Carbon fibre frames, once the preserve of the pro peloton, have become increasingly accessible in recent years.
Mekk’s Potenza SL 5.5 Ultegra offering comes to market at £1699, a price point at which some more established manufacturers are selling similarly-equipped aluminium frames.
The frame is a carbon monocoque, with many of the features that characterize a modern, carbon race frame, including an oversized down tube and tapered head tube.
A first glance reveals moderate profiling of the frame tubes, which lend it an understated appearance that complements a stealth black finish accented by a black-on-black down tube graphic.
The bottom bracket shell is neat: sufficiently muscular in its appearance to promise stiffness, but not as bulky as some we have seen. It’s shape is almost mirrored at the opposite end of the seat tube in a profiled meeting of top tube, seat stays, and seat tube.
The round-profiled down tube is ovalised at its junction with the head tube. The flat-profiled seat stays unite just below the junction with the seat tube.
A full carbon fork is an impressive inclusion at this price point; likewise the Ultegra drive train and Fizik Arione saddle. Similarly, the Mavic CXP22 rims, Continental Ultra Sport tyres, and Ritchey Logic Comp finishing kit, while towards the budget end of each of the manufacturers’ ranges, demonstrate the right ambition.
We prefer to see matched drivetrain and braking components, so we’ll be interested to see how the ICE calipers perform with the Ultegra STI levers.
Check back soon for a full review.