t pack all the modern features you’d find higher up the price scale, it is nevertheless well done. The down tube is ovalised and enlarged, and you get oversized seatstays and curved chainstays. A T800 carbon with an aluminium steerer tube is house inside the non-tapered 1 1/8in head tube with an elegant hourglass profile. There’s a decent stack of headset spacers for bar height adjustment.
Battaglin have routed the cables externally, so they’re easy to service. There’s a threaded external bottom bracket, again easily serviceable. The frame comes with a smart paint job but we're not sure about the words ‘high performance’ along the top tube - seems a bit tacky to us.
The frame is well proportioned with a 17.5cm head tube on this size large. The effective top tube measurement is 57.5cm. The complete bike weighs in at 9.66kg (21.25lb).
£500 is a competitive price point, and for many marks the entry-level for a road bike capable of sportives or racing, and at Wiggle’s discounted price the Battaglin S11 seems to offer good value for money. Standby for a review in the coming weeks. More at www.wiggle.co.uk/battaglin-s11-sora-2013/
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.