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So far it’s a solo ride.

BOTW: A Silver Arrow Sarto Seta Plus

Chad Nordwall |

This week we have one of my main workhorses. I've had this for over a year now, and as my only disc brake bike is the one that has been used to test numerous wheel sets and tire combinations and types. I'm not entirely sure how many miles are on it, but it must be close to four thousand miles. I've already gone through one Quarq power meter and a cassette, so that seems right. It's been ridden in all weather conditions, including a couple of atmospheric rivers, which until a year ago, I didn't realize was a thing. The main items tested on this bike in those miles are Schmolke TLO, Lightweight Meilentstein Schwartz (tubular), Partington MK1, Cadex 50 Ultra and Duke Baccara C SLS2 wheels, plus one that I won't name yet as it has not been launched as I write this. I've also tried too many tires to count, tubeless, clincher, tubular, everything from 27c to 34c, brake rotors types and sizes and various other smaller items.

THE FRAMESET

The Sarto Seta Plus is the Italian brand's do-everything road frame. With room for up to 35c tires (depending on the wheel used), it's suitable for any type of road surface. Mine came with a Deda seat post and Ursus bar and stem. Unfortunately, I forgot to weigh the frame before building it, but regardless of the weight, the bike feels light. Depending on the wheels used, I've seen it as low as 15 lbs and as high as 16.5 lbs complete. The frame allows for fully internal cable routing. Sarto was one of the first to offer that a few years ago. The internal cabling makes for a clean look but makes position adjustments with the bar/stem a bit tedious and time-consuming. If you prefer a frame that allows for easy position adjustment and has minimal cables visible, you can still get the non-Plus model (though there are a few other changes, so ask us about that when deciding on the model). The frame utilizes a 27.2 seatpost and a T47 bottom bracket shell.

One of the things I love about this frame is that you can use all sorts of bar/stem combinations. You are not limited to just one proprietary system. I happen to like the Ursus parts fine, but it's nice to know that I can try different bar shapes and stems and if I want, can also use the one-piece set ups out there. I like the ability to fine-tune the front end and, as such, stuck to a more traditional two-piece combination.

This frame is set up to work with Campagnolo EPS, Shimano Di2 or SRAM AXS groups and finished in a dark silver matte paint job with the raw 1K weave peeping through the main logos on the down tube.

DRIVETRAIN

I set this up with a SRAM Red AXS group, to begin with. This includes the Quarq power meter, and Ceramicspeed coated bottom bracket. Otherwise, it's pretty stock.

COCKPIT

I've already covered most of this above, but the frame comes with a Deda Superleggera seat post and the Ursus two-piece bar and stem combo. I used the Fizik Arione 00 saddle that Mick at Busyman re-covered for me that came off my Pegoretti Marcelo. For pedals, I'm using the bomber Shimano Dura-Ace and rounding it all out is some Deda bar tape (at least at the time of the pictures, it has now pretty much disintegrated, and now I have some simple Fizik tape on the Sarto).

WHEELS AND TIRES

As I mentioned above, I've used a lot of wheels and tire combinations on this bike as it's my primary (only) disc brake bike. In these pictures, though, you see the Lightweight Meilenstein, Schwartz ed. with 30c tubeless tires from Challenge. We'll cover the differences between all the wheels later, but for what it's worth, the bike felt great with this combination, very fast and quick when cornering and sprinting.

EPHEMERA

We've been playing around and adding things to this bike over time and started with the Ceramicspeed-coated headset bearings. While ceramic headset bearings can seem frivolous, we do it on almost every bike with fully internally routed cables, as it's such a pain to swap or service the headset. In the year I've used this bike, in all weather conditions and even with all my sweat, we have not had to service the bearings at all. We also added the Ceramicspeed titanium pulley wheels to go along w/ the bottom bracket. Anywhere we can add titanium bolts, we do it and top off the titanium love with the valve stems, which are much stronger (yes, we have broken alloy valve stems before) than the alloy ones. Bottle cages are from Arundel, the saddle bag is our own model Velocolour makes, and I still use the SRM PC8 head unit, which I've had for years and love the simplicity.

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