Tifosi sounds like an Italian marque but it’s actually the house brand of UK distributor Chicken Cycles, and as the cyclo-cross season is still in full swing, they’ve sent in their CK6 Forte for us to test.
Though it has all the credentials for lining up on the startline of a Sunday cyclo-cross race, Tifosi also say the CK6 Forte is ideal for daily commuting duties and mudguards can be fitted to keep your bum dry. That’s certainly true of many cyclo-cross bikes and the £799 price tag of this model makes it an appealing ride to work choice.
The CK6 Forte has a frame made from 6061 double butted aluminium with a carbon fibre fork, with mudguard eyelets front and rear. It’s smart looking frame, with lots of profiling evident in the slender top tube, intended to make shouldering the bike more comfortable, and triangular shaped down tube and tapered head tube.
Onto the frame is built a Shimano Sora groupset with an FSA 50/34t chainset, with all the gear cables internally routed. The rear brake cable meanwhile is routed externally, running along the underside of the down tube, with a full run of outer cable housing from lever to brake caliper.
Disc brakes are popular on cyclo-cross bikes at this price point and Tifosi have gone with Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes. There's a bit of a trend for manufacturers to fit the rear disc caliper onto the chainstay, which certainly makes it easier to fit mudguards, but Tifosi have opted to mount the brake caliper onto the seatstay.
It’s well finished with a Tifosi aluminium handlebar, stem and 31.6mm seatpost, Selle Italia X1 saddle and Schwalbe Racing Ralph 33mm tyres fitted to Weinmann rims laced to Shimano hubs. All that produces a bike that weighs 10.9kg (24lb) on the road.cc scales.
The CK6 Forte joins a very popular sector. Cyclo-cross is gaining popularity all the time with many more people racing, and bikes like the CK6 represent a really good starting point. Also offering a good entry-level ‘cross race bike is the Focus Mares AX 3.0 (£999) that we tested recently, which really is ready to race. Tifosi make a point of suggesting the CK6 is also a good choice for commuting, and a good comparison here is the Giant Revolt 2 (£849) that we’re also reviewing at the moment. Both bikes have everything you'd want, including mudguard mounts, to be turned into a daily runner.
The CK6 Forte is available in four sizes and costs £799.99. Find out more at www.chickencycles.co.uk
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.