|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Milan, Italy, November 8 - 11, 2007
Part 2 - Cinelli and Guerciotti on show in Italy
By Gregor Brown in Milan
Cinelli keeps on rockin'
Cinelli rolls into the new year with two new frames and a variety of innovative components to complement them. Perched high on the totem pole is the all-carbon Best Of, which mixes both old and new with its integrated seat post and retro colouring. The frame comes in two paint schemes: Carbo & Bianca or Tuttarossa. Both of these colours boast classic lines, with the former showing off the carbon structure underneath and the red model looking like a distinct throwback to the Cinelli steel Supercorsa.
The new frame uses the proven Columbus XLR8R carbon tubeset that has been around Cinelli's stable for a few years. Tube-to-tube wrapped joint construction methods allows for custom builds on top of the standard six sizes, explained Massimo Morganti of Cinelli, and additional carbon plies in the seat tube and bottom bracket supposedly make for a stiffer and more responsive ride. Comfort is provided by the arched top tube and seat stays, which Cinelli says are more vertically compliant than straight tubes. The matching Columbus Carve Mega monocoque carbon fork is painted to match the Tuttarossa color option or left in its natural state for those that opt for the Carbo & Bianca scheme.
The rockin' new Willin' frame gets its name from the song by 1970's rock band, Little Feet, and promises to deliver an equally powerful kick with its Columbus SL unidirectional carbon fiber and semi-monocoque construction . The frame is only available in four sizes, but wears a more aggressively compact geometry (the top tube slopes between 8-14°) that Cinelli hopes will fit a wide range of rider measurements, as well as capabilities and budgets. Morganti noted that entry-level customers can choose a more affordable selection of componentry to ease the cost of entry of their first Cinelli, while more experienced and well-heeled riders could take the best the industry has to offer and walk away with a competitive machine.
Cinelli's 2008 component range will gain a new super anatomic carbon road bar, and a newly separated Ram bar and stem which will supplement the existing one-piece version. According to Cinelli, the new Ram separates will provide users with nearly the same styling as the monocoque version but will obviously allow for more adjustment. The bars are also an extra two centimetres longer at the ends to provide more room for your hands when the bars are tilted up, and the matching oversized monocoque carbon stem is capped with a four-bolt aluminium face plate.
Cinelli seeks to optimize the four major grip zones with the radically different curves and shapes on the new Neo Morphe carbon handlebar. The Neo Morphe can be paired with any stem that fits its 31.8mm clamping area, but Cinelli naturally suggests using the matching Neo CK. According to Cinelli, the carbon fiber-and-Kevlar wrap on the 7075 aluminium base isn't just aesthetic as it increases the stiffness of the stem and enhances its strength.
Cinelli has long been known for providing what many would argue is the world's best handlebar tape, and it has released some gems for 2008. The Volée ribbon borrows technology from the world of tennis to provide a firm and shock absorbing grip, while the Corky Gel goes a more natural route by infusing real strips of cork with a new built-in gel technology, called VibraAbsorbR, that provides additional comfort.
Other particularly eye-catching options include the retro-coloured World Champion cork ribbon, dressed up with the five colours of the rainbow jersey, and the glow in the dark Lumen, augmented by two red reflective bar ends.
Guerciotti races on for 2008
Guerciotti's forty years of experience continues to pay off as Italian star
Gilberto Simoni will compete on its machines starting in 2008. The Milano-based
company introduced its new Khaybar HT at the EICMA bicycle trade show, a revamped
Alero, and the race proven Whisper.
Simoni will likely ride the new Khaybar HT with its newly integrated seat post - a feature that has grown increasingly popular in spite of its practical shortcomings - which Guerciotti says provides greater stiffness and a smooth look as there is no seat post binding pin next to the main triangle. As on the Cinelli Best of, the Khaybar HT uses tube-to-tube wrapped carbon joint construction for its Dedacciai Rebel tubes that allow for custom geometry and tunable stiffness.
Simoni may also tap into the slightly lighter Alero, a new semi-monocoque carbon offering with an Oria-made, but Guerciotti-exclusive, front triangle mould that Guerciotti also employs for its top cyclo-cross model. The front triangle is bonded to road-specific Dedacciai carbon chain- and seat stay assemblies with purposely oversized bond joints that add both rigidity and security (bigger joints offer more surface area). According to Guerciotti Product Manager Roberto Salvadeo, the bike is "designed to be stiffer, and safer on the down hills."
The workhorse Whisper frame carries over for 2008 with the same Dedacciai D7.9 aluminium tubeset that Alessandro Bertolini used at the 2007 World Championships to help Paolo Bettini successfully defend his World Championship title. Although perhaps not as flashy as Guerciotti's carbon frames, the Whisper still qualifies as a top-end race machine with a claimed weight between 830g and 870g. Only riders 75kg or less should apply, though.
Even with its new road offerings, Guerciotti's roots are still in cyclo-cross - the company started in 1964 when noted 'cross rider Paolo Guerciotti opened a bike shop in Milano with his brother, and Paolo went on to race the 1979 'Cross Worlds while maintaining his business that now supplies bikes to many top riders in one of cycling's most demanding discipline.
Guerciotti's cyclo-cross star, the X-Crow, will carry Marco Fontana through the Italian cyclo-cross races this season, and hopefully in the World Championships this January in Treviso, Italy. The frame is made with the same monocoque carbon front triangle as the road-going Alero, but with a different rear end for additional tire clearance. As one would expect, the X-Crow's clean and elegant design looks very similar to high-end road bikes. According to Guerciotti, though, the similarity is more than aesthetic as the parallel design also makes the X-Crow comparably light and stiff.