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Basso Palta II: update of popular gravel bike goes the extra mile

Will Strickson
9 Oct 2021

Previously praised for its road-ready aggressive geometry, Basso's new Palta II has doubled down while increasing long-distance comfort

Page 1 of 2Basso Palta II: update of popular gravel bike goes the extra mile

Basso has launched the Palta II, the next generation of its versatile gravel bike with new features that prioritise comfort over speed.

The Italian manufacturer explains that while the previous Palta – ridden and reviewed by Cyclist's James Spender in late 2019 – is still an incredibly popular platform four years after its initial release, the success of that model provided the assurance to push on with the same methodology and mindset to go even further.

Named Palta after what the gravel is called in Italy's Veneto region – where Basso is based and where the Palta is made – it was crafted from the brand's experience producing top tier road bikes, like the Diamante, transferring qualities including handling and ride quality onto a gravel-ready bike.

That added to the appeal of the Palta, its aggressive position helping to maintain road bike thrust even after the road ran out. However, as James noted, it meant that long-ride comfort – a key aspect of gravel bikes for many – was sacrificed somewhat.

Now, Basso says, the Palta II is 'faster, more reactive, more comfortable and more versatile than its predecessor'.

Basso Palta II geometry and comfort

Probably the biggest change in regards to comfort is the new geometry. Basso noted that, although the Palta's aggressive position was largely a positive thing, a number of customers were using additional spacers to bring them a bit more upright.

So the Palta II has a slightly higher top tube to appease that need without entering into 'relaxed' territory.

On top of that, the head tube angle has been opened up a little and the top tube slope has been increased, both adding smoothness to the ride when the surface begins to bite back with the extra degrees of slope exposing more of the seatpost therefore improving flexibility and shock absorption.

Basso has also added a new seat stay design that, it says, thanks to its 'rear-facing curvature and special carbon layup' adds vertical compliance – further flex – without compromising lateral stiffness.

It goes further still with a new version of the brand's vibration-damping 3B clamp system and alterations to the flange and rubber gusset aiding to soak up as much rattle as possible.

The final addition to the comfort department is the allowance for up to tyres up to 45mm and even space for 650b wheels with up to 2.1in tyres if that floats your boat.

Basso Palta II frameset, speed and extras

Don't fret though, it's not all about comfort, Basso has also sought to counterbalance those changes with more speed via aerodynamic improvements.

The down tube, seat stays, seat tube, head tube and fork legs have all been refined for minimal drag, with rounded leading edges and Kamm tail rears – essentially an abrupt end to the shape.

Palta II also has fully internal cable routing and Basso has refined the system to allow for this to work with an oversized headset and stackable spacers that have a split-lock design, which allows for their separation and removal without cable rerouting. Alongside that, the new construction of the stem also enables maintenance, position changes or any other fiddling without the need to reroute.

That's not the only change up front though. It comes with an all new ergonomic carbon fibre handlebar, which is apparently #gravelspecific with an 8° flare and wide tops. A stem lock system also prevents the bars from clashing with the top tube in the event of a crash.

What's also incredibly handy about the Palta II's design is that Basso has minimised the number of different tools needed to make on-the-go repairs and those that are required have been very cleverly packed into the thru axles so you'll never forget them.

If you do require more, or just want to pack more kit, food etc. for a longer adventure, there are mounts for three bottle cages, a saddle bag, a frame bag and a handlebar bag, plus there's a hidden mount for a top tube bag.

Basso Palta II spec, groupsets and pricing

The Basso Palta II is available to buy with a choice of Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo groupsets as well as rim and disc brake. We had the pleasure of being invited to try out one of the new bikes with Basso in the Dolomites, be sure to check out the next page for our first ride review. Stock wheels are mostly from Basso's Microtech brand.

It comes in three colourways, 'Phantom' black, a crazy 'Poseidon' which actually changes colour from gold to green depending on the light and a rather pleasing 'Stone Grey' that won't hide your dirt as well but you should be cleaning it anyway so that's not an issue.

You can buy the frame kit, including fork, headset, stem, handlebar and seatpost for €2,899 or for €39 more you can have Microtech MX25 wheels, the saddle and bar tape on top.

Groupset Gearing Wheels Price
Campagnolo Ekar 1×13; 42T; 10-44t Campagnolo Shamal Carbon €6,419
Campagnolo Ekar 1×13; 42T; 10-44t Microtech RE38 Disc €6,312
Campagnolo Ekar 1×13; 42T; 10-44t Microtech MX25 €5,135
Sram Rival Etap AXS 2×12; 46-33T; 10-36t Microtech RE38 Disc €6,312
Sram Rival Etap AXS 2×12; 46-33T; 10-36t Microtech MX25 €6,312
Sram Rival Etap AXS 1×12; 40T; 10-44t Microtech RE38 Disc €5,884
Sram Rival Etap AXS 1×12; 40T; 10-44t Microtech MX25 €4,762
Shimano GRX 800 2×11; 48-31T; 11-30t Microtech RE38 Disc €5,699
Shimano GRX 800 2×11; 48-31T; 11-30t Microtech MX25 €4,479
Shimano GRX 800 1×11; 42T; 11-42t Microtech RE38 Disc €5,499
Shimano GRX 800 1×11; 42T; 11-42t Microtech MX25 €4,299
Shimano GRX 600 2×11; 46-30T; 11-34t Microtech RE38 Disc €5,199
Shimano GRX 600 2×11; 46-30T; 11-34t Microtech MX25 €3,999

For more information visit bassobikes.com

Page 1 of 2Basso Palta II: update of popular gravel bike goes the extra mile