The New 2016 Basso Ulisse Touring Bike

I have a soft spot for Basso bikes. I owned a Basso Astra carbon road bike for a number of years, and it still remains the nicest riding road bike I’ve ever swung my leg over. It seemed to excel at everything – it was lovely and stiff yet did an exceptional job of absorbing road buzz. It was the kind of bike where I could ride 200km day after day and feel great. When I saw that Basso were constructing a steel touring bike called the Basso Ulisse… I started to get a bit excited!

Basso have been building road bikes in Italy since the 1970s. They’ve always been at the forefront in terms of frame construction, specialising in materials from steel to aluminium and more recently carbon. Their 2016 bike line up features both carbon and steel.

The 2016 Basso Ulisse

Basso Ulisse 2016 Touring Bike 1

There is limited information on the Basso website about the type of steel tubing used in the Ulisse. What I do know is that the tubing comes from German firm Mannesmann. You probably haven’t heard of them, but they have a VERY long history of working with steel. Mannesmann were established in 1890 and actually invented the first drawing and butting technique for a seamless steel tube. These days they do very little of the world’s steel frame tubing for bicycles, but in the past they’ve made some really nice custom shaped, triple-butted tube sets for selected manufacturers.

Basso Ulisse 2016 Touring Bike 3

Like almost all Basso frames, the Ulisse is constructed in Italy. It uses lugs to connect each tube together, while embossed BASSO lettering on the seatstay and the integrated seat clamp bolt complete the classic look. A few nice touring features on this frame include a ‘fork stop’ on the down tube which prevents the handlebars turning more than 90 degrees, a kickstand mount, rim brake bosses AND disc brake tabs, three bidon mounts, and of course fender and rack eyelets. The Basso painting process is always top notch: six layers of paint go onto each frame and an electrochemical pretreatment keeps the frame from corrosion.

Basso Ulisse 2016 Touring Bike 4

Basso Ulisse 2016 Touring Bike 5

Basso Ulisse 2016 Touring Bike 6


Like most touring bikes, the geometry of the Ulisse is relaxed and long. A tall headtube keeps the handlebar height in line with the saddle which tends to be better for all day comfort. A fork rake of ~50mm provides a rather high fork ‘trail’, slowing the steering response which suits carrying heavy bags on your tour.

To have a Basso touring bike in your possession, you’ll need to part with €2150 (frame and fork). It comes in six sizes between 50-60cm.

Basso Ulisse 2016 Touring Bike 2

Want To Compare This Touring Bike With Dozens of Others?

Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. This guide is updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!

Bicycle Touring Book Sample Page 74-75
The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide helps you compare touring bikes, side-by-side.

Helpful Resources

All About Touring Bike Brakes
Frame Materials for Bicycle Touring
How to Select Touring Bike Gearing
Understand Bicycle Frame Geometry
What’s the Difference between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?

Touring Bikes Overview

2016 Advocate Lorax
2016 Basso Ulisse
2016 Bianchi Volpe and Lupo 2016
2016 Bombtrack Beyond
2017 Bombtrack Beyond
2016 Brodie Elan Vital
2016 Cannondale Touring
2016 Cinelli Hobootleg Geo
2017 Curve Grovel V2
2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon
2016 Fuji Touring
2017 Fuji Touring
2016 Genesis Tour de Fer
2016 Giant ToughRoad
2017 Giant ToughRoad
2016 Jamis Aurora and Aurora Elite
2016 Kona Big Rove
2016 Kona Roadhouse and Sutra LTD
2016 Kona Sutra
2017 Kona Sutra
2016 Marin Four Corners
2017 Marin Four Corners
2016 Masi Giramondo
2016 Niner RLT9
2016 Rawland Ulv and Ravn
2016 Salsa Deadwood
2017 Salsa Fargo
2016 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Vaya
2016 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized Diverge
2017 Specialized Sequoia
2017 Surly Troll
2016 Traitor Wander
2016 Trek 920, 720, 520 & CrossRip
2017 Trek CrossRip

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