The Tifosi Cavazzo is a new carbon-fibre gravel bike equipped with a Shimano Tiagra groupset and Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes, for £1,474.99.
If you’re not fully up to speed on the whole gravel thing, these are bikes designed for long-ride comfort on less than uniform road surfaces. They come with disc brakes and clearance for wide tyres.
Like you don’t have to ride a mountain bike exclusively on mountains, you don’t have to ride a bike like the Cavazzo only on gravel. You could easily keep a spare pair of wheels equipped with skinnier tyres to swap on to it for more efficient riding on asphalt… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s have a proper look at what’s on offer straight out of the box.
The Cavazzo’s frame and fork are made from unidirectional carbon-fibre. Like many other brands, Tifosi says that the lower elements of its frame are designed to provide stiffness for the efficient transfer of power from you to the bike. You get a chunky down tube, a pressfit bottom bracket, and a tapered head tube.
In contrast, the top tube slims down over its length and the seatstays are super-skinny, the idea being to add comfort and absorb road buzz.
The wheels are held in place by thru axles front and rear; the front one is 15mm while the rear is 12mm. The market certainly seems to be settling on thru axles for disc equipped road bikes, although 12mm front and rear is becoming the dominant choice.
Both the frame and the fork offer clearance for 35mm tyres although the disc-specific Weinmann XC180 rims are fitted with 30mm wide gravel-specific Schwalbe S-Ones that you can run tubeless.
If you want to fit full-length mudguards, the Cavazzo comes with inconspicuous eyelets – so inconspicuous that you’d probably not spot them unless you went looking – and a little gizmo (not fitted in this pic) that sits between the seatstays in place of a brake bridge.
We have the large sized Cavazzo here, coming with a 530mm seat tube (shortened because the top tube slopes), a 570mm effective top tube, and a 180mm head tube. The head angle and the seat angle are each 73°.
The stack height (the vertical distance from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube) is 599mm and the reach (the horizontal distance between those two points) is 387mm.
That gives you a more upright riding position than you’d get on most road bikes. The equivalently sized Tifosi Andare performance-focused road bike, for example, has a head tube that’s 20mm shorter. The stack is 561mm (38mm lower than the Cavazzo’s) and the reach is 398mm (12mm longer than the Cavazzo’s).
The 56cm version of the GT Grade Alloy gravel bike, for comparison, has a 601mm stack and a 381mm reach, so the ride position is a touch shorter and higher than the Cavazzo’s, although there’s not masses in it.
In short, the Cavazzo offers a more relaxed riding position than most road bikes, but it’s not as upright as some gravel bikes.
The groupset is Shimano’s fourth tier Tiagra. It’s a 10-speed system and here you get a 50/34-tooth compact chainset matched up to an 11-32 tooth cassette. You get a couple of big jumps between sprocket sizes in there, but the smallest gear is very small and it should keep you moving forward when the road gets steep.
As mentioned up top, the discs are Avid’s BB7s – cable operated callipers – while the handlebar, stem and seatpost are all One Race aluminium options. The saddle is a Selle Italia X1 Flow, the ‘Flow’ bit of the name denoting that it has a cutaway centre to relieve the pressure in that region.
Our complete Tifosi Cavazzo weighed in at 9.27kg (20.4lb).
Of the gravel/adventure bikes that we’ve reviewed here on road.cc, the closest in price to the Cavazzo is the Raleigh Maverick Comp at £1,150. That has a Reynolds 631 steel frame, a SRAM Rival 22 groupset, and TRP Hy/Rd cable-operated disc brakes.
We described the Maverick Comp as a, “Do-it-all bike that's happiest making the streets survivable during the week and drifting along dirt roads at the weekend.”
At 11.59kg (25.6lb), it’s quite a bit heavier than the Tifosi, as you might expect, being over £300 cheaper.
The GT Grade Alloy Tiagra that we reviewed is a lot cheaper than the Tifosi at £849.99. Like the Tifosi, it has a largely Shimano Tiagra groupset but the brakes are TRP’s excellent Spyres. The big difference, though, is that the frame is aluminium alloy whereas the Tifosi is carbon. You can get the GT Grade Alloy in a next-level-up Shimano 105 build with TRP’s HyRd brakes for £999.99.
Anyway, this bike isn’t going to ride itself; we’re heading out to find some gravel. We’ll be back with a full test report on road.cc soon.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.