Tifosi SS26 Potenza review

British brand’s all-round race rig

BikeRadar score3.5/5

The Tifosi SS26 Potenza is named after the road that runs between the French and Italian sides of Mont Blanc in the stunning Aosta Valley.

Living up to the awesome geography of its namesake, the SS26 is a fine looking bike. Tifosi’s linear graphic styles and colour palette look brilliant and the frame’s styling features angular frame tube profiles — that T-section top-tube comes straight out of BMC’s back catalogue — while the aero-profiled seatpost seamlessly blends into triangulated and dropped seatstays.

The interlocked fork crown and forward-arching fork following similar lines to Pinarello’s latest designs.

The carbon seatpost’s head clamp allows for greater adjustment
The carbon seatpost’s head clamp allows for greater adjustment

The bike is built around Campagnolo’s Potenza groupset with a performance-orientated 11-28 cassette and 52/36 chainset. Campagnolo shifts with the rapid mechanical efficiency we’ve come to expect from the brand’s Ergopower design, and is matched to its late-comer disc brakes.

The brakes have definitely been worth the wait, they are the most adjustable of any disc brakes out there, but the feel straightaway is one of a fine balance between power and control.

The Deda Zero bar and stem are good quality items. We’ve always been fans of Deda’s bar shape so this, plus the Prologo saddle, means the contact points are sorted.

Flattened seatstays improve ride comfort
Flattened seatstays improve ride comfort

The ride is a balance between stiffness and suppleness, power transfer is exceptional in the right setup, the bike responding well to sprints. Comfort levels impress too with the space afforded for bigger volume tyres and the D-shaped carbon post offering plenty of flex.

The geometry is aimed squarely at the endurance rider, the 589mm stack and 391mm reach [vertical and horizontal distances from the centre of the bottom bracket to the centre of the head-tube respectively] on my large test bike are at the sportier end of things and the frame angles pitch the bike more towards stability rather than rapid handling.

Campagnolo’s disc brakes were well worth waiting for
Campagnolo’s disc brakes were well worth waiting for

The SS26 can still be hustled through corners, and feels composed though tight twists and turns.

The problem, in this spec, is that the middle-weight wheel and tyre combination feels a little sluggish. I swapped them for a lighter wheelset and lighter tyres, allowing the SS26 to come alive with a muscular responsive ride that lives up to its looks.

As it stands, the SS26 is a good bike, but with some lighter, faster-feeling wheels, it has the chance of being a great one.

Tifosi SS26 Potenza spec overview

  • Weight: 8.71kg (L)
  • Frame: Carbon
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Gears: Campagnolo Potenza 11-28, 52/36
  • Brakes: Campagnolo Potenza hydraulic disc, 160/140mm rotors
  • Wheelset: Miche Race AXY-WP
  • Tyres: 28mm Michelin Power Endurance
  • Bar: Deda Zero
  • Stem: Deda Zero
  • Saddle: Prologo Kappa
  • Seatpost: D-shaped
Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
  • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 112cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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