Professional cycling fans will know Mario Cipollini, a brash sprinter nicknamed the Lion King. After years of making road bikes, Super Mario has gone gravel.
Available as a £3,800, claimed 1,180g, frame only – or in builds from Ultegra to Dura-Ace Di2 – the MCM Allroad is no budget option, and my SRAM Force 1-equipped bike is still one of the cheaper models.
On paper, my large test example says all of the right things, with 72.5 and 72.8 head and seat angles respectively, 73mm bottom bracket drop and a 152mm head tube. At 417mm, the chainstays are short for a bike with larger tyres, but the 1,025mm wheelbase should be stable.
The drivetrain has a 42-tooth chainring turning an 11-42 cassette, and a chain catcher is fitted to the removable front mech mount.
Wheels are by Vittoria, the carbon fibre Elusion being as new to me as the Goodyear tyres. Connector Premium is Goodyear’s 40mm gravel tyre, and a graphic stating Tubeless Complete Dynamic Pace shows where they’re aimed.
The tread pattern consists of three central rows of tiny, tightly packed blocks of assorted shapes, with four ever-more spaced-out lines of angular and increasingly taller tread blocks until the shoulder.
Road bikes often major on speed or comfort, but rarely both. Cipollini went for speed first, those short chainstays kicking power through the back wheel, and delivering good acceleration for a bike with high volume, low pressure (35psi) tyres.
There’s some drag on tarmac: the shallow, but aggressive tyre tread fighting the surface, but it’ll tick along at 18mph with favourable wind.
Cipollini has gone for the frame’s maximum measured tyre width and clearances are decent. In places, the frame has an uneven finish, especially around tube junctions, which occasionally resemble a welded and smoothed joint.
The seat-tube bottle cage mount is high, which affects seatpost insertion for shorter riders and frame bag options, and the supplied cages have poor retention.
There’s less compliance from a teardrop shaped seatpost than a round one, so the ride quality is firm, although the kevlar inserts within the fork and rear triangle do reduce shock transmission.
Most comfort is determined by the tyres, which are supple and seek out grip, while the frameset craves speed. The handling is accurate, and it’s one of the lightest of its type; however, you’ll pay for the Lion King’s ride.
Cipollini MCM Allroad specifications
- Sizes (*tested): XS, S, M, L*, XL
- Weight: 8.72kg
- Frame: T1000 carbon fibre
- Fork: T1000 carbon fibre, Kevlar inserts
- Wheelset: Vittoria Elusion RR Disc
- Tyres: Goodyear Connector 40m
- Stem: Deda Superzero alloy
- Bar: Deda Zero2 alloy
- Saddle: Selle Italia Novus
- Seatpost: Cipollini MCM carbon
- Brakes: SRAM Force hydraulic disc, 160mm Centreline rotors
- Extras: Cipollini cages/bottles
Cipollini MCM Allroad geometry
- Seat angle: 72.8 degrees
- Head angle: 72.5 degrees
- Chainstay: 41.7cm
- Seat tube: 52cm
- Top tube: 57cm
- Head tube: 15.2cm
- Bottom bracket drop: 7.3cm
- Price: £5,400 / $8,190