Cinelli Bootleg Hoy Hoy review£900.00

Never mind the extravagant name – it's a hybrid

BikeRadar score3.5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

The Hoy Hoy is a hybrid by any other name. Our guess is that Cinelli wanted to hide the fact that this is 'just' a hybrid by giving it such an absurd moniker. Twice.

We doubt that Sir Chris Hoy is receiving royalties for the multiple uses of his surname, either. As with the Cinelli Saetta road bike we tested a little while back, Cinelli hasn’t splashed its cash on a colour palette, preferring matt black with a hint of red and white details. The name may shout, the looks don’t, so what of the ride?

Wide-ranging ratios

Cinelli has really gone to town when it comes to gearing, making the most of the triple chainset by adding a wide-ranging cassette. The 26x34 bottom gear is a wall-crawling granny gear, while the 48x11 is only slightly smaller than a 50x11, and bigger than the 50x12 found on a lot of road bikes.

The grips are one of the few bits of ‘shouty’ style on the hoy hoy – though they're not the greatest in use:
The grips are one of the few bits of ‘shouty’ style on the hoy hoy – though they're not the greatest in use:

The grips are one of the few bits of ‘shouty’ style on the Hoy Hoy – though they're not the greatest in use

The sprockets are pretty well spread out too, so while the jumps can be largish, there’s nothing that really catches you out when you’re riding. We can’t think of any situation where you’re ever likely to run out of gears, which you can’t say about every bike.

The third chainring may add a few grams and a tiny percentage to the weight, but you won’t notice that in the overall scheme of things. You will notice that you can ride in the saddle whatever the severity of the slope and the load you’re carrying.

The brakes too are fine, the Shimano cable discs being a solid option. They don’t have the massive single-finger stopping of hydraulic disc brakes, but the combination of power and control is decent for general and leisure riding. The Alex wheels and Maxxis tyres are tough, but they’re not light, so forget sprinting against your friends to the next road sign, unless they’re on similarly sturdy machines.

Enjoyable and practical ride

The Hoy Hoy! combines a longish stem with quite a narrow handlebar, and on our steeper climbs we’d have liked a wider bar for more aggressive climbing and the ability to get out of the saddle more comfortably; we also found Cinelli’s plain round grips a bit meh.

We found the hoy hoy a pleasant and capable urban companion for the most part:
We found the hoy hoy a pleasant and capable urban companion for the most part:

We found the Hoy Hoy a pleasant and capable urban companion for the most part

As on a lot of flat-barred bikes, if you’re regularly riding longer than a few miles at a stretch, we’d seriously consider fitting bar ends or alternative – non-round – grips, such as Ergon’s GP2, which combine a more friendly palm-shaped grip with a small bar end (the GP3, 4 and 5 offer longer bar ends).

That lack of alternative handholds was the Cinelli's only real limiting factor when it came to comfort. You can feel the firmness of the alloy frame via the 31.6mm seatpost, but the ride never became wearing through the saddle.

The Hoy Hoy is a hugely enjoyable ride, and with front and rear mudguards (that'll be fenders, US readers) and fittings for a rear rack it’s practical for all-round commuting. You won’t be as fast as on a drop-barred bike, but it's versatile and tough. It’s got one little secret up its very dark sleeves as well – large reflective details on the lower fork legs and the seatstays.

Commuter bike grouptest

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Simon has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and more seriously since his time at university in the Dark Ages (the 1980s). This has taken in time trialling, duathlon and triathlon and he has toured extensively in Asia and Australasia, including riding solo 2900km from Cairns to Melbourne. He now mainly rides as a long-distance commuter and leisure/fitness rider. He has been testing bikes and working for Cycling Plus in various capacities for nearly 20 years.
  • Age: 52
  • Height: 175cm / 5'9
  • Weight: 75kg /165lb
  • Waist: 33in
  • Discipline: Road, touring, commuting
  • Current Bikes: Rose SL3000, Hewitt steel tourer
  • Beer of Choice: Samuel Adams Boston Lager
  • Location: Bath, UK

Related Articles

Back to top