Our first contact with Gianni Pegoretti’s Deanima brand was at NAHBS earlier this year, where we saw their collection of custom, mostly road bikes along with the all new Soul carbon gravel bike. The Deanima Soul is their first gravel bike, borrowing the front triangle tubeset from their Unblended disc brake road bike, and offering full custom geometry and paint with made-in-Italy craftsmanship for $4,100 for the frameset. If that sounds like a lot, keep in mind that some high end stock framesets run about the same (or more), but are just that…stock. Here, you get carte blanche to design your paint scheme (there’s a limit, but their North American rep says it’s pretty liberal as to what they’ll do before having to charge more) and get custom geometry and layup.
The bike I rode was made for the owner of Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto, who commissioned it for him, but we’re of similar proportions. Even though it’s not custom for me, it rode remarkably well, so my commentary on the geometry will be limited to this: For a first gravel bike, Gianni seems to have nailed the relationship between spirited riding and steady handling off road. I took it on a mix of fast, straight dirt and gravel sections, plenty of pavement, and my usual rooty cyclocross training loop in the woods. And then there’s the general ride quality…
Gianni started out building bikes with his brother Dario (RIP) decades ago, then split off to create his own brand. He’s built with steel and alloy, too, but has building carbon bikes for around 15 or more years for both himself and for other (major European) brands. So, the rider benefits from decades of experience and the ability to tweak the design for cyclocross, gravel racing, adventure riding, or whatever.
For the Deanima Soul, he uses a quasi-tube to tube method, where some sections (like the chainstays and bottom bracket junction) are built as a single piece, then bonded to the others. This allows them control over the angles while also keeping some bits lighter and stiffer than making each and every piece separately.
Square/rectangular down and top tubes keep it torsionally and laterally stiff, and internal routing keeps it clean.
The seat tube can be had in 27.2 or 31.6, and it’s kevlar reinforced to make it stronger and add a little vibration reduction.
The BB is a Pressfit BB386, and the downtube takes full advantage of that width.
The frameset ships with their own fork (shown here), with options to sub in models from 3T, ENVE or Columbus models if you want (for an upcharge). This one clears up to 700×40, same for the frame, and they say it’ll clear a 650×47, too. But my hunch is this bike is really meant for 700c wheels and tires.
Thru axles are 12mm front and rear, along with flat mount disc brakes.
It ships with a Deda headset that uses nested spacers to make it a little stiffer than standard spacers, but upper bearing is still pressed into the frame and other headsets can be used. Expect frame weights from 950g and up, depending on size and stiffness requirements.
If you’re getting ready to crush gravel next season, the lead time is usually 8 to 12 weeks depending on time of year, so plan accordingly. For North American customers, check out Blacksmith Cycle to get the ball rolling.