With the Basso Diamante SV, the company went back to the drawing board, and this is the result: an ultra-smooth, sleek aero machine, thanks to full internal cable routing and an exercise in hiding pretty much anything that pokes its head out into the wind. Some may mourn the ditching of the rim brake version, though.
If you're in the market for a £7,000 machine, check out our guide to the best road bikes – from £300 to over £13,000…
Back in 2020, Jack reviewed the Diamante SV and was impressed, although he did say it was showing its age a little compared with the current crop of aero race bikes on the market.
> Buy now: Basso Diamante SV Disc Record Hydro Shamal Enigma for £7,499 from Chicken Cyclekit
Basso must have noticed that too, as what you see in this latest version of the Diamante SV is a focus on making it more aero, with tweaks throughout the frame, such as the fully integrated cabling for a very clean front end and the shape of the tubing.
It's not just wind tunnel speed that Basso has been chasing, though. It's also focused on making the bike faster in the real world thanks to larger tyre clearances so it can be ridden faster on typical less-than-perfect road surfaces, adding more compliance in the frame for less rider fatigue, and easing the geometry just a touch, making it easier to handle for the non-racers among us.
Don't go thinking that the Diamante SV has been dumbed down, though. Not at all. This is still very much a performance machine.
First things first, for this kind of money this SV isn't exactly light compared with some of the competition. Canyon's Ultimate CF SLX 8 Di2 (£6,199) weighed in at 7.27kg on our scales – that's almost a kilo lighter than the Basso and it's got an electronic groupset that adds weight.
Merida's Scultura Team is also a lot lighter at 7.1kg, fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, for £7,750.
While I often say not to get too hung up on overall weights, an extra kilogram is noticeable when climbing and accelerating, with performance ever so slightly blunted.
That aside, the SV still feels sharp off the line or when launching into a sprint. Basso might have brought in that extra compliance, but it is not noticeable here.
In or out of the saddle, the SV feels responsive, especially around the bottom bracket area where there is no flex to speak of when hammering the pedals around. The chainstays aren't as bulky as I've seen on some aero bikes, but power transfer to the rear wheel is still controlled, with everything feeling tight back there.
Even at high speeds the Diamante SV is easy to ride. The head angle is slackened off a bit compared with many peloton-ready bikes, which makes it less of a handful, but there is still enough precision to cope with the technical stuff and to have some fun in the bends.
Frame stiffness is definitely there but it isn't all shake and rattle, with a decent level of shock absorbance, which also helps make the SV feel planted and boost rider confidence.
This version of the SV has a bigger stack height and less reach than the previous version Jack tested (same size frame), so this one isn't as aggressive in terms of the riding position. I could still get low in the drops, and the overall position felt aero and racy enough, but if you really want that low-slung feel then the SV might have lost that slight edge for you.
Personally, I found the Diamante SV a good compromise between speed machine and comfortable everyday road machine.
Even on rough back lanes or in the wet, the Basso feels stable, and I found it a pleasure to ride for short lunchtime blasts and longer rides at the weekend in equal measure.
The slender seatstays help with the comfort as does the 3B seatpost which absorbs vibrations thanks to a rubber gusset surrounding the seatpost.
Overall, from a rider's point of view I think Basso has been clever with the latest Diamante SV. It's created a bike that is still fast, with great handling and a comfortable ride, without losing the feedback and involvement that make it feel like it is truly in tune with you and the road.
Frame and fork
Basso's bikes are handmade by its own staff in Italy, so the SV isn't some mass-produced frameset from the Far East – not that there is anything wrong with them.
Basso says that what it is creating isn't the lightest or most aerodynamic bike on the marketplace, but a balance of both, along with handling, performance and cycling pleasure.
Having this in-house approach allows Basso to build the SV in more sizes than many brands. Because of the cost of the moulds for the carbon fibre, many limit their line-ups to five sizes, and some as few as three, whereas here there are eight to choose from.
