We were totally stoked to have the team at Bicycling NL review our latest creation, the Italvega Nuovo Supersport. Our take on the classic; it’s a high-end Aero frame that’s extremely comfortable to ride.
Dutchies can read the entire review at Bicycling NL. For everyone else, we’ve translated their review here for your reading pleasure.
Italvega Nuovo Supersport – Review of a bike we’d rather keep for ourselves
The Italvega Nuovo Supersport. Beautiful craftsmanship combined with good handling and a high ‘wolf-whistle’ factor.
In our opinion, there were really only two options with this bike. Leaning nonchalantly at the stoplight all-day to accept compliments or purely cycling the day away with this Italian revival.
An amazing story in a nutshell. Listen closely. Ben Lawee was an Iraqi immigrant to America. Out of Long Beach, California he designed and developed the first Italvega in 1970 with the legendary Torpado factory in Padua (Italy). After 8 years, the brand called it quits. It stayed dormant for a long time; that is until Nicholas Hurenkamp from Alphen aan de Rijn (The Netherlands) rediscovered the bikes.
After years of biking on titanium, he had one wish: to create a unique bike of his own. After a long internet search, he fell completely in love with the one-of-a-kind green beauty that is Italvega with its extraordinary steel tubes from Columbus that were made in Padua.
When his one and only Italvega rolled off the band after the paint job was completed by hand, he almost didn’t dare to ride on it. So beautiful! The reactions that he got were summed up as, “Wow, you’ve got to do something with this.”
And, that’s how it happened. The brand was re-registered, the frames were put back in production (via Ridley), and the painting was done completely by hand just like back in the day. Yes, you’re reading that correctly: the logos, lines, details, even the characteristic band around the tubing, handle bars, and seat post. All by hand. True craftsmanship.
WE HAD TO GIVE IT A TRY
The size 55 Italvega Nuovo Supersport we received for review is assembled with the Deda Superzero handlebar, a painted Deda Zero 100 stem, a painted aero carbon seat post, massive Scope R5 wheels, and a Campagnolo Chorus group. They also opted for the TT tires from Pirelli. For €5699, this bike is all yours.
In our opinion, a bike with these looks is begging to be finished off with Campa Super Record, but we totally understand the argument for keeping the price reasonable where possible.
The paint job is extraordinary. The color gradient, gorgeous details, and just knowing that it’s all been done by hand. Likely, this will be an issue for anyone scared to death of bumps or scratches. And, adjusting the saddle and turning the (beautifully hidden away) bolts does highlight the difference in the paintjob on the seat post. Reason enough not to do this too often.
We have nothing to criticize on the bike’s appearance! And, neither did our Sunday morning cycling club. You’ll be a welcome guest at the stoplight on this bike, where you’re sure to get plenty of compliments.
We’ve also got nice things to say about the driving style. Thanks to the aero frame, the matching seat post, and Scope wheels this bike feels fast. It’s not lightweight, but that’s not to be expected with an aero frame on high wheels. Once the bike gets going, there’s no stopping you. The delightful buzzing sound entices you to go faster and harder. The light, supple Pirelli tires accentuate the feeling and suit the bike well (not the most leak-proof, but they’re a fantastic ride).
High wheels, a tight and wide front fork, plus an aero frame usually don’t make for the most comfortable ride. But, in this case, Italvega has managed to please. Sorry, if we’re getting a little too dreamy, but the soft and flowing transition of colors fits perfectly with the riding experience. It’s smooth, sharp in the turns, and sincerely comfortable.
An additional advantage: the frame is stiff and, in combination with the fast wheels, this bike is a truly fast machine.
The Campa Chorus group works perfectly and the up and down shifting with multiple gears at once works seamlessly. The only downside of the Chorus group is the relatively flimsy feeling plastic shift handle. Shifting up doesn’t feel quite as immediate due to this.
The wheel choice is not typical, but definitely a hit! Scope is not (yet) often sold as a standard bike wheel choice. But, the Dutchies at Italvega wanted to bring a touch of Dutch influence in the bike and found that in the Eindhoven-based Scope. Precise, tubeless-ready, full carbon wheels with 55 millimeter height and ceramic bearings just high enough that you don’t blow over, but high enough to still be aero. With the included brake pads, the wheels perform well. Even in bad weather and rain, the pads offer plenty of brake capacity. The pads are soft; so, they will probably have to be replaced sooner, but good breaking with carbon wheels in the rain makes it worth it.
Aero frame connoisseurs have seen the front view of their bikes getting smaller and flatter through the years. Where the frame makes first contact with the wind continues to get flatter and the cables are worked more into the frame. When it comes to the Italvega, the front profile is more on the broad side. The cable entrances are constructed so that – definitely if you’re sitting in a sporty position with the handles at their lowest setting – you’ll end up with a tangle of cables. You have to ask how ‘aero’ that is?
With a small, beginning brand, we shouldn’t expect wind tunnel technology and a team of engineers. In this case, it appears that most of the decisions were made based on looks.
This is, by the way, our only objection.
THE STORY CONTINUES
There are two models: the Nuovo Supersport, geared towards the more fanatical racers, and the Super Speciale, with a relaxed frame more for touring cyclists. Both frames are available in two color-ways and in terms of finishings you can go in any direction you please.
We enjoyed the rides on the Italvega and return it with pain in our hearts. The life of a test editor is not always easy…
Text: Thomas Zijlma
Photo: Ramiro Ameneiro
Originally published on Bicycling NL: https://www.bicycling.nl/fietsen/italvega-nuovo-supersport-review-fiets-we-liever-wilden-houden.htm