Jun 23, 2023

Battaglin Fenix, a Custom Steel Road eBike, Born out of Giro

Officina Battaglin has unveiled the world’s first custom steel road ebike, and it’s a stunner with a great backstory. Made-in-Italy to the same exacting handcrafted standards and exceptionally shiny finish as their standard road and gravel bikes, the Fenix is a stealthy made-to-measure ebike that preserves classic looks.

But the reason it exists in the first place is the best part…

Giovanni Battaglin won two road Grand Tours back to back in 1981, and founded his frame-building company just a year later. But the now 72-year-old ex-racer was diagnosed with heart dysfunction health issues a few years ago, meaning he couldn’t really ride a bike at all anymore. But with the Officina Battaglin workshop located in Marostica, Italy – and the Dolomites literally rising just outside of town – the whole company set out to develop an ebike to get Giovanni back in the saddle.

“The only way he could be back in the saddle was on an e-bike. But while there were plenty of e-bikes to choose from, he couldn’t find one he truly liked, mostly because of their stiff carbon frames and unappealing designs,” says Alex Battaglin, Giovanni’s son and CEO of the company these days.

The resulting Battaglin Fenix ebike looks almost exactly like a regular road bike. But it gets the extra boost from an FSA ebike motor in the rear hub and a 250Wh internal battery cleanly integrated in the custom-drawn Columbus steel downtube, providing that smooth pedal-assist that means the Giro-Vuelta winner can ride the Veneto roads again.

The Fenix is made-to-order with custom geometry developed for each buyer, then welded & brazed by hand from custom Columbus GB81 steel tubing and a 3D-printed bottom bracket cluster to integrate the internal battery and charging port.

An FSA hub motor provides 250W of pedal-assist in an equally stealthy package tucked between the cassette and rear rotor – all built into a set of carbon Vision Metron 40 SL wheels. There’s a built-in 250Wh battery inside the surprisingly slim 56mm outer diameter downtube, which based on my experience would likely get around 50 or 60km of assist range (depending on rider weight, assist mode & elevation). But you can also plus in FSA’s range extender external bottle battery for another 250Wh to double the range for longer rides.

The ebike features fully internal cable routing through the straight 1.5″ headset and Battaglin’s own custom-machined alloy stem that also cleanly houses the single control button for the ebike powertrain front & center. That does mean it is limited to electronic groupsets – Battaglin only build it up with Shimano Di2 or SRAM AXS.

The disc brake only Fenix gets 32mm of generous all-road tire clearance with flat mount brakes, 12mm thru-axles, and a 31.6mm seatpost

The custom-made steel Battaglin Fenix ebike is available only as a limited edition – they’ll build a max of 30 ebikes this year. Unlike their regular bikes, the Fenix is only available as a complete ebike (and only in Europe), with pricing starting at 9900€ with a SRAM Rival eTap AXS 2×12 build.

Buyers get to choose from 12 core ultra-shiny cromovelato colors for their bespoke steel ebike, with frame, full carbon fork, CNC stem, carbon seatpost, and carbon handlebar – all painted-to-match.

This cromovelato blue Fenix with an Ultegra groupset that has kept Giovanni Battaglin’s passion for road riding alive, has a claimed actual weight of just 13.2kg without