Tifosi Mons Disc Bike Review

Tifosi Mons Disc bike

Modelled on Tifosi’s ultra-light climbing weapon, the British brand claims that this disc-equipped bike is ‘a true all-rounder in every sense of the word’. Although it’s the only one of our three test bikes to eschew integral mudguard mounts, the 25c tires and Ultegra hydraulic brakes should make this a match for Britain’s back lanes.

First impression

It’s clear that the Mons is the more purposeful of the bunch from the opening miles of our test ride, showing the other two bikes a clean set of heels from the off. Its 52/36 chainset gives a higher gearing option, urging us to hammer down the first hill before levelling off and doing everything we can to hold on to our speed through the first village.

On the road

The 52/36 chainset is to the world of cycling what DAT and Minidisk were to the music industry. None of them ever quite caught on. However, unlike those obsolete musical playback formats, the mid-compact chainset is criminally overlooked.

Throughout our testing, the amount of power we were able to generate through the Mons’s drivetrain far exceeded that of the other two bikes, and on even the steeper inclines of our regular test route there we experienced no significant drawbacks to the two-teeth-bigger small chainring.

36-29 can carry you up anything. Especially when gaining altitude, the Mons shines with its direct approach; the sturdy chainstays afford no losses, allowing us to stamp our way up slopes out of the saddle, before positively attacking the downhills on the other side, again egged on hugely by the fact

that we have a 52-11 gear on hand to generate some serious speed on the longer, straighter descents. Assisted by a frameset that’s stiff as a brick yet comfortable at the contact points, this bike is by far the most exciting to ride.

Handling

The trade-off, if there must be one, with the Mons is the points at which it connects to the tarmac. While its Michelin Dynamic Sport rubber absorbs a good amount of the vibration and jarring effect of alarmingly surfaced roads, it’s not as supple as the others tested here. Beyond this, even in 25mm guise, these tires can’t touch the Schwalbes of the Whyte or the Continentals of the Ribble for sheer grip and confidence.

Although they’re the first thing we’d replace if we’d bought this bike, it’s a shame that such an inexpensive component on a $2,500+ bike can leave such a lasting impression. Let’s look for some positives, though, because tires aside, this bike has some real thrills to deliver.

Its 72° head angle promotes a neutral steering feel, yet with hands on the drops, in the big ring, it shimmies through downhill kinks with a single-minded approach to progress. Its 60 mm rotors are gripped with finesse or headbanging stopping power, depending on how tightly you squeeze the levers.

This bike might not have mudguards, but for three-season thrills on the crappest roads known to man, it has a great deal going for it. Fit yourself a bolt-on guard at the rear and the Sunday group ride win is yours for the taking. As long as the road isn’t too winding.

Frameset

The Tifosi’s frameset is more overtly designed for performance, with its truncated aero-profile tubing hinting at the speed you might be capable of carrying. A curved, slightly sloping toptube arcs gracefully toward matt black carbon seatstays that splay around the rear wheel, where the frame clearance limit is a 28c tire.

Fat chainstays run close to the wheel, their profile morphing from vertical to horizontal the closer they get to the rear hub. Made from T1000 and T800 carbon-fiber, the frame has been developed with help from computational fluid dynamics, where areas of the frame are bolstered for stiffness where appropriate while others are created in as lightweight a finish as possible where load bearing is not an issue.

Cabling, as with all the bikes we’ve tested here, is routed internally, with neat seals at their entry points eliminating water ingress in the rougher months. We’d probably want to apply some protective tape to the headtube to prevent the cables from rubbing away at the classy matt black finish for long-term use, however.

Groupset

Once again, Shimano Ultegra equipment features heavily, with the Mons carrying a 52/36 mid-compact chainset. However, rather than match this to an equivalent spec cassette, Tifosi has fitted a Miche Primato 11-29 cassette. Shifters are Ultegra kit, as are the front and rear mechs, while the hydraulic brake system runs 160 mm Tektro discs front and rear.

Tifosi Mons Disc bike

Finishing kit

For this British bike, Italian finishing kit has been used throughout. A set of compact drop 400 mm diameter Deda alloy bars up front is gripped by a Deda alloy stem, 110 mm in length. An alloy stem, also from Deda, carries the saddle-an identical (if differently colored) Prologo Kappa RS seat to the Ribble’s perch.

Wheels

Vision Team 30 rims are laced with 24 aero spokes apiece to Vision hubs with sealed cartridge bearings. A decent, affordable set-up that’s ever so slightly marred by the fitment of 25c Michelin Dynamic Sport tires. While we’re talking about bikes that can take all-weather riding in their stride, fitting a set of $30 tires with so much rolling resistance you have to check they’re not punctured is a bum move. However, if you’re going to upgrade anything, tires are the more affordable thing to change. We’d opt for 25c Conti Gatorskins or GP 4 Seasons.

Specs

Frame: T1000/T800 carbon frame and forks

Groupset: Shimano Ultegra

Brakes: Shimano Ultegra hydraulic discs

Chainset: Shimano Ultegra, 52/36

Cassette: Miche Primato, 11-29

Bars: DedaZero 100, alloy

Stem: DedaZero 100, alloy

Saddle: Prologo Kappa RS

Seatpost: DedaZero 100, alloy

Wheels: VisionTeam30

Tires: Michelin Dynamic Sport, 700×25

Geometry

Size tested: SChainstays (C): 415 mm
Weight: 9.46 kgHead angle (HA): 72°
Top tube (TT): 525 mmSeat angle (SA): 74°
Seat tube (ST): 510 mmWheelbase (WB): 970 mm
Stacks (S): 538 mmBB drop (BB): 70 mm
Reach (R): 370 mm 

Rating: 8.5/10


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