Tommaso Imola Review — Is This the Best Entry-Level Road Bike?

Tommaso Imola Review: The Budget Road Bike for Road Biking Enthusiasts

Tommaso Imola Review
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The Tommaso Imola could be the right choice for you if you’re looking for a high-quality budget road bike that won our road bike test!

The Tommaso Imola is hands-down one of the most popular budget road bikes out there. It’s really good-looking and for the little money that you need to invest in it, you get original Italian design and manufacturing.

Tommaso Imola is only available through online purchasing, so there is no option to test-ride it before you buy it. However, there are so many user reviews online, that by reading them you will get a good idea of what you get. It’s great to know that the majority of those are positive and praise everything that this Tommaso bike is.

Through this review, you’ll be able to learn even more about this entry-level aluminum road bike and see its biggest advantages, but we’ll cover some drawbacks of the Tommaso Imola as well.


Tommaso Imola Quick Specs

Tommaso Imola is not so popular and highly praised for no reason. It is a low-end road bike in terms of price, but in terms of components, it is much more. Tommaso has not tried to increase their profit on account of bike quality.

  • Frame: Tommaso 6061 SLA Aluminum Compact Road Frame
  • Fork: Tommaso SST Steel
  • Shifters: Shimano Claris
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Claris 3-speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Claris 8-speed
  • Cassette: Shimano Claris 12-25T
  • Crankset: Shimano Claris 30/39/50T
  • Brakes: Shimano Claris Dual Pivot Brakes
  • Wheelset: Tommaso TC-20
  • Tires: Kenda K152 700x25c
  • Saddle: WTB Volt
  • Pedals: Composite Flat
  • Handlebars: Tommaso Ultracompact handlebars


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Tommaso Imola Main Features

As you can see from the list of specifications, Tommaso Imola has a lot to offer. With this bike, you will definitely not be at the rear of your cycling group (unless you wish to increase drag).

One of the benefits of road cycling with the Imola is its ability to handle both flat and hilly terrains effortlessly. It represents an affordable way to enter the world of road cycling without compromising on quality.

The Tommaso compact frame geometry lets riders enjoy a balanced and responsive riding experience.


Super Light 6061 Alloy

Tommaso's Superlight Aluminum Frame

The lightweight Tommaso 6061 Super light aluminum frame is pretty standard across all aluminum bikes in this price range. They have figured out a geometry that works and there is no need to change it since this frame does its job perfectly well.

It’s definitely not heavy or uncomfortable, so it will provide a seamless ride both uphill and on uneven roads and an optimal position for riding. The Tommaso Imola weighs just 23lbs.

Moreover, this comfortable frame is available in three colors: black, burnt orange, and white. Our personal favorite is the burnt orange, but the other two color combinations look really nice as well. You might not be the fastest cyclist out there, but you’ll be among the more fashionable for sure.

Moreover, the Tommaso team offers a lifetime frame and fork warranty, which is not common with similar budget road bikes. The sturdy construction of the Imola promises a lifetime of hard riding without compromising on performance if you take good care of its components.


Weakest Link: Fork

The fork is definitely the biggest downside of Tommaso Imola if we have to choose one. The fork is made of non-rusting thicker steel, so it is much heavier than an aluminum fork would be and it adds some weight to the bike. However, we have to remember that this is a budget road bike so we need to stay realistic.

If you want to save some weight, for a couple of hundred dollars more, you can choose other Tommaso models with aluminum or even carbon forks. However, for a beginner rider, the weight that the steel fork adds is not going to impact the overall ride in a very significant way.

On a positive note, steel is known to reduce road vibration, so Imola is more comfortable to ride because of it, and it ensures unbeatable durability.

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High-Quality Entry-Level Components

Tommaso Imola sports Shimano Claris components

The drivetrain is the part of Tommaso Imola where manufacturers usually try to increase profits by going for some very low-end solutions. However, Tommaso was not reluctant to part with a few extra dollars and fitted the Imola with a complete Shimano Claris groupset, which is Shimano’s most popular drivetrain for beginners.

Tommaso Imola’s biggest selling point is the uniform Shimano Claris 3×8 drivetrain.

The combination of gears is 3×8 which will be perfectly suitable for a beginner road cyclist. You will have plenty of gear combinations to grind your way uphill, but also to keep up with your cycling buddies on much more expensive road bikes.

The derailleurs are also part of the Shimano Claris groupset which has shown some good results so far. This is the groupset that many budget bike models are fitted with because it offers a great performance for not too much money.

