A strong contender in the budget road bike bracket, the Tommaso Fascino aims to provide capable performance without the heavy price tag found on other rides. Sporting a full Shimano Tourney groupset and durable steel fork merged to a sturdy aluminum frame, it represents great value and part of why we choose this as one of the best budget road bikes.
The aluminum frame is built on a rather standard geometry with the top tube employing the recognizable curve found on other Tommaso road bikes. A strong foundation to build off of, this same frame can be seen on their high-end models too. You can see this performance virtue by observing the minimal frame flexion while sprinting, leading to better power delivery and stability.
In a quest to cater to a wide array of riders, the geometry of the Fascino will match most anyone with comfort. It’s an attractive and functional frame which in our opinion is the star of the show.
Employing a steel fork on all their entry- and mid-level models including this one, steel is preferable over aluminum for durability and vibration dampening all while having a minimal effect on weight. In the long run, steel will outlive aluminum with ease and the added comfort is well worth it!
Definitely, a steel fork will weigh roughly a pound more and have different handling characteristics than aluminum, however, this difference is quite negligible in real-world applications and you’ll likely appreciate the smoother ride that a steel fork provides.
The Shimano Tourney groupset is commonly found on good budget road bikes and for a fine reason – it offers a great price to performance ratio and has vastly improved reliability over 3rd party components. For a more advanced out-of the box Claris groupset, we recommend Tommaso Imola, which will probably offer a slightly better value when it comes to drivetrain.
While we wouldn’t say it’s worthy of top-tier racing or for competitive use, it’s more than capable for the advanced and casual rider who likes to push the pace at times. Here’s a detailed breakdown of Fascino’s groupset components:
A 21-speed (3 by 7) gearing using a complete Shimano Tourney component set matched with a KMC Z51 chain, you’ll get plenty of versatility and reliability whether you’ll face steep hill climbs or intense descents.
An added benefit of the Shimano Tourney drivetrain is that there are no mix-and-matched parts found on some cheap road bikes. This significantly improves maintenance, quality of life, and reliability. Replacement Shimano parts are plentiful and it’s highly likely that your local bike shop has what you’ll need in case something goes awry.
Shimano Tourney crankset.
A somewhat weak point that sticks out to us is that the Tommaso Fascino opts for rim brakes rather than discs. In our humble opinion, disc brakes are almost always worth the increase in cost, however somewhat overkill for most day-to-day situations.
Rim brakes are completely fine for commuting throughout the days, are easy to maintain and provide fine performance for light racing, though we strongly prefer disc brakes if you’re looking to pick up some speed or live in a place where you’ll encounter dirt or rain more often than usual.
One advantage of these brakes, however, is that maintenance and upkeep are very straightforward and rim brakes are often more reliable than low-end hydraulic disc brakes.
Using their own Tommaso TC-20 wheelset, you can expect perfect compatibility with the bike which was built around them from the ground up.
While upgrading is certainly a possibility further down the road, many people have been perfectly content with the included set and don’t see much purpose in swapping them out for a fancier set. Unless you’re slightly overweight – in that case getting wheels with a higher number of spokes would be essential to keeping your bike intact.
A 20-spoke front and 24-spoke rear both hosting a 23mm rim, they’re plenty versatile and will fit a good range of different tires and tubes. They accept 8,9, and 10-speed cassettes and standard 6-bolt rotors as well, though we think it’s unlikely you’ll end up changing parts around anyways.
Great quality handlebar even on Tommaso’s most budget road bike.
Comfortable saddle allows is good enough for longer training rides.
The shallow-drop handlebars are comfortable to use and won’t drop you down too low – as a result, you’ll be placed into a half-aggressive posture instead of a full-tilt angle for optimal aero. You’ll end up being much more comfortable during those daily commutes and handling will be much easier when going around the streets.
Though, you’ll still get fine aerodynamics which will easily allow you to keep up with other competent cyclists and let you fly past the majority of riders during your daily hustle.
Tipping the scales at 23.6lbs for the small size and 24.8 for the XL, this is among some of the lightest road bikes in this price bracket. Sure, it’s not ultralight compared to those $5,000 UCI compliant machines, but it’s really fine for the vast majority of people who start their cycling journey.
In fact, you will have a hard time finding a lighter bike with equal components in this price category. With some (expensive) part swaps like a carbon fork and seatpost, you can easily cut the mass down to match those found on professional rigs.