Vilano Shadow 3.0 Review

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Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike Review

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Since 2008, Vilano has built a reputation for building high-quality bikes, and the Vilano Shadow 3.0 extends the legacy with quality construction.

The Vilano Shadow 3.0 road bike is a great beginner bike that will let you fall in love with road biking again.

This bike is built for performance, without gouging the bank. Though affordable, it doesn’t use cheap parts, and in any case, the bike has components from big brands such as Prowheel and Shimano. Want to see more cheap inexpensive road bike ? Check this out.

First Impression

The first thing that you will notice on this bike is the gorgeous aesthetics; the Vilano Shadow is finished in a truly smoky tone, and the results are a sleek look on the road.

However, I would not be doing the Shadow 3.0 justice by focusing much of the attention to its looks, yes-it’s a stylish road bike, but there is an awful lot more to it than looks.

For starters, it has an awesome packaging, but most importantly, it features a coterie of awesome and performance-oriented features starting with the Shimano STI integrated shifter, double-butted aluminum frame to a decent set of 700c double-walled CNC alloy based wheels.

Who is This Bike for?

The Vilano Shadow 3.0 is designed as the perfect starter bike for anyone looking for an affordable and easy run-around bike. Though the bike is a budget option, and many people are going to be turned off by this, the good news, however, is that its specifications do not reflect on a budget-cut bike any bit.

Built with durable materials and equipped with great features, the Shadow 3.0 will deliver outstanding performance and unmatched versatility. It’s more than a bike for use on your daily commutes, but can also double up as a training, exploring and for fun bike too.


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Aluminum Frame Construction

The frame of a bike is the most notable component because the performance, as well as the durability of the product, mostly depend on its structure.

The Vilano Shadow 3.0, similar to Tommaso Forcella we reviewed uses a 6061 double-butted aluminum frame.

The aluminum frame is lightweight, durable and will stand the test of time. Contrary to the denser and heavier steel frames, the aluminum frame on the Vilano Shadow is sturdy and will allow you to hit the road at any time easily.

The aluminum frame, alongside the internal cable routing, will provide you with rugged dependability, while the tensile steel fork will allow for even weight distribution without compromising your ride.

Given that the frame comes in three different frame sizes: 49, 53, and 57 centimeters, you can see why the bike is such a popular option as it will accommodate riders of different heights.

Well-thought Design

While still at the frame construction, I think it would be of help to note that the Vilano features an internal cable routing that helps in the aerodynamics plus the cockpit maneuverability.

Drivetrain-Shimano A070 STI

Vilano did not skimp when it came to the drivetrain.

The Shadow 3.0 is equipped with a Shimano A070 STI Shifter with the integrated brake lever. The benefit of the Shimano shifter is that it will offer you precise and controllable cycling experience.

For the adrenaline junkies like me, the shifter allows me to accelerate quickly and easily. In fact, the Shadow 3.0 seems to glide across flat surfaces, and thus gave me confidence in my biking abilities and allowed me to focus on the ride rather than pedaling.

Speaking of pedaling, it’s a matter of joy that the Shadow 3.0 belongs to the Install pedals whereas the right pedal is installed clockwise and the left pedal is counterclockwise. This arrangement provides easy pedaling and allows easy maneuverability and smoother movement.

Overall, the integrated shifting lever allowed me to maintain control of the bike while braking, shifting or cranking leaving two points of contact at all times.

Braking System-Caliper

 Brakes are equally as important as speed.

The Shadow 3.0 utilizes caliper brakes that squeeze the rims for effective slowing and stoppage.

The caliper brakes on the Shadow are the dual pivot alloy caliper type, and with this in place, you will no longer have to worry about shaking, warping or losing control when coming to a stop.

A major highlight the brake construction on this bike is that the brake pads are tapered and this helps them to hug the rim and allow for an instant stop without bumping or jarring.

Again, though the caliper brakes are not as effective as the disc brakes, they provide an awesome braking performance even on wet terrains.


It’s quite unfortunate that the rims, which are a major component of the wheelset are often overlooked. The rims play a vital role in providing the brakes a place to grip and the tires a place to mount.

With the Vilano road bike, you get 700c double-walled CNC rims with allowing machined sides.

The benefits of these rims are they will provide an extra smooth surface that helps in braking and aerodynamics.

Moreover, the 700c diameter, though standard, plays a huge role as it allows for easy positioning and performance of the tires and fenders while still leaving enough room at the fork for mud and dirt to pass without binding.

Complementing the rims are the wheels, which are mounted on the CNC double walled rims. The CST 700C tires, however, are meant for use for the road and gravel and not for trials, downhills or mountain biking. Their inherent slim profile will allow you to lean into corners without sacrificing on your speed and improve your ability to pull out of an incline while maintaining crank.

Anatomic Comfort

Comfort on the Vilano is manifested through several means.

For starters, the saddles on this bike are well-padded for good comfort, while the seat post is designed for anatomic comfort.

The saddles combined with the drop handles will further go a long way in improving your comfort levels. This is not to mention that these comfort creatures will also play an integral role in maintaining speed and control on your bike. This translates to more confidence as you get to explore and perfect your bike riding skills.

What We Like

  • ​Affordable
  • ​Easy to assemble
  • ​Includes free pedals
  • ​Anatomic comfort
  • ​Great entry level road bike

What We Don’t Like

  • ​The tubes may not hold air for long when not in use

Conclusion: Should You Go for the Vilano Shadow 3.0?

From the durable construction, lightweight design to the comfortable saddles, tires, and a great gear system, all beautifully designed to enhance its performance, the Vilano Shadow 3.0 is a big yes for me.

Also, give its competitive pricing, the Vilano Shadow 3.0 makes for a decent road bike.

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