Moda, which is born and bred in the UK, brings the new Vivo to replace the Prima model.
While both manufacturer and model name could conjure up images of a Tuscan assembly line full of Italian passione, the truth is that five-year-old firm Moda is born and bred in the UK, a fact proudly declared on the head tube for all to see.
The Derbyshire-built Vivo — meaning ‘lively’ in Italian — replaces the very similarly styled Prima in Moda’s 11-bike road range. Unusually, the Prima used a blend of butted aluminium and carbon-fibre, the latter material being used for the seat stays as well as the fork to improve comfort and to rid the bike of some of the ‘buzz’ often associated with aluminium road bikes.
So it may come as something of a surprise to learn that rather than break the mould and follow the carbon crowd, this replacement model uses a frame made entirely from metal. And if that doesn’t raise an eyebrow, then the fact that this new bike is almost a kilogram lighter than the model it replaces should. In fact, tipping the scales at just 7.6kg, the Vivo is considerably lighter than a number of similarly priced carbon-fibre bikes, too.
Recent advancements in technology and manufacturing techniques has made aluminium a viable option again — and has afforded Moda the opportunity to rediscover its humle beginnings in the skill of welding tubes. But now, instead of the need to focus on keeping costs low and quality high, the chance to use higher grades of aluminium tubing means it can produce lightweight, race-ready bikes that aren’t just carbon copies of the competition.
The Vivo lives up to its name and feels lively. The well-finished frame feels stiff and keen to respond to rider input, whether that’s hard acceleration or enthusiastic cornering. The American Classic wheelset is a generous inclusion at such a low RRP and overall there’s a race-bred feeling to the Vivo that seems unlikely given its material.
Moda offers its buyers the choice of several different finishing kits, wheels and groupsets through its ‘Dream Build’ scheme giving riders the chance to personalise at the point of purchase, right down to stem and crank length.
For a pound shy of £1,500 we tried the ‘Factory Build’ option that included Moda’s own Barelli-branded brakes and finishing kit. Both proved to be as pleasing in performance as they are aesthetically and not — as is so often the case — a compromise to the chosen groupset, in the Vivo’s case Shimano’s third-tier 10-speed 105. Forget about aluminium being the cheap option. Now, particularly at this price point, it’s simply another perfectly acceptable alternative.