Basso Astra (2012)
The Astra is a Rocket ship
Race ready with excellent compliance
It is a bit pricey but worth it.
Basso started its life from humble beginnings in a garage in 1974. Alcide Basso the youngest of three brothers started the business that has today grown into a successful bicycle manufacturer.
All three of the Basso brother work in the business with varying roles. The factory which is located in Dueville, Italy where still it is today and was set up by Alcide in 1981. Today the tradition continues with the Basso Astra combining technology and practical experience from the legendary Basso brothers.
The Astra in constructed from B-race construction Carbon monocoque frame with a compact race design monocoque carbon fork. Full carbon legs, crown and steerers Microtech Quantum Carbon Integrated 1-1/5" 1-1/8" head-set threadless, sealed bearings.
The Astra I test rode came to me built up with Campagnolo Chorus 11 speed. Now nothing against the Campag gearing I've just never taken to it. Something about the feel I just don't like. But having said that it does work. I'm here to test the frame as the Basso range comes in frame only so you can build it up to your own personal taste.
Handling the Astra on tight corners was incredible. I have not ever ridden a more direct feeling bike where you just point the front end to where you want it to go and it goes. Never wavering or giving you the feeling of I better back off. Just plain confident handling that was a pleasant change. This is a pure race bike, which I was excited to take to my local Criterium to run it's through its paces. It didn't let me down with excellent acceleration when the bunch kicked getting across to the bridge the gaps seemed effortless. When you pedal the bike goes forward simple yet not every manufacturer gets that right. After the race it was time to put in some easy recovery km over some harsh road to test the compliance of the frame.
Now knowing how stiff and responsive the Astra was on the Criterium track I was not expecting it to be too comfortable on the open road. Well again the Astra proved me wrong, the Astra was firm yet it still absorbed a lot of the harshness of the rough roads. When the road went up so did the Astra, and with much vigour. After racing it was very much appreciated relief that the bike climbs well.
The Basso Astra isn't a cheap bike depending on the build kit you choose will determine the final price. The quality is there to back up the price and you won't be disappointed with your purchase.
Overall the Astra oozes class, not something that immediately springs to mind with the car of the same name. Basso might not be as well known as the classic Colnago and Pinarello, but if you're looking for Italian style and high performance, then companies like Basso are likely to give you that race performance with a touch of Italian style.
There's no limit to how fast you can go and how far you can get on Astra. With cutting edge technology and materials derived from aerospace industry like the carbon monocoque frame and fork, Microtech wheelset, assymetric chain-stays, and Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed gruppo, you have the best racing partner to bring out your great riding skills.