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New £1,600 aluminium road bike arrives for review

We first met new British bike brand Tresca at the London Bike Show last year, and now we’ve received the company’s first aluminium road bike to hit the market. The TCA-1 is the company’s very first model and it costs £1,600 with a Shimano 105 groupset.

Tresca has been formed by a couple of engineers who wanted to put their skills into developing a road bike with a focus on offering good performance at an affordable price. They’re selling bikes directly through their website with a choice of groupsets from the 105 we have here right up to Dura-Ace, which pushes the price up to £3,500.

Tresca TCA-1 - top tube.jpg

It’s rather satisfying to be able to spec a high-end groupset on an aluminium frame because a lot of brands simply don’t let you, keeping them pegged at a price that doesn’t compete with their carbon models. Whether there’s a market for a Dura-Ace specced aluminium road bike is another matter. You can also buy the frameset for £850 if you'd prefer to build your own bike. 

Tresca TCA-1 - seat tube junction.jpg

It’s a smart looking frame and like nothing else we’ve seen before. The company has clearly invested a lot of time developing its own frame with custom tube profiles, utilising the aerospace engineering background of those involved, rather than simply picking a frame off the shelf and sticking a logo on it. 

Tresca TCA-1 - rear.jpg

The frame is constructed from 6066 aluminium, a material that best allows Tresca to meet its two objectives of performance and price, and it’s a pretty good looking frame with some distinctive details. We're liking the hydroformed seat tube which curves gently around the rear wheel into the dropped seatstays.

Tresca TCA-1 - cable route 2.jpg

This tubing manipulation is all about extracting the necessary balance of stiffness for responsive ride performance whilst ensuring adequate comfort, according to the company. “Every tube on the TCA-1 is the product of countless optimisation cycles targeted at pushing the boundaries of what is possible for an aluminium frame. Exploiting the full range of hydroforming, taper butting and CNC machining technologies to create something truly special,” explains the company.

Tresca TCA-1 - down tube shape.jpg

The purpose behind the flared seat tube, along with an oversized downtube, reinforced bottom bracket and tapered head tube are to deliver the necessary level of stiffness to best transfer your power into going forward and provide responsive handling. The lowered seatstays and chainstays are said to provide a bit of compliance to ensure it provides a bit of comfort.

Slotted into the tapered head tube is a carbon fibre fork with a tapered head tube. One detail that will get a round of applause is the sensible decision to spec a threaded bottom bracket. Other details include full internal cable routing, an external seat clamp and two bottle mounts.

Tresca TCA-1 - seat tube shape 2.jpg

It’s rim brakes as well, something we see less and less of on test bikes passing through the road.cc office, but very typical still on bikes in this price range.

The frame comes in three sizes (small, medium and large) and we’ve got a medium which equates to a size 54cm. The bike weighs 8.03kg (17.70lb) on our scales.

Tresca TCA-1 - bars 2.jpg

That's with a complete Shimano 105 mechanical groupset, DT Swiss wheels with Continental Grandsport tyres and Fizik finishing kit.

There are quite a few rivals in this price range that the new Tresca will obviously be compared to during the review process. There’s the Canyon Endurace AL Disc 7.0,  Bowman Palace:R, Cannondale CAAD12 and most recently the Trek Emonda ALR 5 Disc. Some tough competition then, so stay tuned to see how it fares. 

If you like the look of it you can get more info here www.trescabikes.com

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.