What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tailored Lightening: Sarto Lampo Aero Road Review

Roughly translated, “Sarto Lampo” means “Tailored Lightening”.

Tailored Lightening is a fairly accurate description in this case as a flight into Venice, a short drive west and a bit of factory walk nets me Sarto’s Aero road missile.

The Lampo…

Where my first Sarto, the Energia Disc put a priority on comfort, the Lampo flips a greater portion of emphasis toward turning your energy into speed.

That’s not to say that either the Lampo or the Energia are overly focal on either priority. The Energia wasn’t “soft” despite its comfort and the contrasting Lampo isn’t overly harsh despite being the focus on performance. Both bikes maintain great ride quality but with different tube shape, layup and geometry to focus the frames character to the riders custom choice.

That tuned fit and ride quality focus is what Sarto are all about.

It’s in the Family

Sarto have been the craftsmen behind several quality brands for 67 years… They’ve built in multiple materials over the past several decades and have developed a great depth of knowledge on how to manipulate steel, Aluminum, Titanium and Carbon fiber to best benefit the rider for the road, the trails, commuting, packing and yes… Racing.

On the last visit to the shop, they had one of their earlier bikes returned to them for display after a couple of decades on the road, much to the pleasure of the same men that built it all those years ago…

Antonio(left) started the company with his brothers in 1950. They worked originally as finishers, loading frames onto a small bike trailer at legendary Atala and Torpado builders and riding home to do the filing and finish detail. Those skills turned to frame building and as it turns out, the family had a special knack that’s seen them as constructors with enough quality to remain in the business in cycling manufacturing’s heartland in Norther Italy when other families have long since fled for Asian production or exited the business altogether…

Today, it’s Antonio’s son Enrico manning the ship.

Production is still virtually all by hand, from mold prep to tube production with each frame, regardless of purpose handled with similar detail.

It was on a prior visit that I had my first look at the Lampo in the form of the prototype…

During the most recent visit though, it was hands on as the first tube sets were manufactured for production frames to start building.

The head tube and fluted down tube are made in one shot to eliminate a large joint while maintaining stiffness.

The remaining tubes for my Lampo looked decidedly less sexy on this day than it would when ready for build…

But then this is Sarto where carbon fiber is “tailored”…

Raw fiber becomes tubes and the tube sets will go through measuring, cutting, bonding, a first finishing, hand wrapping, a second finishing, a final pattern matching wrapping.

The Lampo gets a third “finishing” ahead of paint. And, in the case of this particular Lampo, that would be a special mirror-chrome skin that is at once minimalist and eye-catching…

The details carry over to the seat post and the hidden crown and back of the fork legs…

The fork is also specific to the Lampo with fluted leading edges to trip the air flow…

And squared of Kamm tail (with that chrome paint detail).

The Leading edge of the down tube also gets the aero trip wire profiling.

The chain stays and BB section look fairly straight forward. That said, There is a lot going on in the two separate molded sections and the drop outs here. A couple of different fiber types are used and the layup is key in keeping the back wheel straight under load but also allowing for some damping…

Both the seat tube and proprietary seat post are rounded front…

And flat Kamm tail back…

Note too the direct mount brakes. These get a slight but functional brace to increase the stiffness between the rear stays.

Campagnolo’s direct mount units are a great spec rear and front…

The Build

And if you’re building custom Italian, it requires the correct spec. In this case Campagnolo’s Chorus group…

I’m a fan of One lever / One action, meaning the brake lever operates the brakes, the down shift lever shifts down and the up shift lever… I also like the solid indexing that comes with not only the top end groups, but trickles down to Potenza and the updated Centaur.

The mechs function as good as they look…

As do the Cranks…

And all of this Italian goodness runs through another Italian HQ’d brand in FSA’s Vision Metron 5d Aero Bar/Stem combo.

This is a proper race/aero unit, designed so well that it’s main body and spacers give the overall clean look of fully integrated units designed specifically for given frames. But this is something that will maintain this clean aesthetic on many brands frames.

The spacer stack is indexed to fit together and provide ample additional build up.

Cable routing is fairly straight forward rather than massively frustrating, and FSA are bright enough to know that even aero profile bikes will occasionally need mounting points.

The bulk of the kit here is Italian as it should be, right down to Campagnolo’s stellar Bora One 50’s…

These were shod in what were, at the time of build up, one of the first half dozen pairs of Pirelli P Zero Velo tires in North America…

Pirelli nailed their first clincher design in decades. The compound is grippy and the casing is soft enough that the ride is butter. And despite this, they seem to have durability that should only come with a harsh ride and 20-30% more weight.

Elite Have a light weight, slick looking set of new cages on their hands in the Vico…

They also happen to cost half of what I expected and have proven themselves durable. Budget wasn’t really on my mind building this, but Elite have a winner with these things…

Damn near the only bit that wasn’t Italian were the Andre Greipel edition Look Keo Blade Carbon pedals… A suitable choice in this case despite Zee German Flag on Le French pedals…

So the Lampo was kitted with going rapidly in mind, but also to execute in attack mode without any need for special treatment or worry…

Campy’s Chorus group looks flash, but it’s all business when it comes to banging gears in anger without a second thought.

The Bora wheels are much the same, built to last and to “Fast”, with a great set of bearings and a set of design features that all seem to point back to the engineers knowing that kit that gets raced gets abused… That they also designed one of, if not the best performing braking surface and pads combo in Carbon clinchers is just a bonus.

