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The Moda Stretto is the company's take on an endurance road bike, offering a blend of speed and comfort, with the kind of handling that makes it fun to ride whether on the wide open road or taking on the twisty back lanes. It's a capable climber and descender, too. There is some tough competition out there on price, though, especially when you include the upgrades we have here.
Endurance road bikes are typically shorter in the top tube, longer at the head tube and come with a slightly more relaxed front end than a bike designed for racing. It makes the bike easier to ride for those of us who don't race, giving a less extreme riding position and handling that doesn't feel twitchy.
The skill in designing a good endurance bike is making sure the trade-offs aren't so big they end up sacrificing the fun side of riding a road bike. Thankfully, Moda has got things right. The Stretto feels nippy and stiff, and the handling is still quick enough to make high-speed descending involving and a lot of fun.
The amount of stiffness on offer through the large bottom bracket junction, corresponding down tube diameter, and the chunky profile of the chainstays makes the Stretto feel tight and responsive, so it's ideal for a bit of a sprint or digging in for a power climb. The fact that in this build it sits around the 8.5kg mark helps; it's no lightweight, but neither is it sandbagged by any extra stodge when you ask it to perform.
I'm a fan of a bit of descending and I like the way the Stretto handles a downhill. Whether that descent is on a smooth and fast-flowing road or takes in some tight technical bends, the Moda feels planted and well mannered. Very little seems to unsettle it, and there is enough neutrality in the steering that I could let it run over rough road sections mid-bend without it feeling a handful or twitchy.
On my descending test hill, it coped admirably with the off-camber chicane at speed, and decent feedback levels passing up through the frame and fork allow you to plan your line through the corners.
A stiff bike often comes with a compromise on comfort, but Moda has done well to get the balance right. Over all kinds of road surfaces, I found the Stretto to be well within the boundaries of what I consider to be comfortable, with no hints of harshness through the handlebar or saddle.
Moda specced some Spinergy wheels with PBO spokes renowned for their forgiving ride quality, and they definitely add to the overall ride feel, plus the 30mm tyres fitted here also give you some tweakage on the comfort front.
In terms of the ride quality, I rate the Stretto highly – it gives that feel of a quick and efficient road bike without any of the trade-offs of a full race machine.
The frame and fork are both created from uni-directional carbon fibre with a claimed weight for this 54cm size of 980g (+/-30g), and 395g (+/-15g) for the fork, so it's definitely competitive from that point of view.
Moda has also gone for a super smooth look by creating a frame and fork that'll work with a stem like Deda's Powerbox and specialist headset, which directs all of the cables, hoses and wires into the frame via the top of the head tube. You only see them again when they exit the frame and fork.
That smooth look is continued around the seatpost as the Stretto uses an expanding wedge kind of design, which grips the post internally rather than using an external post clamp.
While the Moda isn't a full-on race bike, it is still a performance road bike so isn't exactly teeming with frame mounts for mudguards, racks and so on. In fact, you won't find anything more than a couple of bottle cage mounts on the down tube and seat tube.
Tyre-wise, we have 30mm fitted and that is going to be pretty much your limit. There isn't a huge amount of space around them, but it'll swallow 28s with ease, and that is plenty on a bike like this.
For the bottom bracket, Moda has specced a BB-41 which is a press-fit design. Having the bearing cups positioned inside the frame rather than sitting outboard allows the frame to be wider at this point to increase stiffness without affecting the distance between the pedals, known as the Q-factor.
When it comes to sizing, the Stretto is available in five options, from XS (48cm) to XL (58cm), with top tube lengths ranging from 508mm to 581mm.
This medium model has a 542mm top tube with a head tube of 166mm. The seat tube length is 486mm, and this all ends up with stack and reach figures of 570mm and 378mm respectively.
With chainstays of 405mm, it gets a corresponding wheelbase of just 986mm, which is what helps give the Stretto its nimbleness out on the road.
The seat angle measures in at 73.9 degrees and the head angle is 72 degrees.
The Stretto is available in a range of builds, with our particular model wearing a Shimano 105 Di2 groupset and Spinergy Z32 wheels.
Unless you want the lightest electronic components available for your road bike, the 105 Di2 groupset will give you all of the performance that you'll need. Shifting and braking are both great and you get a decent spread of ratios – depending on the type of rider you are, or your local terrain.
For the full details, check out my review.
On this model we have a 50/34-tooth compact chainset paired to an 11-28, 12-speed cassette. For me personally those ratios provide plenty of range for the climbs and descents. The XS and S frames get 170mm crank lengths while the M, L and XL get 172.5mm.
For the rotor sizes Moda has gone with 160mm at the front and 140mm at the rear, which gives more than enough stopping power for a lightweight road bike.
As for the finishing kit, the Stretto comes with a Deda Zero handlebar and that Powerbox stem I have already mentioned. This is the standard build when purchasing a Moda from its stockists and dealers, with the option of a Moda carbon fibre handlebar and stem for an extra £200.
It's worth noting that if you are speccing a bike on Moda's website then the price already includes the carbon upgrades.
The seatpost is full carbon fibre, and on top of that you'll find a Selle Italia Short Fit Model X. I found its short design comfortable, and the curved shape gives you a good platform to push against when getting the power down.
