Willem Jan’s Basso Astra

Willem Jan is a talented mechanic from Holland, now living in Girona & running the show in the Eat Sleep Cycle workshop. Willem moved to Girona with his partner Annemiek to continue working in the cycling industry & to enjoy perfect conditions for cycling & racing year-round. Willem Jan is a skilled mountain biker but […]

Willem Jan is a talented mechanic from Holland, now living in Girona & running the show in the Eat Sleep Cycle workshop. Willem moved to Girona with his partner Annemiek to continue working in the cycling industry & to enjoy perfect conditions for cycling & racing year-round.

Willem Jan is a skilled mountain biker but loves to race road bikes too. When he started working with Eat Sleep Cycle in summer 2020 he wasted no time in test riding all of our demo bikes – the Factor VAM, the Ridley Helium, the Ridley Fenix in search of a new bike. Ultimately the Astra stole his heart.

Why the Basso Astra?

We joined Willem for a spin out on a favourite local lunchtime route & asked him more about his Basso Astra.

The funny thing is that I didn’t expect to buy a Basso Astra! When I started my new job at ESC I knew I wanted to ride on a brand from the shop. But which one was not clear yet, so I tested some of the amazing bikes that we have at ESC! From pure climber bikes to flat out Aero machines.

Then I took a Basso Astra built with Ultegra Disc mechanical & fitted my carbon wheels for a fair test ride. The first test ride was the Olot loop – 110 km with different kind of roads from smooth to climbing and some bumpy less-smooth surfaces! From the beginning it was already clear that the Basso was super smooth in the Girona city streets & after 20 km I said to Annemiek “I think I found my new bike” with a big smile on my face!


The Basso Road Bike Range

The Astra sits in the midle of the Basso road bike range, it takes it’s cues from the top of the range Diamante with its straight fork & rear triangle design. The goal of the Astra is to combine snappy handling & acceleration with a more comfortable postition for the longer rides.

We asked Willem Jan how the Astra has impacted his riding style:

The handling is so good that it rides really easy straight out, but when you are cornering it goes directly with a trust feeling and still a good amount of space to change your line. And that is for me a sign of a good bike. Doing sprints with this bike is a big joy! Every pedal push is forward movement.

Louise, Eat Sleep Cycle partner (& rider of a Basso Diamante) says of Basso:

Basso don’t aim to have the lightest, the stiffest or the most aerodymanic bike. Their philosophy is rooted in bike racing & the pursuite of the ultimate ride quality. Once you’ve experienced a sliky smooth, beautifully balanced Basso, it’s tough to go back.

Famiglia Basso Bikes

Basso Bikes remains a family run business based in Bassano del Grappa, a town nestled between Venice & the Italian Dolomites. The story is a beautiful one. Alcide Basso started making racing bikes in his parents garage in 1974. He supported his pro-cyclist & World Champion brother, Marino, as a mechanic on his race team. He learnt here what it was to ride, what a bicycle was to the rider & Basso bikes was born.

Alcide strived to create a frame which offers the best possible riding experience & 40 years later his company is still innovating. A Basso is made in Italy, it oozes elegance & style whilst performing at the highest level.

For Basso, the experience of riding one of their bikes isn’t quantifiable & must be experienced to appreciate it. In their own words:

At Basso it is all about the ride. There most certainly exist lighter bikes, more aero bikes, but none that ride, handle and inspire like a Basso. Every fiber in its construction, every angle in its geometry and every shape of every tube in a Basso frame is designed around the never-ending quest to produce a total ride experience that redefines the joy in performance cycling.

The Basso Astra – Build Options

The Astra is in its 6th iteration & is still handcrafted in the Basso Factory in Italy. The 2021 edition features an integrated seatpost clamp, internally routed cables, a revised carbon tube structure & a choice of three paint colours – Ice Silver, Siena Terra or Dark Asphalt. The standard builds available are Sram Force AXS & Shimano Ultegra Di2 with Campagnolo Chorus & Sram Rival becmoing available in June 2021. The standard wheelset is the MR Lite, a decent, hard working wheelset which comes as standard.

However, the Astra really excels when you treat her to a wheel upgrade the MR38 Disc or the DT Swiss PRC 1800 are well worth the extra investment.


Willem Jan reckons the Astra is a great all-round bike:

I use the Basso Astra for easy spins, intervals, and racing. And all of that is feeling perfect on the bike! A little thing that I love are the sprint shifters that I need to use in our weekly team lunch ride . This in-house carbon frame from Basso is nailing everything that they say on their website! And that is pretty nice.

Basso Astra Custom Options

Of course, we like to make sure our customers get exactly what they are looking for, and anyone who buys a bike at Eat Sleep Cycle should not feel limited by the factory builds. Willem Jan customized his bike to the following spec:

Group set: Shimano Ultegra Di2
Chainrings: 53-36
Cassete: 11-28
Powermeter: 4iii left only
Carbon wheels: 50 high
Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Tubeless
Handlebar: Zipp compact 40 width
Stem: Basso 13 cm
Saddle: Pro stealth 152
Bottlecages: Arundel Carbon
Bartape: Lizard skin

Finally, we asked Willem Jan to share his favourite ride:

My favorite loop to ride around Girona is the Hincapie loop! Flat sections climbs and everything next to Girona

Want to find out more about Basso Bikes?

We are the official Basso Bikes point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Basso Bikes section on our online shop or get in touch!

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Written by Louise Laker

The bike has always been an escape for me - a way to get rid of the stresses of the day, to set myself a physical & mental challenge, to meet great people and have ton of fun.

After years of studying, working in the sustainability sector and road racing on the UK circuit, I moved from London to Girona to pursue the dream of professional cycling.

Instead, something more incredible happened - I co-founded Eat Sleep Cycle in the cycling capital of Europe, Girona.

We create & deliver beautiful cycling tours all over Europe. We love what we do and that shows in our work.

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