Five key road and gravel bikes from Cipollini’s 2021 range

From road to gravel, Cipollini's bike range has something for every type of rider

Cipollini bikes – Crimson Performance Orientation Marketing team

Bearing the name of legendary Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini, who won an astonishing 57 Grand Tour stages as a professional cyclist, the Cipollini brand looks to provide a high-end, exclusive bike range that offers something a bit different, and carries over Cipo’s racing flair into bikes that work just as well for the weekend rider.

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Cipollini offers a range of models to cater for road and gravel riders, including the Bond 2, which combines a relaxed road geometry with racy characteristics, the MCM All-Road for road and off-road versatility, the super-light Dolomia, the race-ready NK1K and the speed-focused RB1K. In short, there’s something for all types of riders.

All Cipollini frames are hand-built and painted in its factory in Italy and many use a full monocoque construction, in which the frame is moulded as one piece, rather than the rear triangle being joined to the front of the bike after moulding, as is often the case.

It’s a more expensive, time-consuming process but one that Cipollini says allows it to build frames that are stronger, stiffer and more durable. Cipollini also uses tube-to-tube internally lugged construction for some of its frames, allowing it to offer bespoke frame dimensions.

The association with bike racing continues, with Cipollini bikes being ridden in the UK by the Crimson Performance Orientation Marketing men’s and women’s squads.

UK distributor Paligap sells Cipollini bikes as framesets only, letting you build up your bike to your own spec preferences. They’re sold through a select range of UK bike retailers.

You can also customise spec and paint on most Cipollini bikes through the brand’s MyCipo configurator.

Now let’s take a closer look at Cipollini’s range of road and gravel frames.

Cipollini Bond 2

Cipollini Bond 2 road bike
The Bond 2 is designed to combine an endurance geometry with racy characteristics.
Cipollini

Described as a versatile frame for the ambitious rider, the Bond 2 looks to combine front end and saddle comfort with down tube and chainstay stiffness for a fast, reactive ride, while still providing a comfortable endurance riding position.

The frame is made from T800 high-modulus carbon fibre and uses Cipollini’s True Carbon Monocoque construction method, whereby the front and rear are produced separately then bonded as one piece.

The design includes a seatpost that can be configured to offer either zero or 15mm saddle setback, to let you fine-tune your ride position.

There’s the option of direct-mount rim brakes or disc brakes and enough clearance for 28mm tyres, although the frame is designed around 25mm rubber.

Cipollini bikes
The frame is available in rim brake and disc brake options.
Cipollini

Cipollini Bond 2 frameset details

  • Frame claimed weight: 990g (rim brake), 1,020g (disc brake)
  • Fork claimed weight: 380g (rim brake) 400g (disc brake)
  • Brakes: Direct-mount rim brake or disc brake
  • Maximum tyre size: 28mm
  • UK price: £2,850 (£3,000 for the MyCipo option)

Cipollini MCM Allroad

As Cipollini’s multi-terrain offering, the MCM Allroad is built to offer gravel tyre clearances of up to 42mm, with a slack geometry, including a 71.2-degree fork angle for a medium-size frame, designed to offer a stable ride on off-road terrain.

Despite that, the MCM Allroad’s chainstays have been kept short at 415mm, to ensure a ride that remains reactive and capable on tarmac, as well as trails.

The lugged tube-to-tube construction uses T800 carbon fibre, while you can also customise tube lengths and angles from those in the standard size range in the MyCipo app, described below.

As you’d expect for a gravel bike, the MCM Allroad is designed around disc brakes, while the 1,180g claimed frame weight is complemented by a 380g fork.

Cipollini MCM All-Road gravel bike
Even a sprinter like Mario Cipollini has been drawn to gravel.
Cipollini

Cipollini MCM Allroad frameset

  • Frame claimed weight: 1,180g
  • Fork claimed weight: 380g
  • Brakes: Disc brake
  • Maximum tyre size: 42mm
  • UK price: £3,400 (£3,500 for the MyCipo option)

Who is Mario Cipollini?

Retired pro Mario Cipollini was cycling’s top sprinter during the 1990s, with the red jerseys of his Saeco leadout train an iconic sight on Grand Tour sprint stages.

Cipo was still the rider to beat heading into the 2000s, culminating with victory at the UCI Road World Championships in 2002.

Nicknamed The Lion King, Cipollini was as famed for his showmanship as he was for his cycling. He dressed up as a Roman emperor on a Tour de France rest day and raced in a range of outrageous skinsuits, including a tiger print kit and a muscle suit. 

He also dressed in all yellow and rode a yellow bike as Tour de France race leader – and was fined for it in the days before this became commonplace.

With 12 stage wins at the Tour de France and a record tally of 42 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia, as well as a string of Classics victories and a rainbow jersey, Cipollini’s racing record speaks for itself, and his bikes reflect the Italian’s no-holds-barred attitude to riding.

