FAVALORO ENERGY SUV
For most people, buying a bike means looking at a specific brand or two, and generally, that’s one of the big brands. Then there are the rare few looking for something unique, something not mass-produced. For those riders, there are brands like Favaloro.
Michele Favaloro is a master bike builder in the quaint Italian town of Polpenazze located on the shores of Lake Garda. As he has done for 25 years, Michele hand-builds every frame that bears his name, often to rider specifications, and has a passion for learning new ways to make a bike better. His frames have won multiple awards at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
Though most of his work since the early 2000s has been directed to carbon fiber, his start came when aluminum was still the most popular frame material and opted for traditional aluminum for the Energy. And, as much as his focus had also been on non-assist mountain and road bikes, the surge in e-bikes caught his attention, and along with Italian motor maker Polini, the two brands found a common goal.
Although much of Favaloro’s production these days is in carbon, his use of aluminum serves two purposes: it was chosen to go with the Polini-designed motor and aluminum mount and, owing to his legacy as a custom builder, aluminum is also the easiest and most cost-effective way to produce an individual frame with personalized sizing and geometry.
There are visible welds where the tubes are joined and a carbon fiber fork is used.
E-specific components from SRAM make up the drivetrain, and they’ve used a KMC e-bike-specific chain. Cabling is minimal and very well-routed, with only a little showing between the bars and frame.
Vittorio Trail Tech 700cx38 tires provide a decent amount of volume to help tame the bumps in the road. They’re designed for gravel riding with knobs for grip. SRAM hydraulic disc brakes ensure great stopping capability. The rear brake lever also has the lone shift lever that makes shifting easy.
The Italian-made Selle SMP has a unique look with a curvaceous profile that sets it apart from most saddles. There’s a long relief channel down the middle of the Selle SMP saddle, which looks crazy, but it’s actually very well-designed and comfortable, even on longer rides.