Officine Mattio Lemma 2.0 £10,200 | 7.3kg
CYCLING WEEKLY|January 13, 2022
David Bradford tests a lesser-known Italian dream machine
Being CW’s fitness editor, rather than a tech writer, I don’t often get the chance to pick and choose among the crème de la crème of bicycles. The parcels that arrive for me tend to contain nutritional powders or massage balls rather than high-modulus carbon. This has rarely reduced me to tears, but it leaves me curious: what would it be like to ride one of those astonishingly (to me) unaffordable bikes targeted at those lucky tech journalists and even luckier few who have five-figure bike budgets?

So when an email arrived from Offline Mattio (OM) detailing the brand’s latest top-of-the-range models, I sensed my chance had come. Possibly as a remnant from my motorcycling days, I have a thing for boutique Italian brands – those offering not just something special but something exclusive. Few UK riders have heard of OM, it being a relatively new niche brand, which added to its appeal. If I was going to have the privilege to test a top-spec bike, I didn’t want a flashy me-too product off a Far East conveyor belt; I wanted a lovingly crafted, rarefied bike that only those in the know would appreciate.

You can customise your own frame geometry for an additional €550. Since the Lemma’s frame is not a monocoque made with a mould, each tube is individually cut and mitred according to body measurements, and then ‘wrapped’ together with the others.

This meant my first task was to provide a list of measurements: torso, legs – inside and outside – shoulders, and arms. The bike that arrived was OM’s flagship Lemma 2.0, set up, in theory, precisely to suit my physical dimensions: a size 560mm frame with 73º head angle and 73.5º seat angle, with a wheelbase of 993mm.

The Lemma has a special significance in the OM range, as it was the first frame created by the brand upon its foundation two years ago. It takes its name, Lemma, from a hill located around 20km north-west of the firm’s HQ in Cuneo in the north-west of Italy. As the 2.0 designation implies, this is version two. Faithful to the purebred Italian theme, the frame is made in Genoa.

My first impressions were mixed. Don’t get me wrong, the Lemma 2.0 is a very handsome bike with beautiful clean lines, its brake hoses and the seat clamp neatly tucked away in the frame. But I wasn’t feeling swept away. The understated finish of my test model, plain carbon apart from a simple block of dark red paint on the top tube and down tube, along with the frame’s classic, conventional shape, left me feeling almost guiltily underwhelmed. Yes, I’d wanted a bike that was subtly exceptional, but this was taking stealth arguably too far. To put it bluntly, I wasn’t sure that those who saw me on this bike – and let’s face it, bikes like this are partly about being seen – would realise that, if they wished to emulate me, it would cost them not a penny short of £10,200.

The frame is made from Toray T800 carbon. You might expect the top-rate T1000 at this price point but that’s hardly a criticism because, as we know, stiffness isn’t everything. Despite using lower-grade carbon, the brand has managed to keep the frame’s weight down to 900g (claimed), which is still light.

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