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Pro bike: Pierpaolo De Negri’s ISD MCipollini RB1000

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Pierpaolo De Negri's Mcipollini RB1000.

Pierpaolo De Negri's Mcipollini RB1000. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Carbon dropout and Record mech.

Carbon dropout and Record mech. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Gently flared seatstays.

Gently flared seatstays. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Made in Italy, of course.

Made in Italy, of course. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Enormous diameter down tube.

Enormous diameter down tube. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The frame and fork are covered in aero flourishes.

The frame and fork are covered in aero flourishes. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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BB30 bottom bracket swamped by carbon.

BB30 bottom bracket swamped by carbon. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Internal rear cable routing enhances the frame's aero credentials.

Internal rear cable routing enhances the frame's aero credentials. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Bolt-on aluminium inner dropout face.

Bolt-on aluminium inner dropout face. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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FSA's K-Force 50mm-deep carbon tubular wheelset.

FSA's K-Force 50mm-deep carbon tubular wheelset. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Vittoria Corsa CX tubular tyres.

Vittoria Corsa CX tubular tyres. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Neat custom mounting point for the race number.

Neat custom mounting point for the race number. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The chunky head tube houses a tapered steerer.

The chunky head tube houses a tapered steerer. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sculpted aero fork crown and down tube.

Sculpted aero fork crown and down tube. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Chunky flared aero fork.

Chunky flared aero fork. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Campagnolo Record takes care of shifting and stopping duties.

Campagnolo Record takes care of shifting and stopping duties. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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FSA K-Force chainset.

FSA K-Force chainset. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Campag Record front mech and Cipollini's own hanger.

Campag Record front mech and Cipollini's own hanger. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Time iClic Carbon pedals.

Time iClic Carbon pedals. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Selle Italia SLR GF saddle atop the seatmast.

Selle Italia SLR GF saddle atop the seatmast. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Three bolts for the aluminium inner dropout face, and rear mech hanger, fit to the carbon dropout.

Three bolts for the aluminium inner dropout face, and rear mech hanger, fit to the carbon dropout. (Image credit: Robin Wilmott)

Since beginning his partnership with the Italian ISD team, Mario Cipollini has graduated from designing a striking team kit to now supplying the riders with frames.

Five of the six ISD riders that competed at last month's Tour of Britain were riding the current RB800 frameset, which conforms to a conventional diamond design, but Pierpaolo De Negri had a pre-production example of the 2011 MCipollini RB1000.

At first sight, the RB1000 looks more like a time trial chassis than a road frame, such are the number of aerodynamic features. From the leading edge of the head tube to the fork blades, and the rear-wheel-following seat tube, drag cheating designs rule.

In keeping with the flamboyant character of the Lion King, and former fastest sprinter in the world, everything about the RB1000 shouts ‘look at me!’ It looks appropriately brash, bold and aggressive, making quite a statement.

Curiously, this version of the frame only has one set of bottle bosses, which must have made extra work for whoever had to collect the drinks during the race. Production models will have provision for two cages.

The down tube is heavily shaped around the fork crown and front wheel, changing from a triangular aero section into a massive square shape by the bottom bracket, swallowing the BB30 shell and giving enormous rigidity.

The head tube area is extra chunky due to De Negri’s frame size, and the juncture of the seatstays, seat tube and top tube is similarly huge. A tapered steerer tube provides positive handling, and an integrated seatmast helps keep the weight down to the UCI minimum.

Appropriately for an Italian team, the Cipollini machine is fitted with a Campagnolo Record 11-speed groupset, only deviating with the FSA BB30 bottom bracket and K-Force Light carbon chainset. FSA keep the finishing kit Italian, supplying their K-Force Light 50mm-deep tubular carbon wheels, handlebar and stem.

Selle Italia provide an SLR saddle, and the only components which deviate from the Italian theme are the Time iClic carbon pedals and SwissStop carbon-specific brake pads. Reliable Vittoria Corsa Evo CX tubulars give excellent all-round road performance and keep everything shiny side up.

Internal cabling gives clean lines and assists the frame’s slippery characteristics. The rear dropouts are carbon but have an aluminium inner face, which is held in place by two bolts on the non-driveside and three on the driveside, which also secure the rear derailleur hanger.

De Negri is a diminutive rider from Spezia, a rolling region near Genoa in Italy, who can climb well and packs a decent sprint from a small group. For that reason he likes this bike because it's so stiff, making the most of his power inputs. When asked if it was also comfortable, he said: "Not so much." A sacrifice he was willing to make in return for the performance advantage.

Complete bike specifications