I’ll get straight to the point and save you reading the entire review if you wish. This is one of the best bikes in the world, made by one of the most prevalent frame builders that you’ve never heard of.
If you’ve ever watched a pro cycling race over the past 50 years you will have cast unassuming eyes over one (or many) of Sarto’s creations. I won’t name names here, but not all of those familiar bike brands you see in the peleton originate from their resepective manufacturers no matter what their marketing departments will try and have you believe.
Sarto are at the forefront of carbon frame manufacture and have been ever since the technology came to bicycles. It’s this history and experience that no one can match, and it’s the reason their bikes are a level above anything else on the market.
The Lampo you see here is blisteringly fast. Fast like no other bike I’ve ridden. To put this in to perspective I took it around my local test route which has a bit of everything in it. This is how I compare bikes as it’s a good cross section of terrain and road conditions.
The gearing on the Lampo features fairly intimidating 52/36 chainrings and an 11-23 cassette. I was also suffering from the effects of a cold, and I had my winter legs firmly attached to my torso. My average speed over my test loop was pretty much bang-on to what I achieve mid-summer when I’m in fine form, and only on the sharpest ascent where it hits 14% did I find myself dipping on to the 23!
A fairly respected magazine recently tested the Lampo and their only real criticism was its ability to climb. I have no hesitations in straight out calling complete BS to that. Sarto does have other frames if you want pure climbing ability.
This is a frame that is built to go fast – it is Sarto’s aero frameset after all. Not in an intimidating, skittish way, but in a controlled fashion that naturally makes you ride faster and faster. Trust me, your legs will give way long before you touch the limits of this frameset.
Being fast is great, but being able to do it over long periods is another. I was a fairly early adopter of larger volume tyres and it’s been years since I even looked at a 23c tyre. The country lanes around southern Northamptonshire currently resemble farm tracks such is the lack of maintenance, so they are a good test of comfort. All I can say is that even with 23c tyres pumped up to 110psi, the Lampo could easily be an all day companion. This is a good indication of just how much compliance and control is built in to the frame.
Which brings me to another point which caught me by surprise. Most mass-produced carbon frames tend to be a little noisy with a lot of crashing and sounds resonating through the frame. Not so with this hand-built masterpiece. Not even a peep over the roughest sections of road. This may well be getting in to semantics, but I have been fortunate enough to experience frames of equal and greater price and none offer such a wonderful overall experience.
The Lampo is simply sublime. It’s just on another level.
Admittedly all this hand-crafted Italian goodness does come at a price. The Lampo frameset is £3,400 which, I know, is a lot of money no matter how you look at it. But remember that this does get you a bespoke, hand-made frame built just for you and your requirements, and I can guarantee it will ride better than any other “brand name” bike that your mates will throw at you no matter the price.
If that sort of budget is a bit difficult to swallow there are other options from the casa di Sarto, with the Trama starting at a more reasonable £2,400. It’s still completely hand made to your specifications and you could easily build up a complete bike with Dura-Ace for around £4,000.
The bottom line is, if you love riding, the Lampo will take the experience to whole new level that you didn’t even know was possible.
Frame: Sarto Lampo
Groupset: Campagnolo Record
Wheels: Campagnolo Shamal Mille
Tyres: Michelin Pro 4 Endurance
Bar & Stem: Deda 35mm
Saddle: Sarto Custom Carbon