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Over the past month, we have looked at a different bike from our 2015 Aluminum Line each week. After checking out the Monza, Tiempo, and Forcella, I finally got to spend quality time on the Imola. The Imola is our number one selling bike every year, and with such a great package at under $500, it is easy to see why. While the Imola may not have some of the bells and whistles of other models, it puts in work where it counts. So, let's get down to the brass tacks and see what is new with the Imola for 2015.
Upon inspecting the Imola, I was very pleased with the new color scheme for 2015, and thought the overall look of the bike was great. The next notable change was getting rid of the old Sunrace shifters and generic crank, with both being replaced by Shimano Claris components. With the shifters, derailleurs, and crankset all being Shimano Claris, it is looking like a pretty nice change from previous year models. The new gearing looks great, and the Imola still stays true to its roots with a 24 speed drivetrain that has made it a favorite for riders who want a large range of gear options.
The 2015 Imola is going to use the same great compact frame that all of the other 2015 Aluminum Road Series will be using. This is great, because in previous years the Imola has had a slightly downgraded frame that didn't take advantage of tube shaping technologies. The new compact frame design allows riders to get more power out of every pedal stroke, and adds comfort on those long rides. The Imola differs from the other 2015 aluminum bikes, by offering a steel fork, instead of a carbon one. While this does increase the weight and vibration transfer slightly, it also makes for a tough, sturdy design that will last year after year.
This year's drivetrain looks great and performs even better. 2015 is the first year we have ever used a Shimano crankset on the Imola, and the difference is undeniable. Shifting is smooth and pickup is great, thanks to the new gearing ratio. By switching the chain rings from 30/42/52T to the new 30/39/50T, while keeping the cassette a 12x25T, riders gain increased climbing power without sacrificing a high top speed. The shifters feel great, and are a huge upgrade in ergonomics from the Sunrace shifters of previous years. If you have ridden Imolas in the past, get ready to be impressed.
The Imola dumped the old, heavy 32 spoke Weinmann wheelset we have used for years, and got upgraded to the new Tommaso Corsa TC-20. This new wheelset is lighter and tougher, not to mention better looking, and sure to become a favorite of Imola fans. With the strength of 20 front and 24 rear spokes, you can still count on the Imola to handle whatever the road has to dish out and ask for more.
The handlebars are another change for the 2015 Imola, going away from full size to compact. While these handlebars do differ slightly from our carbon line, they still offers compact drops, allowing riders to easily access this valuable positioning with ease. Now riders of all levels can easily enjoy the benefits or lightweight, compact handlebars.
The last notable change to the Imola for 2015 is the saddle. Tommaso joined forces with world class saddle manufacturer WTB, to create the custom Tommaso Volt saddle. This saddle offers lightweight comfort and performance, with the specially designed "Love Channel", this saddle relieves pressure and leaves you ready to power through whatever the road has to offer. If you have been displeased with overly tough road saddles in the past, get ready for a welcome change.
As you can see, some great changes have occurred since 2014, and leave many wondering how it is possible to fit so much value in a road bike for under $500. Well, it may not have been easy, but it was definitely worth it. With upgrades in every possible area, the 2015 Imola shifts like a dream and rides like a bike twice its price. It would be nice to have a carbon fork on the Imola, and there are some definite benefits of having a couple extra gears on the cassette, but all in all I was impressed. I ride a lot of bikes and have tested every Tommaso model we have ever sold, and I can say without a doubt the new 2015 Aluminum Line is our best yet. The new Imola looks great, rides better, and comes with the unbeatable quality and service you expect from Tommaso. If you are looking for the perfect entry level road bike, the Imola is your ticket to fun and freedom.
If the 2015 Tommaso Imola sounds like the perfect bike for your 2015 season, we have a special offer for you. Take an extra $50 off the Imola all week long, by using code "IMOLA" at checkout. This great offer expires on May 13th, so don't miss out.
This week, we are going to be looking at the Tommaso Forcella, which in previous year's has gone by the name Imola Carbon. We decided that with the huge upgrades this year, that this bike deserved a new name. The Forcella is not just an Imola with a carbon fork anymore, it is its own distinct bike, with some amazing features not seen in any of our other aluminum bikes. At $599, this is definitely one of the best values in cycling today, and is sure to change the way you look at an entry level road bike.
For 2015 the Forcella is equipped with a full Shimano Claris drivetrain. That's right, the crankset, cassette, shifters, and derailleurs are all premium Shimano Claris. This uncompromising approach brings brilliantly smooth shifting and power, that you are sure to notice immediately. The 24 powerful Shimano Claris gears offer a great range and allow riders to easily climb large hills and speed through the flats. So, let's get into what is new this year, and why the 2015 Forcella is most certainly not just an Imola with Carbon Fork.
For the frame, we use the same high quality frame you will see of higher end models like the Tiempo and Monza. This allows riders at all price points to enjoy the awesome power of a compact frame set with tons of style from our premium shaped tubes. With an HCT carbon fork, the Forcella drops weight and decreases road vibrations with ease. A great new feature of the Forcella's frame is how commuter friendly it is. Equipped with mounts for heavy duty racks on the back, this bike is sure to become your new favorite way to get out and explore.
The 2015 Forcella is the only bike in our 2015 Aluminum Road Series that features a full Shimano drivetrain. There are no mixed and matched pieces on the Forcella, as every component is designed to work perfectly and fluidly together offering the performance that every rider deserves. With a Claris 30/39/50T Triple Crankset in front and a Claris 12x25T Cassette in the rear, you are given an incredible range of speeds to help you conquer old roads and find new challenges.
Going away from the Weinmann Wheelsets we have used in the past, the Forcella enjoys an upgrade to the stable and reliable Tommaso Corsa TC-30 Wheelset. With the strength of 20 front and 24 rear spokes, the Forcella can take whatever the road throws its way, and ride away in style. Featuring a 30mm rim for added aerodynamics, centrifugal force, and road dampening capabilities, the TC-30 is the best wheelset we have ever put on an entry level bike.
Across the board for 2015, we went with a more compact handlebar than we have used in the past. While these handlebars do differ slightly from our carbon line, they still offers compact drops, allowing riders to easily access this valuable positioning. Now riders of all levels can easily enjoy the benefits or lightweight, compact handlebars.
For 2015, we worked directly with WTB to create our customer WTB Tommaso Volt Saddle. We use this same saddle on premium carbon bikes like the Aggraziato, and are now sharing this breakthrough in technology and comfort with all of our road bikes. With a specially designed "Love Channel", this saddle will relieve pressure and keep you comfortable exactly where you need it, so there is nothing to think about except how much you are enjoying the ride.
With all of these incredible changes for 2015, we are confident that the Tommaso Forcella is the best entry level bike on the market. With a full Shimano Claris drivetrain, Tommaso Corsa TC-30 wheels, a premium HCT carbon fork, and the comfort and performance of a WTB Volt saddle, this bike will leave you blown away at all the value it fits in the $599 price tag. The only thing I found myself wanting was a little more range in the cassette, but with an 8 speed system, the Forcella does everything you would expect and more. If you have been looking for a great bike for 2015 that will turn heads and won't break the bank, the Forcella is the ride for you.
If the 2015 Tommaso Forcella sounds like the perfect bike for your 2015 season, we have a special offer for you. Take an extra $50 off the Forcella all week long, by using code "FORCELLA" at checkout. This great offer expires on May 6th, so don't miss out.