Moda Finale Aero Bike Review

"The Finale is the top thoroughbred racing steed from British brand Moda. Chunky aerodynamic frame tubes with not a cable on show may not please purists, but I liked the clean aesthetic which also results in lower drag through the wind. Aero framesets are the norm for World Tour and cafe racers alike now, and with free speed for everyone it is no surprise. The bike looks very modern with a cool glossy white finish  and black finishing kit. It had me feeling like Roger Moore in a Lotus Esprit.

Some aero bikes are fiddly to adjust, but the integrated seat clamp was straightforward to use, and I appreciated the subtle height measurements detailed on to the back of the aero seatpost. The front end is clean; Moda have chosen to fit the Finale with a Deda Superbox stem and standard bar. This is just as aerodynamic and tidy as a one-peice bar and stem seen on Canyon’s Aeroad or the Trek Madone, but is much more practical. You can still fit any handlebar and stem length which allows for ultimate rider customisation as opposed to a generic bar width or shape for a certain stem length. 

As with all modern race bikes, the Finale is equipped with flat mount disc brakes, which are certainly welcome given how easily the bike gets up to speed. The Ffinale was comfortable flying down descents and braking late to kill speed before turning. With Continental 28mm tyres as standard, grip is no issue either in wet or dry conditions. 

Moda have stuck with the reliable and user-friendly Shimano groupsets, both in 11 and 12 speed offerings. I was lucky enough to test a 12-speed 105 groupset. The development of the mid-range groupset over the past few years is incredible. Now with electronic shifting, the changes are quicker and smoother than ever. A 34x34 gear means you can spin up the steepest of climbs, and still stick it in the 11 sprocket and smash the descent. Built in ant+ and bluetooth means you can see your current gear selection on your head unit if that’s your thing, and check the di2 charge level on the go. Any updates or setting customisation goes through the Shimano E-TUBE mobile app too.

The Finale is a stiff and fast ride, designed for speed rather than comfort. I was unbeaten on the local chaingang town sign sprint for a month testing the bike, and although I can’t promise the same for every rider, I think it would be an excellent choice for crit racers and chaingang heroes looking for straight-line speed anywhere. 

I was lucky enough to take the Finale to Mallorca for a short training camp over December, and the bike climbed surprisingly well for an aero bike with discs. It performed well up long climbs like Puig Major and Sa Calobra, accelerating out of hairpins well and the stiffness of the frameset really showing when I got out of the saddle. 

The bike was equally at home on a wet British weekend and in the sunny Spanish mountains. If you are looking for a new high-speed machine the aptly-named Finale could well be the last bike you ever need." - James McKay 

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