For all the references to Italian artistic finery, Opera’s Super Leonardo is a brute with a killer instinct – more mafioso than virtuoso.
Visually, the main triangle has more in common with the RSJs that hold your house up than the comparatively dainty offerings of the average boutique frame-builder. But of course the Super Leonardo is made of unidirectional high-modulus carbon-fibre so it’s paper-light and when you stomp on the pedals it goes like stink.
Our frameset came built up with Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed, which, after a slightly clunky first few outings, became silky smooth.
Contact points came courtesy of Most, an in-house brand that Opera shares with its sister company, Pinarello. In-house they may be, but the carbon bar/stem and saddle/post combos were finished well and offered good performance. The stiffness of the cockpit added to the overall urgency that the bike delivered, and it was well proportioned.
But while the bars and stem aided the Super Leonardo’s sporting pretensions, the wheels and tyres made it more of a sportive pretender. 24c Continental GPs on Fulcrum Racing 5s are adequate for fast riding but don’t do justice to a frameset that was born to race.
Of course, everything comes at a price. The Fulcrum 1s and Conti GP 4000Ss that would more befit a two-and-a-half-grand frame would add a few hundred quid to the all-in cost. But it would also save over a pound of rotating weight so you might be able to pay for that out of extra prize money…
As it stands, the SL is light, responsive, fun to ride and comfortable on a six-hour epic. Admittedly it looks a bit industrial, but that could equally be part of its charm.
£2,499 frameset only
Unidirectional 46HM3K carbon
Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed
Continental Grand Prix 24c
17.0lb (7.8kg) (without pedals)
Fulcrum Racing 5