Passoni Nero XL with Super Record - Blacksmith Cycle Bike of the Day #17

Passoni Bicycles produce, quite simply, some of the finest bikes on the planet.  Exquisite attention to detail, the highest grade materials available, and jaw-dropping paint schemes are just a few of the characteristics associated with Passoni.  As Canada's only current Passoni dealer, we are pleased to offer this look at our own shop Passoni Nero XL... [caption id="attachment_1224" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Passoni Nero XL in the flesh...yes, they really do exist!"][/caption] The Build : Campagnolo Super Record, Cinelli RAM carbon bar and cages, Cinelli carbon stem, Fizik Kurve Chameleon saddle and ENVE 6.7 wheels The Weight: 14.9 lbs complete with Keywin Ti pedals and cages [caption id="attachment_1227" align="alignnone" width="628" caption="New 2012 Nero XL paint scheme can be colour customized"][/caption] Technical details: Passoni hand-build their bikes to custom geometries and unique paint schemes each and every time. This Nero XL model utilizes tube-to-tube T800 hi-mod carbon tubing with 6/4 Titanium drop-outs, brake-bridge and bottom bracket shell for incredible stiffness. With a 50 mm downtube, 40 mm top tube, and 35 mm seat tube, the Nero XL is designed, Passoni claims, for "people who have a very competitive spirit."  Passoni finish things off with a Columbus Genius tapered carbon fork so don't expect a whimpy ride quality...this baby is hella stiff! Ridiculous paint quality and detailing complete a jaw-dropping overall package.
[caption id="attachment_1217" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Engraved titanium head-tube badge is super clean, and metallic paint is a show stopper"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1216" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="6/4 Titanium dropouts are some of the finest we've seen and even say "Passoni""][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1214" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Cinelli carbon bar and stem are painted to match the colour scheme"][/caption] The Ratings… Ride-quality/Comfort: 9/10 – great at dampening vibrations, with a nuanced road feel Front-end Stiffness: 10/10 – as stiff as any Pro-Tour front-end, without being harsh BB Stiffness: 9/10 – massive tubes + titanium BB shell = rock solid Style/Aesthetics: 9/10 – polarizing for sure, but I'm in the "love it" camp Technology/Weight/Value:  7/10 – undeniably pricey, but so is a Bugatti Veyron Total = 45/50 – arguably the finest multi-material bike on the planet [caption id="attachment_1225" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="We can also stay classy with Bora One wheels and FMB tubulars"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1209" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Hand-painted components help make this a very special package"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1215" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Fizik Kurve Chameleon - the latest and greatest, for major comfort - with an FSA cappy"][/caption] The Good: There is something undeniably special about a Passoni, even in a shop full of bike art.  The hand-finished titanium dropouts, the paint-job that looks like it belongs in the Uffizi Gallery, and simple manner in which the round tubes come together make this a bike that people often say is the nicest they have ever seen.  Add in the Passoni artisanal approach and, well, you get what you pay for. The Bad: Definitely a stiff and race-worthy bike, but who would race something so beautiful?  There are also Passoni options (such as the Nero, or Top Genesis) that would be more comfortable as a daily driver. For those who are looking for top notch stiffness without the harshness of a typical monocoque, this Nero XL is the one. The Skinny: Other than perhaps a bike from Baum crew, this is pretty much the pinnacle of bicycle construction. Sold as frame-sets or frame "kits" [with matching bar, stem, cages, saddle and leather bar-tape], Luciano Passoni's dream of building bikes that meet the standard of "beauty and perfection" is still very much alive. [caption id="attachment_1212" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Integrated seat posts on carbon bikes are always good looking, but this one is GORGEOUS "][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1213" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="RAM cages share the same two-tone brown that reminds us of shag carpeting"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1226" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Nero XL ain't afraid of no graffiti ghost!"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1211" align="alignnone" width="576" caption="Looks fast and Italian like a Ferrari but rides more like a civilized Aston Martin"][/caption] Click HERE for the 2012 Passoni collection, HERE for the 2012 catalogue or contact us for more info!

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