Disc vs. Rim. Has any debate kept riders so divided as this in the history of cycling? Fear not, this is not another debate article scrutinizing the merits and failures of either stopping system. Instead, we're sharing a pair of hand built Sarto road bikes for a rider who simply didn't want to choose. A matte black Asola and a pearly white Seta. One rim and one disc. Is a yin and yang reference too cliché here? Follow along as we dive into this Bike of the Week double feature.
The Rim Braked Asola
We'll start things off with the black rim braked number. The Asola is Sarto's classically styled climbing bike. It's of the lightest offerings in the Sarto range, and thanks to its classic round main tubes and thin stays, it's plenty smooth to boot. Simple, understated styling was the name of the game for both of these bikes, so this Asola got a simple clear coat over the bare carbon frame. While it is routed for internal Di2 wiring, the rear brake line is exposed to ensure the smoothest of operation and serviceability. These bikes are completely custom and made to order, which includes the option to have it built with a Chris King InSet headset.
The cockpit is comprised with pieces from Enve. 40c compact bars,mounted to a 100mm stem, and an offset seatpost out back.The saddle is a Throne RS form our local bike fit gurus at 3D Bike Fit, while the tape is Fizik Endurance Classic, both in bright white to contrast the frames black finish.
The drivetrain is primarily Shimano Dura-Ace, of the electronic variety. This bike was built for long days with big climbing, so the gearing selection is ready to spin. 165mm cranks with compact rings make up the chainset. For an extended range, we opted for an Ultegra RX medium cage rear derailleur to wrap around a 11-34t cassette. Quiet, smooth, and gears to climb anything in your way.
For a fully custom bike, we felt it fitting to build a custom set of wheels. We aimed to hit the sacred trifecta—light, durable, and with versatile performance. We landed on what you see here. A debadged set Alto CC40 rims laced up to White Industries T11 hubs. 20 radially laced Sapim CX-Ray spokes hold the front wheel together, while twenty four, laced two cross, tie up the rear. The wheels are wrapped in Vittoria Cora 25c tires, and secured be Dura-Ace skewers.
Rounding out the build are some of our signature finishing touches. EE brakes and compression plug add elegance and extended weight savings. The rear derailleur was souped up with titanium Ceramicspeed coated pulley wheels. The Dura-Ace crank also spins on coated ceramic bearings, keeping the drive train friction free.
Ready to ride, this bike weighs in at 15.81lbs (7.18kg). Not bad for a hand made daily driver with no particularly weight weenie components.
The Disc Braked Seta
Different but the same. That's a simplistic way to put the theme of this bike. The fit specs and much of the build spec are identical to the Asola to keep switches back and forth familiar, but has enough differences to give it its own personality. Obviously, the pearl white paint is polar opposite to the matte black Asola. It's also a bit more generous in tire clearance to compliment its slightly more all-road leaning geometry and carbon layup.
We've featured a few Seta Plus builds over the past year, but this actually might be the first of the classic Seta. The Seta Plus is a modern marvel of a bike, but not everyone is after the complexity of totally integrated cabe routing or needs the full 35c tire clearance. For those, the Seta is the perfect solution.
Like we said, the same rider and same fit, so the cockpit spec is mirrored here. The same Enve, 3D Bike Fit, and FIzik combination, though this time all black.
The drivetrain is nearly identical to its Asola sibling. Dura-Ace Di2 with a wide range Ultegra cassette and rear derailleur. The main difference being... the disc brakes. We applaud Shimano for their ability to have made their disc and rim brake Di2 levers nearly indistinguishable. The rotors are actually from the XTR line. Why? Simply because we think they look cooler.
Sometimes you just gotta have fun, and that's exactly what riding a pair of Lightweight Meilenstein wheels is. Fun. Obviously, they're light, but their stiffness and responsiveness is on a league of their own. To balance them out, they're shoed with 30c Vittoria Corsa Controls.
Naturally, Ceramicspeed goodies can be found on this bike too.
The final weigh in on the Seta? 16.81lbs (7.62kg) Given the disc brakes, more paint, bigger tires, and slightly more rugged lay-up, that pretty respectable compared to Asola.
If you had to pick just one, which would it be for you? With a pairing like these, you could't go wrong either way. Regardless of your preference, a Sarto can be custom tailored just for you. If you've got any questions on any of the platforms in their range, don't hesitate give us a shout. Thanks for reading!