Italian frame builders Officina Battaglin claim that they have produced the first steel road bike with fully internal cable routing. The new Power+ Evo frameset features a special Columbus Spirit HSS tubeset that is assembled in a custom geometry for each rider. Numbers are limited though, with just 40 being made this year.
With the world of high-end road bikes getting ever-more integrated, Officina Battaglin set out to create “the cleanest look ever on a steel bike.” The problem, they say, is that there was no steel tubeset on the market that could be used to route brake hoses and shift wires fully internally.
The answer was a custom set of Spirit HSS tubes from Columbus with enough space in the head tube and down tube to house the cables, hiding them from view. While many brands are also citing drag reduction as a reason for hiding the cables, there are no such claims here. It's all about the looks.
Officina Battaglin uses the Deda Elementi DCR system, passing the cables between the 1 1/2” straight carbon fork steerer and the upper bearing, down the head tube and then along the downtube. The Deda system, like many others found inside integrated front ends, uses a special compression ring between the upper bearing and the fork steerer that has holes for the cables to pass through.
The front brake hose passes through this system, then enters into the fork via a hole in the fork steerer, before running internally to the brake caliper. It’s a very clean way of routing cables, but if you’re considering doing the routing yourself, then you’ll need something like Park Tool’s IR-1.2 Internal Cable Routing Kit.
Away from the cable routing, the Power+ Evo features some very neat touches that you’d expect from a €4,000 frameset. There is a choice between disc brakes and rim brakes, a sloping or straight top tube and each frame is custom painted in your favourite colour. Smooth fillet-brazed joints complete the classy finish. The only downside for traditionalists is the electronic groupset-only design.
Officina Battaglin is also rather proud of the paintwork, with each frame getting this stunning "cromovelato" finish should you want something flashier than standard paint. It is created by polishing the frame to a mirror shine before the chrome-plating process, and then painting the chrome with coloured lacquer.
For the smartest look, the integrated cockpit and seatpost get the same paint as the frame. Each frame is then finished with an individually numbered plate.
Officina Battaglin was founded Giovani Battaglin, an Italian professional cyclist that won the 1981 editions of the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. This was back when the Vuelta and Giro were held just three days apart. The Battaglin brand was created in 1982, before his retirement from racing in 1984.
Numbers are limited, and if you want to buy a frame, you’ll need to register your interest.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.