Officina Battaglin upgrades gorgeous Portofino with disc brakes

Officina Battaglin blends traditional steel and carbon construction
Officina Battaglin has finally upgraded its Portofino to accept disc brakes (Image credit: Officina Battaglin )

Officina Battaglin embraces the trend towards improved road bike brake performance, with its 2020 model year Portofino.

The boutique Italian frame builder has announced that its custom steel Portofino road bike range, will now feature the option of disc brakes.

For those road riders who believe in the elegant aesthetics and ride quality benefits of an immaculately engineered and constructed steel frame, the new Portofino will have inarguable appeal.

Each Portofino has its own geometry specifications, as interpreted by company founder Giovanni Battaglin, after exhaustively interviewing and analysing the body measurements of potential customers.

Battaglin Portofino Disc

Disc brakes will vastly improve The Battagalin Portofino's dynamic safety in wet weather (Image credit: Officina Battaglin)

Although the Portofino disc bikes might each be unique in their geometry, they all share exquisite Italian hand-crafted design details. The tubes are joined by gorgeous chromed lugs, which enable Officina Battaglin to use Columbus HSS tubing.

A benefit of these oversized tubes, drawn to Officina Battaglin’s specification, is their vibration-damping properties. The Portofino promises to deliver fatigue-mitigating road bike ride quality, allowing owners to persevere, instead of suffer, during those long weekend rides.

The Portofino’s main triangles might be constructed from the very best cycling steel, but its fork is carbon. Officina Battaglin builds each Portofino fork to owner specifications and this customisation has enabled the fitment of disc brakes.

Battaglin Portofino Disc

Each Portofino disc bikes might be unique in their geometry, they all share exquisite Italian hand-crafted design details (Image credit: Officina Battaglin)

Steering responses and front-wheel tracking stability benefit from the use of an oversized headtube, made possible by the lugs and Columbus custom tubing. This allows Officina Battaglin to fabricate a 1”⅛ to 1”¼ tapered head tube, which accommodates the larger surface area of its stouter carbon fork crown design.

An Officina Battaglin custom road bike with carbon fork and disc brakes might appear too untraditional in theory, for Italian classic bike brand followers, but the Portofino has been executed with typical panache. The presence of disc brakes also vastly improve its dynamic safety in wet weather and descending steep mountain roads.

Battaglin Portofino Disc

Front-wheel tracking stability benefits from an oversized headtube, made possible by the lugs and Columbus custom tubing (Image credit: Officina Battaglin)

Beyond the custom sizing, geometry and fork construction, Officina Battaglin also offers a range of paint finishes. Exclusivity is guaranteed, too, with a production cap of only 70 Portofino bikes a year, with each a frame starting at €3,500.

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Lance Branquinho is a Namibian born media professional, with 15-years of experience in technology and engineering journalism covering anything with wheels. Being from Namibia, he knows a good gravel road when he sees one, and he has raced some of Africa’s best-known mountain bike stage races, such as Wines2Wales and Berg&Bush.