Each frame size has the carbon fibre layup tweaked to provide the best balance of comfort and stiffness.
The biggest change for this current model compared with the previous is the lack of compatibility with rim brakes, going disc only. If you want rim brakes, you'll need to go for the standard Diamante that I reviewed last year.
By doing this Basso has been able to up the tyre clearance to 32mm (rim brakes are limited to 28mm with dual pivot callipers), which has included a new OpenFlow fork design. Basso says this opens up the space around the rim and tyre for increased airflow to cut drag.
Bigger tyres increases comfort too.
As you can see from the photos, all the cables and hoses run internally from the integrated handlebar/stem through the frame and fork, which also means the SV is compatible with both mechanical and electronic/wireless groupsets without any unsightly entry and exits points being left empty.
There are also obvious aero tweaks such as the way the seat tube closes up some of the gap around the rear wheel, and the way the head, top and down tubes all flow into one section at the front.
The seat clamp design is also quite clever. The 3B Gen 2 clamp system uses three screws that go through a steel plate into the back of the frame. This design keeps the seatpost secure and the frame section is completely smooth.
All of this is finished off with a paintjob that incorporates a 3D structure of ceramic nano particles – to create a less porous and more compact finish that is more uniform than conventional paint and less prone to drag, apparently.
The geometry for this 53cm frameset means a 545mm top tube, 138mm head tube and 530mm seat tube. The seat angle sits at 74 degrees while the head angle is 72.3 degrees. The stack figure is 560mm, with 384mm for the reach.
The Diamante SV is available in a range of builds at various prices, as well as just a frameset for £3,099.
This model comes with a Campagnolo Record groupset, and very nice it is too.
Before I spent all of my time on test bikes and rode my own, I had them all built up with Campagnolo groupsets, purely because I love the shape of the hoods. Their swoopy nature suits my hands perfectly, and even though all of my shifters were for rim brakes, Campagnolo has managed to maintain the shape on its hydraulic levers too.
The thumbshifters on the inside of the hoods might feel odd at first if you're more used to Shimano or SRAM's shifter systems, but their position is spot on for use on the hoods and from the drops.
The shifting action is light and precise, while the power from the brake callipers and rotors is smooth and easily modulated.
Basso's stem and handlebar are smart looking, and I got on well with the flat aero top section of the bar. It's very comfortable and can easily be ridden on without tape.
Our review bike came with a Prologo saddle, a short design that just happens to be one of my favourites. I love the shape of it, and its firm but plush padding.
Wheels and tyres
As for the wheels, well Campag has provided some more carbon bling to complement the groupset in the shape of a set of its Shamals.
With a 21mm internal rim width they are well suited to wider road tyres like the 28mm Schwalbe One Performance tubeless tyres fitted, and the 32mm maximum that the Diamante SV will accept.
The front rim is 35mm deep, the rear is 40mm, which gives you a wheelset that is a bit of an all-rounder. Shallow enough for windier days or heading into the mountains, with just enough of an aero edge for those faster sections.
They have a claimed weight of 1,585g, so light, but not competition leading.
This is a big money build at £7,499, but you are getting one of Campagnolo's top-end groupsets, wheels and a handmade carbon fibre frameset.
Cervelo's R5, which we tested fitted with a SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset, will set you back £8,599, for comparison.
If you want the Diamante SV with an electronic groupset you are looking at £8,949 for Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, or £7,199 for Ultegra Di2.
Compare that with Pinarello's Dogma F – with Ultegra Di2 it'll cost you £9,500, and that's the cheapest model in the UK line-up.
Overall, the Diamante SV isn't exactly what you call cheap, but when you take everything into consideration and look at some of the opposition it's not a bad price considering the handbuilt quality. I like the geometry too. A few of the measurements might have been made less aggressive than the previous model, but on the whole the SV is still a high-performance road bike with a comfortable edge.
Great ride quality and handling from this beautiful piece of Italian craftmanship
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Make and model: Basso Diamante SV Disc Record Hydro Shamal Enigma
List the components used to build up the bike.