You will definitely have a seamless transition between gears if you take good care of the derailleurs and adjust them properly. When you first get the Imola, since it can only be purchased online, you should take it to a local bike shop so that a trained professional could do the adjustment.


Wheels and Tires

Tommaso Imola tires

The reliable wheelset on Tommaso Imola are their own Tommaso Corsa TC-20. They do not have the aerodynamic shape that some other more expensive Tommaso road bikes do. The front wheel has 20 spokes, while the rear wheel has 24 spokes, so it will support your weight just fine thanks to the increased rear spokes number.

Tommaso Imola’s tires roll effortlessly on different types of paved roads and ensure a fast ride that won’t be too bumpy.

The tires that these wheels are clad with are Kenda’s 700x25c, which is a good width, especially if you are transitioning from a different type of bike and you’re looking for a smoother ride.

PS. Some people who bought the bike reported that they had to take the bike to a shop to true the wheels, so have that in mind. For the best performance, it’s recommended to have the Imola professionally set up at your local bike shop anyways. Once you get that done, you can feel confident to go on a local century ride.


Mid-Level Brakes

Since Tommaso Imola is a budget road bike, we cannot expect it to have disc brakes, and this can be a good thing as well. Disk brakes on budget bikes are usually bulky and heavy and oftentimes unnecessary.

Brakes are also another part of the bike where manufacturers try to save money by going for no-name solutions. However, Tommaso has decided to go for mid-level Shimano Claris brake calipers for this model, so you will be able to stop on a dime and not just go very fast.

The stopping power of Claris brakes is decent, especially for recreational riders who don’t descend at lightening speeds.


Saddle and Pedals

Not a lot can be said about the saddle and the pedals.

Chances are, you might enjoy them and stick with them, or you might hate them from the first day and change them right away. It’s an individual thing, so everyone responds differently.

However, what we can say objectively, is that it is nice that the Imola comes with pedals (flat) so it is ready for riding straight away. The comfortable WTB Volt saddle is the result of a partnership between WTB and Tommaso so it features a Tommaso logo and it looks comfortable enough for some long rides.

The saddle’s design should ensure all-day comfort as it comes with pressure relief zones and optimal padding, but it may not be a good match for some riders. The Ultracompact handlebars also offer several riding positions relieving hand pressure, so you should feel fine on long rides.


Tommaso Imola Frame Size Guide

The Imola road bike is available in six frame sizes that fit a wide range of riders. Here’s a quick size chart to hep you choose the right one for your height.

  • XXS Frame: 4’9″ – 5’1″
  • XS Frame: 5’2″ – 5’6″
  • S Frame: 5’6″ – 5’8″
  • M Frame: 5’8″ – 5’11”
  • L Frames: 5’11” – 6’2″
  • XL Frame: 6’2″ – 6’5″


Tommaso Imola Considerations


If your expectations from a cheap road bike are realistic, then you will be more than happy with the Tommaso Imola. It’s a great bike for someone who is just starting to cycle, or who is buying their first road bike and wants to test the terrain without the obligations that an expensive road bike carries.

The complete Shimano drivetrain with Claris components are really the high point on this bike. It’s great to see that Tommaso has gone the extra mile to please its customers. However, the steel fork is a little bit out of line, but savings had to be made somewhere. Plus, this will not decrease your performance by a lot nor add extreme amounts of extra weight.

Beginner road riders will find great value in Tommaso Imola for daily fitness rides, commutes, or relaxed group events.

With its versatile design, the Imola is ideal for a daily commute or weekend adventures, making it a practical choice for urban cyclists. Our advice is to let a trained mechanic set it up for you at a local bike shop before you ride for the first time to avoid some common problems that shipped bikes have. After that, you will be all set to go!

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Or consider other Tommaso models

Tommaso Imola













  • Light 6061 Aluminum frame
  • Reliable Shimano Claris components
  • Very easy to upgrade
  • 6 Sizes
  • Beautiful desgn


  • Professional assembly required
  • Heavy rims
  • Steel fork

3 thoughts on “Tommaso Imola Review: The Budget Road Bike for Road Biking Enthusiasts

  1. As a professional mechanic performing some Amazon assemblies, i’ve assembled and “adjusted” several of these bikes. I can agree that for an entry level beginner road bike, the overall spec isn’t too bad but the triple front shifter combined with the handlebar makes for a very difficult shift. I assembled in yesterday and no matter how the front derailleur was adjusted, you had to use an awkward hand position to shift. A compact crank would’ve been a better spec imo. And the wheels rims are atrocious. Most folks will forget to adjust the looseball hubs.

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