Mario Cipollini dressed as Julius Caesar
Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

Cipollini Dolomia

Cipollini Dolomia road bike
The Dolomia is Cipollini’s lightweight-aero bike.
Cipollini

The Dolomia is Cipollini’s flagship lightweight-aero frameset designed to offer a light, stiff and fast frame.

At 780g for a size medium, the Dolomia is the lightest in the Cipollini range and the frame is paired with a 380g fork for a total weight of just over 1kg.

The Dolomia frame is available with disc brakes only, running on thru-axles and with clearance for tyres up to 29mm wide.

The frame is designed for front-end integration too, with scope to fit a one-piece bar/stem with internal cables routing into the headset.

Other modern features include a press-fit bottom bracket shell and an aero-profiled carbon seatpost with 10mm setback.

Mario Cipollini says the Dolomia is a bike designed for low weight and comfort, rather than to meet his foremost needs when he was a sprinter: stiffness and reactivity. It’s the bike ridden by the Bardiani CSF Faizanè ProContinental men’s team.

Cipollini Dolomia frameset details

Cipollini Dolomia road bike
The frame weighs a claimed 780g.
Cipollini
  • Frame claimed weight: 780g
  • Fork claimed weight: 380g
  • Brakes: Disc brake
  • Maximum tyre size: 29mm
  • UK price: £4,600 (£4,900 for the MyCipo option)

Cipollini NK1K

Cipollini NK1K road bike
The Cipollini NK1K is used by the Alé BTC Ljubljana women’s WorldTour team.
Cipollini

The Cipollini frameset is designed around an endurance geometry, to place the rider in a comfortable position, but still has a racing edge and is ridden by the Alé BTC Ljubljana women’s WorldTour team.

That’s thanks in part to the T1000 high-modulus carbon fibre construction, while Cipollini says the head tube has also been made stiffer for a more reactive ride. It includes a cap that drops the top bearing of the headset lower in the frame for a more pro, slammed stem look, while the thin seatstays add some flex to the rear end.

The seat tube’s curvature makes for a tight rear triangle too, with 405mm chainstays for a snappy ride, but there’s still clearance for tyres up to 30mm wide, once again aiding versatility and comfort.

Cipollini NK1K frameset details

  • Frame claimed weight: 1,050g (rim brake) 1,100g (disc brake)
  • Fork claimed weight: 360g (rim brake), 380g (disc brake)
  • Brakes: Direct-mount rim brake or disc brake
  • Maximum tyre size: 30mm
  • UK price: £4,800 (£4,900 for the MyCipo option)

Cipollini RB1K

Cipollini THE ONE road bike
The RB1K is designed for all-out speed.
Cipollini

Named “The One” by Cipollini, the RB1K is said to best represent the personality of the brand’s founder.

It’s an out-and-out race frameset made of T1000 carbon, with a long and low race geometry and aero tube profiling – just what you’d expect from a frame bearing the name of one of cycling’s greatest sprinters.

As with the NK1K, there’s a stiff head tube and a top cap cover to lower the front-end profile for a pro look, while a curved seat tube keeps the oversized chainstays short.

It’s the only frameset in the UK range to offer only a direct-mount rim brake option and not disc brakes.

Cipollini RB1K The One road bike
The RB1K plays to Mario Cipollini’s strengths as a rider.
Cipollini

Cipollini RB1K frameset details

  • Frame claimed weight: 970g
  • Fork claimed weight: 360g
  • Brakes: Direct-mount rim
  • Maximum tyre size: 28mm
  • UK price: £4,500 (£4,800 for the MyCipo option)

MyCipo

Cipollini bikes MyCipo configuator
Cipollini offers a wide range of custom options through the MyCipo online configurator.
Cipollini

Alongside its standard finishes, Cipollini also offers a huge range of custom colour options via its MyCipo online configurator.

There are 32 different frame colours available, including gloss, matt and “spectraflair” pearlescent finishes, which can be combined with different accent panels and logo colours, so you can choose a colour scheme that’s unique to your bike.

Cipollini is keen for riders to personalise their bikes and you can also choose to have custom lettering or Mario’s signature on the rear of the top tube.

Cipollini bikes being painted
There are 32 different frame colours available.
Cipollini

For the MCM Allroad frameset, the app lets you specify your own tube lengths and angles instead of choosing the default measurements, as the tube-to-tube construction method used for the frame allows Cipollini to build a totally custom chassis. This may appeal to riders who have specific geometry requirements following a bike fit.

Cipollini also offers the MCM Road with a custom geometry – it’s not part of the main range but can be ordered through the brand’s UK distributor, Paligap.

The MyCipo online platform lets you save your design and come back to it later if you want to change anything and there are also some pre-configured options for inspiration.

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It’s a relatively affordable add-on to a Cipollini frameset, with the price of customisation varying between £100 and £300 depending on the model. Customisation doesn’t add to the lead time of ordering a frame either.