Review: Cipollini Bond road bike

Can this two-wheeled Ferrari live up to the hype?

Road Bike
The patented rear triangle construction system is called Atomlink, and is claimed to allow for greater reactivity and power transfer.

The patented rear triangle construction system is called Atomlink, and is claimed to allow for greater reactivity and power transfer (click to enlarge).

The Lowdown: Cipollini Bond

What would you give to test drive a Ferrari? What if someone offered to let you take one out not only for a quick spin but for an entire weekend? Matt at Red Lantern Cycles recently offered up the cycling equivalent. I enthusiastically took him up on the offer.

Could a “no name” manufacturer come out of nowhere and produce a legitimately good — if not great — bike?

Could a “no name” manufacturer come out of nowhere and produce a legitimately good — if not great — bike? (click to enlarge)

Italian made Cipollini bikes have been on the market for about 3 years now. Like Ferraris, they are hard to come by and very expensive. And, again, like Ferrari, the brand has really capitalized on style, brashness, and flamboyance. The brand’s namesake, Mario Cipollini, is arguably the greatest sprinter of our time, and was notorious for being stylish, brash and flamboyant. (He once puffed a cigarette during a race, and was (in)famous for being a ladies man.)

Aero seat tube and seat post of course.

Aero seat tube and seat post of course (click to enlarge).

Still you have to wonder how a “no name” manufacturer could come out of nowhere and produce a legitimately good — if not great — bike? Or is it all marketing and hype? Read our review to find out.

Stat Box
Gruppo: Campy Athena EPS Wheelset: Campy Bora Ultra 2 carbon tubular
Stem: 3T Pro Wheelset weight: 1310 grams
Handlebars: 3T Ergonova Pro alloy Rim width/depth: 20mm/50mm
Saddle: Selle Italia Carbon Flow (120 grams) MSRP: $4695 for frame and fork
Weight: 16 lbs, 6 oz Rating: 4.5 Stars 4.5 out of 5 stars (if you can live with the rough ride)

Pluses
Minuses
  • Incredibly fast
  • Not a bike for a “casual ride”
  • Incredibly stiff
  • Uncomfortable on the rough pavement down hills
  • Remarkable ride
  • Expensive
  • Different looking and scarce

Full Review: Cipollini Bond

The Bond is so named because while the front end is molded in one piece, the rear end is “bonded” together in two additional pieces. Cipollini describes it as such: “BOND is the only monocoque frame made by Cipollini that is not a single piece construction. Boasting the revolutionary patented rear triangle construction system that Cipollini calls the Atomlink, this revolutionary construction system allows for the greatest reactivity and power transfer than typical lugged frame construction.”

The brand’s namesake, Mario Cipollini, is arguably the greatest sprinter of our time.

The brand’s namesake, Mario Cipollini, is arguably the greatest sprinter of our time (click to enlarge).

My test bike was set up with lots of Italian-branded components, including Campy Bora Ultra 2 carbon tubular wheels, 3T alloy cockpit, Campy Athena EPS gruppo and a minimalist 120 gram Selle Italia carbon saddle. But with the exception of the saddle, these components weren’t exactly the top of the line, which was somewhat at odds with the exclusive and expensive nature of the frame. And the weight, over 16lbs, was a bit disappointing. The Campy rims are “only” 20mm wide, narrower than the current trend of 25mm or wider. The 3T cockpit was alloy versus carbon. And Campy Athena resides below Super Record, Record, and Chorus.

Continue to page 2 to read more from our full review of the Cipollini Bond »
About the author: Twain Mein

Twain Mein is fascinated with the technology and gear aspect of cycling, and is a longtime product reviewer. Twain has been doing triathlons since 1987 and has been ranked in the Top 50 U.S. National Age Group on numerous occasions.


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