While it may be somewhat overshadowed by Colnago's flagship models, the Strada SL 105 Complete Bike reminds us of two facts. First, Colnago initially made its name working with metal alloys, so it's little surprise that the Italian manufacturer is capable of producing an aluminum frameset that's still relevant in today's racing scene. Second, there's a reason why aluminum enjoyed such popularity in the peloton, even during the rise of carbon fiber. Both of the above facts manifest in the hydroformed shaping of the tubes, which uses stiff, polygonal cross sections at the joints responsible for power transfer read: the head tube and bottom bracket and round at the seat tube junction for added compliance and vertical shock absorption. This keeps the ride comfortable while limiting the tubes' ability to twist and flex under load. The tapered head tube and carbon fork continue this paradoxical trend of stiffness with a comfortable ride into the bike's front end. The latter is especially important to ride quality, as the Strada SL uses the same cobblestone devouring fork as the CX Zero frame. The geometry is similar to the V1 R, with variations of a millimeter or a fraction of a degree here and there, depending on the size. That means the Strada SL has race ready geometry that won't force you to contort into a knot in order to navigate a huge drop from saddle to bars. It holds steady lines through sweeping corners without the twitchy skittishness of carbon fiber criterium bikes. The oversized aluminum tubing takes advantage of the geometry's racing pedigree by giving the ride a firm reactivity to pedal input whether you're accelerating out of corners or opening the throttle on a climb. The Strada SL's Shimano Ultegra drivetrain is equally ready for whatever challenges you chose to encounter in the saddle. It's light, precisely accurate, and attractive pro level shifting in every aspect but the price. Japanese expertise is also evident in the Shimano WH RS11 whee...