If you’ve failed to notice how popular cycling has become over the past couple of years you must have been living under a rock. A rock not placed close to a roadside or near a nice sweeping berm. The masses are finally beginning to switch on to cycling and its numerous benefits and even if most new cyclists are not quite the ‘I ride absolutely everywhere on my bike and I now hate my car’ type they are at the very least a Sunday morning bimbler. Happily getting some fresh air on a sun dappled back lane somewhere whilst slipstreaming a tractor.
Yep. Cycling has arrived.
Bike manufacturers have been quick to grasp that with a fast expanse of riders, not everybody who enjoys cycling is a fitness loving yoga freak who can ride 100 miles in a TT position. Sportive frames, with an emphasis on a more comfortable upright position, are now the biggest selling type of bike frame. Many of the ‘Old Guard’ still insists that you’re not a proper cyclist unless your chin is being grazed by the front wheel with your bum in the air, but they’re a shrinking minority.
Sportive frames are brilliant. They are. But what if you have that little voice inside that says ‘Oh come on. I’m not Eddy Merckx but I’m not Bernie Clifton either. Some people have an ambitious streak and whilst a sportive frame will fit most perfectly some just need that little bit of spice.
The MEKK Poggio
MEKK are a young company in the industry but like most young companies are formed from partnerships between experienced heads. Mark Edward and Ken Knight (M.E.K.K. Geddit?) have been around in the industry for years and pooled their collective knowledge into their own brand. Poggio has a frame that was designed for the sportive rider with ambitions. Its numbers and angles don’t immediately suggest a full race thoroughbred but it’s not exactly a shopping bike either.
A full (good looking) carbon frame boasts internal cabling complete with full Di2 compatibility, which offers the option to make some tasty upgrades further down the line and the carbon fork and steerer are of the tapered variety keeping steering strong and direct. The top tube sits with a slight curve giving a nod to the comfort element of the ride whilst the short(ish) wheel stays give it that fast response feel. Stamping down on the pedals it’s happy to quickly pick up the pace and its shorter head tube allows you to get a bit lower to punch through the air, the position feels comfortable but lifting the bars is only a matter of a spacer if you need it. It’s a nice balance of being comfortable enough for long rides whilst being able to give you some race style poke. MEKK pitch this as an all rounder and they have got it exactly right.
The shifting is in the hands of the new look Sora 9 speed with its ‘up-shift’ button sitting behind the brake lever for better control on the descents. The chainset, which looks like it’s something out of Tron, is a compact 50/34 for chopping down ascents. The brakes and finishing kit are MEKK branded and do exactly what they are supposed to.
So how much does an internal cabled full carbon frame with Shimano shifting cost. Well at the moment an offer price of £749.99 down from £1099.99. So if you’re a cyclist who likes a leisurely comfortable ride with a spot of chasing down that roadie in the distance when nobody’s looking, why not give it a look over.