Officina Battaglin Grand Tour


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Mar 22, 2024

Officina Battaglin Grand Tour

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear. Italian Made, custom geometry, and a killer build for the price of a

Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

Italian Made, custom geometry, and a killer build for the price of a cookie-cutter carbon bike.

Seven grand is a lot of money. It is a tremendous amount of money to spend on a bicycle. If you’re shopping for a drop bar bike and have around seven grand to spend, you can buy a hell of a bike.

Some highlights include a Specialized Aethos Expert ($6,500), a Trek Domane SL 7 ($6,830), and a Canyon CF SLX 9 Di2 ($6,999). If those are too boring and mainstream for you, a more unique option is a 3T Strada with a 1x12 drivetrain and a Classified 2-speed internally geared rear hub ($7,499). In all cases, you’re getting stock geometry, carbon frame, carbon rims, and electronic-shift drivetrain.

But if you want to roll up to the group ride with the most stunning and special $7,000 bike, few can match the Officina Battaglin Grand Tour.

For €6.580 ($6,518 at time of this writing), the buyer gets an Italian-made Columbus steel frame with custom geometry (manufactured in Battaglin’s Marostica, Italy workshop) built with a carbon fork, Shimano Ultegra Di2 disc 12-speed group, and a pile of Italian parts including Deda Elementi SL4 disc carbon wheelset, Deda SuperZero carbon seatpost, SuperZero carbon handlebar, and SuperBox stem, Pirelli P Zero Race tires, and a Fizik Aliante R3 saddle.

As well as custom geometry, the buyer can pick from two paint choices, red or blue, in Battaglin’s signature (and blindingly shiny) cromovelato finish. Noteworthy frame details include fully internal routing, threaded bottom bracket, and 35mm tire clearance.

A key difference between The Grand Tour and Battaglin’s other models is the construction method. Whereas all other current Battaglin’s models employ lugged construction, the Grand Tour is fillet brazed like the Power+ Bill Strickland loved so much when he reviewed it in 2017.

Most high-end steel frames today are constructed using lugs, or by TIG welding. With lugged construction, a frame tube slides into the lug, and they’re joined by brazing (molten filler metal flows into the spaces between the lug and the tube). TIG welding works by essentially melting the frame tubes together where they join with some welding rod as filler.

Fillet brazing uses essentially the same filler material as lugged construction, without the lugs. Instead, the builder melts large puddles of filler around the tube junctions. In most cases, the puddles are sanded after the filler cools to create a smooth and graceful junction.

Distinct from TIG welding, brazing (fillet or lugged) is a lower-temperature technique that does not melt the frame tubes at their junctions. Proponents of brazing say that because the steel is not heated as much, they retain greater strength. TIG proponents counter that although this may have been the case years ago, it is not an issue for modern steel tubes designed for TIG welding.

Temperature and metal integrity aside, fillet brazing, like TIG welding, offers almost unlimited custom geometry concoctions that are not possible with lugged construction. But fillet brazing is a more graceful and aesthetically pleasing junction than TIG welding, although it is heavier and requires more prep and finish work, which increases the price.

You’ll wait longer for a Battaglin Grand Tour than an off-the-shelf bike: Possibly a lot longer. But if the multitudes of stock carbon road bikes—great as they are—don’t pull at your heartstrings, you can get a much more special bicycle without spending any more money.

A gear editor for his entire career, Matt’s journey to becoming a leading cycling tech journalist started in 1995, and he’s been at it ever since; likely riding more cycling equipment than anyone on the planet along the way. Previous to his time with Bicycling, Matt worked in bike shops as a service manager, mechanic, and sales person. Based in Durango, Colorado, he enjoys riding and testing any and all kinds of bikes, so you’re just as likely to see him on a road bike dressed in Lycra at a Tuesday night worlds ride as you are to find him dressed in a full face helmet and pads riding a bike park on an enduro bike. He doesn’t race often, but he’s game for anything; having entered road races, criteriums, trials competitions, dual slalom, downhill races, enduros, stage races, short track, time trials, and gran fondos. Next up on his to-do list: a multi day bikepacking trip, and an e-bike race.

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