When we last saw the Tempo back in 2010 we really rather liked it, but like any new offering, there is always an air of expectation. A bit like a band’s second album after a debut hit.
British brand Moda has been busy over the past couple of years. It has added a few other bikes to its stable – we gave you the lowdown on the Bolero a couple of weeks back – and whereas in 2010 the Tempo was Moda’s entry-level bike at £1,599.99, the 2011/12 model now sits fourth in an expanded line-up of 10 bikes.
Knocking £200 off the asking price hasn’t pushed the quality of the ride down. The Tempo still uses the 7005 triple-butted aluminium alloy, but this time it has bonded high-modulus carbon seatstays into alloy lugs.
This does give it a bit of a different appearance to your standard rear end, but hey – the bike world would be boring if all frames looked the same. Moda has stuck with the reliable American Classic’s Victory 30 wheel package and the Barelli finishing kit, both of which, for the price, are right on the money.
Other than the frame change, the biggest difference is a complete Shimano 105 groupset rather than Ultegra 6700 which the previous incarnation ran. It’s a shame, but you’ll struggle to get any bike with Ultegra at this price point, and to be honest it’s still specced well above average for the £1,400 mark.
Besides, 105 is great equipment – it shifts swiftly and brakes responsively, which matches the mood of the Moda because there’s no denying that this bike is swift. The carbon fork and funky looking rear does relieve an element of road buzz that full aluminium bikes are known for – but don’t be thinking you’ll get an armchair ride.
It still offers a direct connection with the road and a ride that could best be characterised as pingy and responsive, light and stiff.
Some might find it fatiguing, especially if riding for more than a couple of hours out on the open roads. Also, it does skip about at a flat-out sprint on anything other than a smooth surface.
To me, the Tempo has criterium or circuit race written all over it. It’s nippy, responsive, and so eager to respond to rider effort that it will do a good job in delivering you to the finish line – assuming, of course, that your legs feel the same.