Note: We've reviewed newer (and improved) version of this bike. You can check it out here.
Vilano is known for making some of the best entry-level bikes on the market, and that includes their ultra-popular Shadow model.
The Forza 2.0 is a big leap up from the Shadow, as it’s basically the next level upgrade from a beginner bike. While that may not sound all that impressive at first, the Forza 2.0 isn't just any step-up bike.
With its combination of frame, fork, and components, the Vilano Forza 2.0 is a potent road bike in every way, and can serve far above what its price range may initially indicate.
This bike is priced for an intermediate rider who is looking to upgrade to a better bike, and it offers a great value rarely seen with other road bikes in its class.
If you’re looking to progress past your entry-level bike, the Forza 2.0 does that and more. Its components are already quite impressive, and the frame and fork give you a proper foundation to build upon as you choose to upgrade.
Vilano has a disadvantage as far as perception goes. Many view them as just a manufacturer of beginner road bikes, mainly due to the success and popularity of the Shadow.
The Forza 2.0 proves that they're capable of far more, as this bike goes well beyond the entry-level category, and does so with flair.
The Forza 2.0 looks the part of a higher-end road bike, and offers a level of quality that justifies the looks. This begins with the frame itself, which is forged from aluminum, with a very attractive grey matte finish that rivals any major brand road bike costing thousands of dollars.
The frame gives you all of the best aspects of an aluminum frame, which includes solid pedal efficiency, stability, and and responsiveness that allows you to feel the road beneath you.
This combines with a carbon fiber fork that offers some strategic weight savings, along with enhanced shock absorption that allows for a much smoother ride.
When put together, the Forza 2.0 provides you with a high-end frame and fork combination that you can hang onto for years to come. The overall weight is just around 24 lbs, which is more than acceptable for a road bike in this price range.
A few strategic component upgrades can shave off a few pounds in the future.
The stance is more laid back, making the Forza 2.0 great for fitness and commuting. This gives you a more upright position that offers a better range of vision, and is easier on your back during longer rides.
The drivetrain is made up of a mix of parts from both Shimano and Vilano. The crank and cassette are made by Vilano, giving you an astounding 27 speeds to choose from.
This is by far the most you’ll see on a bike in this range. Finding the perfect gear during a climb or descent is made much easier with all of the options.
The Forza 2.0’s front derailleur is a Shimano Sora series, while the rear derailleur is the slightly better Tiagra series. This all amounts to a very quick and precise shift feel, which is also noticeably quiet as well.
The shifting itself is done using integrated brake lever shifters -- a common feature of Vilano.
The wheelset of the Forza 2.0 is decent enough, with CNC alloy rims coupled with some lower-level Kenda 700c x 22c tires. These are a bit thinner than some may prefer, but you are essentially trading off durability and shock absorption for a faster and more efficient ride.
The Cionlli saddle provides a nice finishing touch, as it’s very comfortable for a road bike in this price range. Many have stated that it’s the best saddle they’ve used on a road bike under $1,000.
The Forza 2.0 also comes with toe straps on the pedals, which is a nice step up from basic flat pedals.
When considering all of these aspects, the Forza 2.0 provides an impressive ride quality that is usually found with bikes nearly twice the price.
The obvious attraction to the Forza 2.0 is the frame and carbon fiber fork combination. The shock absorption level is definitely noticeable, and even having part of a carbon frame makes the Forza 2.0 a road bike that you can “grow” with.
You can easily upgrade this bike over time with a frame and fork that are this good.
The quality of the saddle, combined with the included toe straps helps to further add to the Forza 2.0’s feeling of being more than a step-up road bike. The 27 total speeds are immensely useful, and as we mentioned earlier, this bike just looks great.
The brakes and wheels seem to be the only real drawbacks with this bike. You can get by with the CNC rims, but many will prefer something a little better.
The included brake pads aren’t the greatest either, as they are a little spongy and require some added pressure.
This bike works best after a professional tune up, so you’ll want to take it right to your local bike shop after getting it assembled. You will be needing some better brake pads as well, which may only run you about $15 per set.
The Forza 2.0 proves that Vilano excels at more than just entry-level bikes. This is a viable mid-range road bike in every way, which includes the frame and components.
Yes, there are some things that can be upgraded from the outset, but doing so only makes this bike even better.
If you are looking for a new bike that can give you more than the one you started out on, or if you are looking for the ultimate entry-level road bike that you will be using for years to come, the Forza 2.0 has easily got you covered.
This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 08:48 pm
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