The standard spec tyres are Continental's GTs in a 25mm width, but we have a pair of Challenge Strada TLRs which give a very supple ride and loads of grip in the corners. They are currently a free upgrade should you decide to specify Spinergy wheels on your build.
They are wrapped around those Spinergy Z32s, which have a 32mm-deep alloy rim with an internal width of 19mm, 24mm external.
Spinergy gives a claimed weight of 1,650g which isn't exactly groundbreaking, but they never felt sluggish. The highlights are the aero-profiled PBO spokes, 16 on the front wheel and 20 on the rear.
PBO fibre is (according to Spinergy's website) the strongest synthetic fibre on the market, three times stronger than steel at half the weight.
Each spoke is said to be made up of 30,000 individual fibres and they do give quite an unusual ride quality. All of the firmness and stiffness of a traditionally spoked wheel is there, but with an underlying note of suppleness.
I tried the Stretto with another set of wheels (but with the Challenge tyres fitted) to isolate the PBO spokes, and it really highlighted how good the ride quality is.
The Stretto is up against some tough competition, price-wise.
In this 105 Di2 build, with Mavic Aksium wheels and the Deda alloy cockpit, it comes in at £3,915, while adding the Spinergy wheels bumps the price up to £4,460.
Full bikes start at £2,975 with mechanical 105 and the Aksium wheels, topping out at £6,014 with Ultegra Di2, Spinergy's FCC47 carbon wheelset and the upgrade to the Moda carbon fibre cockpit.
Looking at other endurance road bikes on the market, the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 AX comes with carbon wheels and a SRAM Rival AXS groupset for £4,199 (we reviewed the Pro 3 in 2021); Merida's Scultura Endurance 8000 can take 35mm tyres and comes equipped with Ultegra Di2 and a carbon wheelset for £4,600 (the 7000-E impressed us back in 2020); and the Endurance SL Disc from Ribble is £3,399 with a 105 Di2 groupset and in-house Level carbon wheels (Liam tested an Ultegra-equipped model in 2020).
I really rate the Stretto. It's a well-built, quality frame with a great ride feel, and the geometry makes it a bike that can be ridden in all sorts of ways, from full-on efforts to long, sportive style distances and terrains. It's a good weight, too, considering none of the components are massively light. There is a lot of competition out there, though, that fight hard on price.
Fun and fast to ride, and looks great too, but it's up against some tough competition price-wise
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Moda Stretto
Size tested: Medium, 54cm
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Shifters: Shimano 105 Di2
Crankset: Shimano 105 50/34T
Cassette: Shimano 105 12 speed 11-28T
Front Mech: Shimano 105 Di2
Rear Mech: Shimano 105 Di2
Wheels: Spinergy Z32
Tyres: Challenge Strada TLR 700c x 30mm
Handlebar: Deda Zero
Stem: Deda Superbox
Saddle: Selle Italia Short Fit Model X
Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Moda says, "Whether you are on a casual Sunday ride or tackling a tough ride in the hills, the Moda Stretto will have you covered on all fronts. The Stretto features a full carbon frame and fork creating an incredible lightweight frameset."
The Stretto is a road bike that balances performance and comfort in equal measures.
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
The Stretto is available in a range of colours, with builds ranging from Shimano 11-speed mechanical through to Ultegra Di2. Various wheel options are available too.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
The Stretto's frame is finished nicely throughout and available with a range of paintjobs that appear to be hardwearing.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
The frame and fork are made from uni-directional carbon fibre.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is typical endurance road bike with a more relaxed position than a full race bike. A shortish wheelbase keeps the bike feeling lively.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The height and reach measurements are fairly typical for this kind of bike.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
The overall ride quality is comfortable, which is impressive given the Stretto has a stiff frame.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
There is plenty of stiffness throughout the frame and fork where it is needed.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Power transfer is good thanks to the high level of stiffness around the bottom bracket area.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? On the quicker side of neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The handling of the Stretto is well balanced – it's quick and direct without being twitchy.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The PBO spokes of the Spinergy wheels add a noticeable bonus to the comfort.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
The Deda front end shows no signs of flex whatever.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
The Challenge tyres are very grippy and roll very well, which brings a great level of efficiency to the ride.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
The Shimano 105 groupset used here brings the performance of a high quality electronic groupset at a relatively affordable price. The shifting quality is great, as is the braking.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
The PBO spokes bring a noticeable bonus to comfort.
Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
The Challenge tyres give great road feel with plenty of grip. They inspire confidence in the corners and make the bike feel quick.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
Good quality components used throughout, and the Deda Superbox stem means the frame and fork have a clean look throughout.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Stretto is up against some tough competition, price-wise. A SRAM Rival AXS-equipped Giant Defy Advanced Pro with carbon wheels can be had for £4,199, while the Merida Scultura Endurance is available for £4,600 with Ultegra Di2 and carbon fibre wheels. Ribble's Endurance SL is £3,399 with a Shimano 105 Di2 groupset and Level carbon wheels.
Use this box to explain your overall score
In terms of the ride and performance, the Stretto is great, and it has a high quality finish too. It is pushed hard on price by some of the competition, though that is the only real downside I can find. It's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!