By Simon Smythe
Cinelli has unveiled the Pressure, a “new born Cinelli aerodynamic racing frame [that] integrates anything possible.” The Italian brand has history with aero bikes: its iconic Laser, launched in 1981, was years ahead of its time.
But Cinelli has gone back to 1979 for its latest aero bike’s inspiration. The ‘Pressure’ name is taken from Clash bass player Paul Simonon’s Fender Precision, famously photographed mid-smash on the cover of the London Calling album, and under the bottom bracket shell is a replica of the sticker on the bass.
Cinelli likes to blend contemporary art and pop culture with cycling – who could forget the Mike Giant collaborations? – and the Clash tribute is really original.
As for the bike itself, Cinelli says the 990g monocoque frame, which is made from Toray T700 carbon-fibre, is designed to cut through the air. Further, “the sections of each tube are designed to not only be aero but help minimise drag, which is further reduced by ‘end to end’ internal routing of all cables. This is thanks to the new ACR system of being able to route all cables internally within the steerer tube.”
Cinelli says the fork and the seatpost are designed specifically for integration and that weight and stiffness are perfectly balanced to transfer all the power of the rider into speed.
The Pressure will be the race bike of the Colpack Ballan Continental Team in 2021, after scoring two wins in 2020 with Antonio Tiberi in San Vendemmiano and Michele Gazzoli in Montecatini.
Whilst the 'Pressure' design is certainly original, there has been some suggestion that the frame could be a cover version. It bears a striking resemblance to the Strada, from Belgian brand Atom 6 - and it does come in the same sizes, with the same geometry (though Atom 6 doesn’t offer the Strada in XL/58).
We’ve asked Cinelli if the Pressure is an ‘open mould’ frame, which means it's made using a mould that a factory uses and is available for any brand to use. This is Cinelli's response: “Regarding the open mould issue, our R&D department has been working on an aero frame project for quite a while but a full development on our own was not proportional to Cinelli’s size, in terms of investment and market. So Pressure is the result of a shared project, together with our supplier.”
Many bike brands and indeed wheel brands use open moulds, passing on the saving made to the customer in the shape of lower RRPs and plenty of open mould product can be very good. With several avid Clash fans within Cycling Weekly's tech team, we'll certainly be keen to take one for a spin.
In the UK the Cinelli Pressure will be available in an Ultegra mechanical build with a Shimano Gossamer 50/34 chainset, Deda/FSA bar/stem and Vision Team 30 TLR Disc wheels. The RRP will be £3,799.
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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