Fondriest TFZero - Road.cc Test Report September 2012

Make and model: Fondriest TFZero

Size tested: 54cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Toray T42 Tube to tube carbon fibre construction for the frame. The tubes are cut to length, placed in a jig before being bonded. Layers of carbon are then wrapped around the joints for strength before being back in an autoclave.

The fork is a monocoque construction.

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?

Its a race machine but its perfectly at home on the club run or sportives.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork: 9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

The frame is beautifully finished and crafted. The top layer of 1k carbon is smooth without blemish.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Top end carbon fibre giving high strength for low weight.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

Steep angles and a short rear end keep things tight and responsive.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The medium had a 530mm seat tube and a 550mm toptube which increases by 10 to 15mm increments between sizes.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Very, considering how stiff the frame is it's quite a party piece.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Yes, its spot on in terms of responsiveness and feedback

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Yes, accelaration is truly amazing

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive?

Lively.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

Everything feels tight and responsive. The handling seems to react to speed feeling lively and quick at speed without feeling twitchy when you slow up. The TFZero is one of the most engaging rides out there.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The saddle and the Ritchey components soak up a lot of the imperfections while the frame has some great damping properties in terms of the rear seatstays.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

Everything works together as a package and I wouldn't change a thing.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

The lightweight Mavic wheels means maintaining a high average speed is relatively easy. Above 25mph though you do notice the lack of aero benefit from the shallow rims.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
10/10
Rate the bike for acceleration:
10/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
9/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
10/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
9/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
10/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
9/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
9/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
7/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
9/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
8/10

Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?

The R-SYS SLR wheels are great, they seem to take rough surfaces well and roll very smooth at the hubs. The tyres grip really well in both wet and dry and no signs of cuts or punctures.

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
9/10
Rate the controls for durability:
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
8/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
9/10
Rate the controls for value:
8/10

Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The bars stem and seatpost all worked well and are easy to set up. Crash damage is always a worry with carbon components so a spill could prove costly.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
10/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
8/10
Overall rating:
9/10

About the tester

Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 78kg

I usually ride: Genesis Flyer

My best bike is: Ribble Gran Fondo

I've been riding for: 10-20 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,

Additional information