Basso's UK distributor Chicken Cyclekit lists:
Components: Campagnolo Record 12x Hydro
Chainset: Campagnolo Record 12x
Disc Brakes: Campagnolo Record Hydro
Cassette: Campagnolo Chorus 12x
Chain: KMC X12 Silver/Black
Saddle: Selle Italia model X
Handlebar: Aero Bar
Stem: 0 Deg
Seatpost: Diamante SV Carbon
Wheelset: Campagnolo Shamal Carbon
Tyres: Schwalbe One Performance TLE 700x28c
Bottom Bracket: BB86 86.5 x 41
Headset: Fully Integrated
Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Chicken Cyclekit says, "A fine racing bike has one job and one job only: to aid its rider to go as fast as possible, under control and by consuming less energy. This is the design input behind the development of the Diamante SV. Extreme efficiency, reactivity and control render this frame capable of delivering incredible speed, hence the moniker SV, or Super Veloce (Speed).
Every tube in the Diamante SV's construction has been optimized in terms of its internal structure and external form, using the most sophisticated ultra-high modulus carbon fibres available, to render the bike incredibly reactive and efficient. It is however the external form of these very tubes that have been meticulously studied to provide an overall aerodynamic advantage that benefits the rider in a versatile manner.
The fork continues this obsession for aerodynamics and speed by providing wider spacing between the tyre and wheel allowing air to filter through with less hindrance. By widening this gap, Basso has made this frame future proof by making it compatible with tyres up to 32mm wide. The fork has been designed to be vertically compliant, yet horizontally rigid. This simply means that the while there is some shock absorption within the Carbon lay-up of the fork, it's completely rigid and reliable when you're out of the saddle and sprinting."
The SV balances high-speed performance with a comfortable ride and position.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
According to Chicken Cyclekit the model range starts with Shimano Ultegra Di2 for £7,199 and tops out with Dura-Ace Di2 for £8,949.
Overall rating for frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Great build quality throughout and finished with that 'special' paint job.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Both the frame and fork are made from carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is still very much in the race bike category, although it is a little less aggressive compared to the previous version.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The stack and reach figures are typical of a bike designed to be ridden hard and fast, while not being as aggressive as a full race machine.
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
For what is a stiff platform, the Diamante SV manages to keep road buzz to a minimum.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness is impressive through the parts of the frame designed to handle power input.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Overall, efficiency is good, although there are a lot of lighter bikes out there for this sort of money.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? The handling is quick without being twitchy.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The steering works well for all kinds of eventualities, from smooth open roads to technical descents.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
I got on well with the Prologo saddle, finding it very comfortable.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The Campagnolo Record carbon fibre chainset has loads of stiffness for out-of-the-saddle efforts.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
The Record groupset offers a large spread of gears acposs the 12-speed cassette and double chainrings.
Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
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Rate the drivetrain for performance:
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Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
Campagnolo's Record groupset is great to use thanks to comfortable ergonomics and smooth shifting.
Rate the wheels for performance:
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Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
A solid set of wheels from Campagnolo. They offer a nice balance between speed and weight so work on all kinds of topography.
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Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
The Schwalbe tyres are some of the best on the market for grip and performance, really suiting the characteristics of the Diamante.
Rate the controls for performance:
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Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The aero handlebar is comfortable to use, and I was a fan of the saddle shape.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Looking at the spec sheet alone, you can see that bikes with a similar build and a lighter weight can be had for quite a chunk less, like the Canyon and Merida mentioned at the top of the review. You need to take into account the fact that the Basso is handbuilt too, though.
Rate the bike overall for performance:
Rate the bike overall for value:
Use this box to explain your overall score
For the high, handbuilt quality of the Basso I think the price is justified. It's backed up by the ride quality and the way that the Diamante behaves. It's quite a bit heavier than some 'superbikes', but overall I think it's very good.
Age: 44 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
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