The first of our November test fleet is the Tifosi CK7 Audax, a machine that looks as prepared for winter as any to cross the threshold of RCUK Towers recently.
At its heart is a neatly welded, double-butted 7005 alloy frame, built on decidedly sensible lines. Our 54cm frame has a top tube and seat tube of equal length and a tall-ish 175mm head tube (1-1/8” diameter top and bottom – none of this tapering malarkey). All bode well for long days in the saddle.
We heartily approve of the British racing green and white finish and subtle details that include matching triangular down and top tube profiles and hydroformed seat and chainstays that splay outwards on their journey to the drop out. While on the topic, the dropouts contain two eyelets and there’s an Allen boss on the shoulder of either seat stay, making the possibility of a rack an added extra, rather than an either-or.
Up front, there’s a carbon fork which, unusually for the breed, and usefully for the season, is equipped with mudguard eyelets. We removed the handlebar stem to reveal the expected alloy steerer tube. Full carbon forks are becoming cheaper, but to expect one on a sub-£1,000 machine is perhaps unrealistic.
The componentry and finishing kit is matched and from established manufacturers, with a pleasing absence of generic kit, except for the seat post, which is branded with the Tifosi ‘T’. Shifting comes via Campagnolo’s entry-level Veloce levers and mechs. The remainder of the groupset (brakes, chainset) and the wheels are from Italian manufacturer Miche.
The latter are Miche’s Reflex hoops, which are nicely finished with polished aero spokes (24 front, 28 rear), that lace a sealed, CNC-machined hub to an alloy rim pinned at the joint. They’re not light (Miche claim 1,985 grams for the set) but that’s not a concern for a machine whose intended purpose is not racing. They’re shod with 23c Vittoria Rubino tyres, whose relative lack of breadth for winter usage will perhaps be counterbalanced by a heavy-ish tread. We’ll find out.
There are other, well-established names to be found in the CK7’s finishing kit in the shape of a long-for-the-frame (120mm) Deda Quattro stem, 3T handlebar and an alloy-railed Selle Italia Team Edition saddle; all welcome inclusions on a bike of this price.
The most obvious sign of the CK7 Audax’ intended purpose are the SKS Blumels guards; full-length units finished with reassuringly robust stays and finished with a mud flap front and rear.
We’ll be getting out on the CK7 in the weeks ahead. While its unlikely to defeat the remaining two-thirds of this month’s test fleet in a drag race (the decidedly race-centric Bianchi Sempre Pro and Enigma Excel), it will keep us dryer than either.
Check back soon for a full review.
The Tifosia CK7 Audux costs £899, is available in six sizes from XXS to L, in grey or green.