Giordano has made a name for themselves manufacturing quality entry-level road bikes, but in case you didn’t know, they also go a bit higher on the scale with some other models as well.
The Giordano Libero 2.0 is a big step up from the entry-level 1.6, offering a lot more bike for just a little more money.
This bike successfully offers many features that you find on bikes well over the $1,000 mark, while remaining well under that price point.
The result is a truly mid-range road bike that offers a very high level of performance, but won’t cost you near as much.
It’s almost like a well-kept secret in the road bike world.
Well, the secret is out. The Giordano Libero 2.0 is the best road bike you can get for under $800. It is the perfect progression up from an entry-level bike, and provides an incredible frame value that you can continue to upgrade for years to come.
One may wonder how Giordano managed to cram this many features onto a bike for this low of a price. This is not some sort of bait-and-switch -- both the frame and the components are on the higher end of the spectrum, and there really aren't any glaring deficiencies.
While the Libero 1.6 is a great entry-level bike, the 2.0 builds off of the main aspects of its cheaper cousin, offering a better bike in every sense. You can certainly feel the difference when on the road, and there is no doubt that the Libero 2.0 offers some major advantages never before seen in this price range.
The Libero 2.0’s aluminum frame is the same found on their other bikes, but with one distinct advantage: a carbon fork.
While this combination is not unheard of, it definitely is for under $1,000. You get the rigid feel and response of an aluminum frame, but with the shock absorption and weight savings of the carbon fork.
The bike's stance is more geared for recreational riding, as you aren’t encouraged to lean forwards when in a seated position. If you prefer a more race-oriented stance, you can tweak the saddle position a bit.
Otherwise, you have a very comfortable stance for fitness and commuting
The drivetrain of the Libero 2.0 is all provided by Shimano Sora series components.
This includes the crank, cassette, both derailleurs, and the shifters as well. Using a cohesive series of parts from the same series allows the bike to have very precise and snappy shifting with all 18 gears.
The braking on the Libero 2.0 isn’t the best you’ll find, but it’s still better than entry-level brakes. The levers are comfortably positioned, and the lever response is adequate for using stock brake pads. They can be easily upgraded if desired.
The wheelset is a big upgrade from the 1.6 You get very light, rigid, and durable Vitesse alloy rims, coupled with Kenda Black Road Clincher tires. They have a great amount of grip and traction, and are durable enough to absorb some hefty bumps on the road when needed.
You may want to eventually upgrade, but it’s not necessary.
The seating components of the Libero 2.0 are surprisingly comfortable, as a stock alloy seatpost has some decent adjustability, and supports a Velo saddle that has a strategic shape and just enough padding for longer fitness and commuting rides.
The saddle is almost always a complaint with basically any bike under $2,000, so this is a nice surprise.
Put all this together, and you have a very capable road bike that is priced to be just above an entry-level bike, but does not feel like one at all. This is a good thing.
It’s hard to pinpoint any one thing that really stands out with this bike, but if we were to narrow it down, it would have to be the carbon fork. We’ve mentioned it once already, but getting a carbon fiber fork on a bike this cheap is not normal. It’s a huge plus, and the first one you’ll notice.
The Shimano Sora drivetrain components are another huge pro, as this ensures a fast-acting shift system that gives you solid command over a wide array of gears, all of which have a good ratio to handle everything from top speeds to climbing with ease.
The above-average wheelset is another great thing about this bike, as you can use them for years before looking for an upgrade.
It seems a little petty to find anything wrong with a bike that offers this much for a low price.
That said, while the seating system is more than adequate, the seatpost is a little heavy, and you can get some better positioning from a higher-quality product.
It’s also a little inexplicable as to why this bike ignored the pedal aspect. It seems like Giordano simply forgot about them. You get some basic plastic/alloy pedals, with no cage or straps.
For a bike this nice, it would’ve made sense to at least have some toe cages.
As with any bike ordered online, you will want to set aside some money to have a bike shop give you a professional tune up, and even assemble it if needed.
We’d also recommend buying some better pedals with this bike, whether it’s clipless or toe cages. Either way.
If you own an entry-level bike, and you want to get more serious about road biking, the Libero 2.0 is a logical buy if you’re trying to keep things very affordable.
If you’re willing to spend some extra money from the outset, this bike is also a great entry-level bike in its own right, and one that you can keep for several years, even as you progress.
The Libero 2.0’s combination of frame, fork, and components is simply the best you’ll find for this cheap. We love this bike, and you will too.
This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 08:47 pm
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