Weaknesses: can't see or try in person (I got lucky)! A tad heavier than a more expensive bike.
Love'n my Tommaso Imola. I've had more expensive road bikes (Lemond Sarthe etc.) but this one fits and handles very well. It's slightly heavier than those bikes but it's not noticeable unless your racing and in excellent shape. The bike looks and feels great. I did a bunch of research on road bikes under $500 and chose this one.
Similar Products Used: You can view my bike at: http://dennisjjc.tumblr.com/
Bike Setup: My bike rating is based on it's price and value!
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2010
Strengths: the price, such an upgrade from my mountain bike, well built from my knowledge
Weaknesses: you can't test ride, the shifting derailer has to be adjusted again even if you choose the pro build b/c after a bit of riding the cables strech (but also on any new bike)
I purchased the 2010 Tommaso Imola without the carbon fork, and was pleased when it arrived for i chose the pro build for $60 more...after my first test ride i wasn't happy with the shifting but a few days later i went to my lbs and had the gears adjusted and now i'm extremely happy with my purchase...also i read from other reviewers to buy 1 size larger than what they suggest so i did and the bike fits like a glove...basically for a decent entry level road bike you get a quality bike with workable components and it's about the same ride as the trek 1.2 but you keep the $400 (approx depending on tax where you live)...also i'm going to be using this bike on my first sprint triatholon...also i'm sold my old trek 820 mtn bike b/c i feel the imola will hold up on the ruff streets through brklyn during my daily commute
Strengths: The obvious strength is that this bike is cheap. And I guess you can't go wrong with handlebars. Rims stayed true.
Weaknesses: Can't test ride as it is only available online. It seems that Randall Scott went with cheap, low quality components everywhere they could without attracting too much attention. Sure it has Shimano components, but the bottom bracket, hubs, cranks, cassette, and frame all seemed to be rather low quality to me. My bike had a bad case of the somewhat mysterious phenomenon known as casette wobble. My hubs came improperly adjusted, which I only realized after many miles of riding (that is, after already having destroyed the bearings because of the improper adjustment). I would go through sporadic periods of a mysterious clicking sound whose cause I never was able to identify (bottom bracket?). With Shimano Sora components, I foud it difficult to get the front derailer properly adjusted; one result was that the chain would sometimes fall off when I tried to shift onto my smallest chainring. Irregularly (non-cylindrical) shaped chain-stays made it impossible for me to securely affix a rear-rack as I had hoped I might be able to do.
I was not pleased with my investment in this bike. I was hoping that I would be getting a deal buying off the Internet, but I knew that I was taking a risk not test riding the bike. My risk absolutely did not pay off. This is one of the least expensive bikes on the market, and you get what you pay for: I don't really imagine that you could find very many new road bikes out there that are worse than this one. That being said, if your standards are not very high (i.e. you have never ridden a decent road bike before), this bike might work out for you. But I would hate for this bike to be anyone's first exposure to road cycling; there are bikes out there that are lots more efficient at converting your power to forward movement.
All-in-all, I utterly lacked confidence in this bike. I gave it up after a few months -- returning to my trusty steel Peugeot road bike that was manufactured in the early 1970's and already has thousands of miles on it. But nonetheless, it rides better than the Imola, and is only about 3 pounds heavier than the Imola.
Strengths: Good welds, stiff frame. It builds up pretty light. Very attractive frame. Realy nice paint job. If this is your first road bike, you will be happy. Very well packed for transit. While unpacking I kept on saying "I got this for only $400?"
Weaknesses: Sora!! Yuck!! I'd prefer to ride it singlepeed (I'm a bike snob) It has a sticker which says 6061 Alu tubing, but it is still a no name tubeset. Straight tube seatstays and chainstays give it away. Not too supple a ride. The riser stem is so pedestrian, but if you reverse it, it looks really aggressive.
Immediately dumped the Sora components and converted it to single speed. Changed the handlebars and put on Tektro brake levers. Pretty good frame, stiff and light, and might I say rather attractive,(mine came in burgundy). Good welds, not ground down , so you can see if they're quality. Not as supple a ride as a C-dale, but still well worth the money. The wheels are useable with ugly hubs, but they're strong and not too heavy. Overall the bike is delightfully light(in single speed mode), stiff, and seems to be well built, just perfect for a winter trainer. Overall, a very good bike for the money, you will get what your expecting, no nasty surprises, and some nice ones
Strengths: carbon fiber fork and its fairly light compared to other road bikes in this price point. The price is one that you cant beat for an entry level road bike.
Weaknesses: The gears do slip and everyonce in a while the chain will come off.
Great bike for the price. This was my first road bike purchase and I was a little sceptical on spending thousands of dollars when i wasnt sure if I was going to like it. So far I have put over 500 miles on it and its doing great. I would definatly recomend it for anyone just getting into road biking. The grafics are nothing great and they kind of grow on you after some time.