When the legendary Lion King of sprinting, Italian Mario Cipollini, announced an eponymous bike brand nobody was expecting subtle. This third bike in the line-up hasn’t diluted the swaggering charisma delivered by the first two, the RB800 and RB1000.
Highs: Extremely responsive, precise, effort-multiplying machine with genuine handbuilt Italian flair and insatiable charisma. Di2-compatible too
Lows: The attention-seeking handling and hard ride can become tiring for a bike badged as an all-rounder, and handmade in Italy doesn’t come cheap
Buy if: You’re a fan of Super Mario’s awesome power and playful charisma – you’ll absolutely love the Logos
While it’s hard not to snigger at the ‘The champion, the power, his tool’ tag line, Cipollini is vehement about the homegrown credentials of his bike. Having met the man himself at the factory where the bikes are produced and handbuilt, we can vouch they are very much 100 percent Italian. At just shy of 1,300g including seatmast, the Logos frame is relatively light, but its real appeal is the ride.
The massive top tube arcing back to an extended seatmast above a wheel-hugging curved seat tube and equally stout seatstays and chainstays are every bit as stiff as they look. This helps launch the Logos forward with a dramatically direct feel from sole of shoe to road. This doesn’t just translate into maximum power transfer but also a super-accurate sense of traction.
While it’s impossible to quantify, there’s something undeniably playful about the way the Cipo is able to pick up speed. Slight gap between two mates in front? On the Logos you can’t help shoving yourself through in a mock sprint. Over-dramatic victory celebrations after road sign sprints or hill climbs that no one else contested? That’ll be the eejit on the white Italian bike.
The flipside to this undeniable rider engagement and responsiveness is that the sharp, attention-seeking handling can become wearing quickly on extended back road days. The fidgety crosswind handling of the FFWD wheels gave us some nervous moments, too.
Unsurprisingly, that precision handling and muscle recruiting overall stiffness also translate into a fairly harsh ride, which means you need to get your gloves, shorts and insole choice dialled to enjoy long days in the saddle. Don’t be fooled by the tall head tube – the Logos is more of a handful than your average sportive machine.
Cipollini logos: Dave Caudery
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.