Cinelli Vigorelli Road Apex Bike Review

Cinelli Vigorelli Road Apex Bike

The original Vigorelli frame was for a singles peed bike designed for races like the Red Hook Crits. The road version adds gears but keeps almost exactly the same geometry: a steep 73.50 head angle and upright 74° seat tube angle, matched to a short 405 mm chainstay length with a high bottom bracket.

The racing DNA of the bike is evident from the off, as handling is very sharp, but you also feel a little perched up due to that higher bottom bracket. Thanks to the excellent Schwalbe Durano tires, though, our confidence grew quickly and we were soon leaning the bike into the corners and bombing down twisting descents.

The drivetrain is a mix of brands with SRAM Apex 1 shifters and rear derailleur matched to a Miche cassette and FSA cassette. The Apex 1 shifters are a little long in the throw and clunky when shifting, but the ix drivetrain offers a good range and will be enough for most riders on most rides.

The Vision Team Comp wheels lack stiffness and are also rather heavy, especially the rear. Given the price point, some lower- end components are to be expected but if you’ve got enough left in your budget the wheels would be prime candidates for an upgrade.

While the bike rides well uphill on more gradual gradients, (up to around 6%) it can feel heavy and a little sluggish beyond that, particularly at the rear. Also while the wheels’ black rim coating looks nice when new, experience tells us it’ll wear off reasonably quickly.

The Miche Race rim brakes perform as well as you could wish for and in dry conditions provide ample braking power. In the wet, however, they can’t match the predictable braking performance that disc brakes offer.

The frame is well made with a stunning paint job and neat cable routing, having internal brake cable but external gear cables on the downtube. The inclusion of mudguard mounts would have turned this into a year- round-bike and may well have widened its appeal. But then again, that would be odds with the Vigorelli’s innate racing instincts.

Good

Sharp handling – The steeper front end and short chainstays make for snappy riding.

Looks – A beautiful frame with nice touches.

Value – Good quality frame and mix of components add up to make a nice package.

Not so good

Wheels – Heavy, noticeable flex and welded rims can be felt when braking.

Limited stand over – Due to both the higher bottom bracket and its straight top tube.

Comfort – This wasn’t built with long distances in mind.

Conclusion

The Vigorelli Road is a bike that’s tough to categorize. It’s neither strictly a race bike nor a winter training machine, and yet it still has oodles of charm and is great fun to ride. The sharp handling and great tires inspire confidence downhill, while the ix drivetrain adds to its unique flavor.

Size/weight: 54cm/9.56 kg

Frame: Cinelli Vigorelli, ColumbusThron Steel

Fork: Columbus Futura carbon

Shifters/rear derailleur: SRAM Apex 1

Brakes: Miche Race

Chainset: FSA Omega, 42t

Cassette: MicheLight Primato, 11-34

Handlebars: Cinelli, 42 cm

Stem: Cinelli Alloy

Saddle/seatpost: Cinelli

Wheels: FSA Team 30 Comp

Tyres: Schwalbe Durano, 700x28c (measured 29 mm)

Rating: 8.0/10

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