FSA’s Bars were actually suggested by Sarto as a clean looking choice and they turned out to be better than just a simple aesthetic match. They’re plenty stiff, but it’s still very easy to find a hand position on the tops that spreads the load versus other aero section bars that are basically only comfortable in the case you’re working so hard that everything else hurts so much that you don’t notice your hands going numb sitting on an overly sharp edge.

As for the frame Itself

Sarto’s Lampo is every bit the HALO bike…

Yes. It’s tube set is custom made and the main aero sections were all the result of Computational Fluid and Aero dynamic analysis. And the ribbing was specifically designed to rough the airflow so that it would attach and depart the tube surfaces with as little resistance as possible for the shape.

Yes, Sarto use 3 different carbon types to ensure maximum stiffness and minimal weight in some sections and some reasonable flex, only where it benefits the rider with as little performance sacrifice as possible.

But the key to this all working to it’s maximum benefit is in having this all fabricated to rider spec.

For My Lampo the fit is dialed so that there’s no overly long stem, no slamming the saddle all the way forward or back, no giant spacer stack… Every component is sitting in it’s sweet-spot. When the fit is dialed, bars, stems, posts and pedals are all able to work / flex / stabilize / float in the optimal performance window that their designers intended.

That means more comfort and better performance because nothing is flexing too much or too little due to fitting sacrifices.

This prime placement is also the case for the main component… You. *

[* This only works to the full effect if you’re smart enough to have worked with a top tier professional fitter. Someone that can not only dial in your position, but recognize in advance what your needs might become in the case you’re dealing with any nagging injury etc. Then that fitter can give your bar and stem coordinates (along with those components exact measures) to the frame builder so the frame geometry can be dialed in for exactly the ride quality and behavior you need]

You’re only ever getting the best possible outcome when a frame maker has proper fit coordinates and fully understands the tube set character and the component choices along with the riders desired handling and ride qualities… Having the rider in the prime position within the frame is just as important as having the parts in their respective optimal placements.

Thankfully I was able to provide all the information Sarto needed and Sarto understand their craft…

With that, my Lampo tips to the side of stability rather than overly quick handling.

It’s fantastic at transferring my energy into forward movement with very little flex at the bars or BB.

Conversely it also has more bump damping that I would think possible with the stiffness on hand. The Lampo isn’t “soft”. It’s not as compliant as the Energia Disc but then this bikes requested focus was for speed-with-comfort where the Energia was requested for comfort-with-speed… In both cases, Sarto hit the target.

The build detail and quality are fanatical. This bike has delivered a couple of thousand miles without a squeak, wiggle or rattle of any kind. That’s again due, in part, to the fact that every component here is sitting in it’s sweet spot rather than hung out or crammed in… And yes, the component choices are a big part of that as well.

The Lampo is at home screaming down descents and it is very happy when you’re standing on the pedals and sprinting (or knocking out a climbing attack). It’s also not a bad companion slogging up the climbs despite the larger Aero-profile tubes, deep section wheels and stiffer profiled bars.

Everything here is set up to go quickly rather than win at the weight scale, but the all in weight of the Lampo is just 7.3 Kg. That weight is including the deep section wheels, double-thick bar tape, bottle cages, pedals, standard padded saddle… For a bike with a focus on transferring power and holding speed, 7.3 is a very good number.

A few other numbers that you’ll want… Sarto’s Lampo SRP’s and options.

Stock Lampo Rim Brake: $5,399
Custom Geometry: $249
Paint options:
L1 – $349 (Stock graphics pattern – customer chooses paint)
L2 – $749 and up (Fully custom Graphics)
Chrome Paint – add $200 to either of the above.

So in this case, my Lampo sits comfortably at $6197. That’s custom Geometry and my color choices in Chrome finish… Add the full Kit and wheels from Campagnolo and FSA’s Bar and stem and Looks Pedals and the Cages from Elite etc and the amount grows a bit. But when you look at what some of the stock kit from Italy is running these days? Getting exactly what you want seems like a better spend than foolishly chasing something because a Pro Tour rider is shilling it.

If it’s a bargain you’re hunting, My suggestion is Sarto’s Veneto SL… You can get a full build with Campy Potenza for the frame and fork cost of the Lampo (but don’t be an idiot like me and forget to pay the custom geometry up-charge…)

You’ll also want to consider that lead times for Sarto can be a bit of a moving target.

Right now the average is 8-12 weeks, but you have to remember that Sarto also build the frames for a couple of other companies and that they also get special project requests that move things around in a fashion that Italian manufacturers are famous (or infamous…) for.

But then this is the land of Ferrari and Lamborghini and Pagani and when you ask the Italians to take the tip-top of the worlds product and make it more special, you’re on their clock.

I don’t ever seem to mind the wait when the end result looks and (and performs) like this…

For North American Distribution and dealer information contact: [email protected]

You can see the full range from Sarto at: SartoAntonio.com

You can get a gander at all the new Campy bits at : Campagnolo.com

Stop in to FSA at: FullSpeedAhead.com

Pirelli’s new tires can be found at: Velo.Pirelli.com

Elite’s Cages (and trainers and other great kit) are at: Elite-IT.com

Look Pedals are at: LookCycle.com

And big Thanks for your Lambo Jim! You can see more of the car at: ArtVandelay in Instagram

Sarto are also set to release some new models shortly, so stay tuned!

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan
[email protected]

Note: if you have other experiences with gear, or something to add, drop us a line. We don’t claim to know everything (we just imply it at times). Give us a pat on the back if you like the reviews, or a slap in the head if you feel the need!

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