I absolutely adore a finely executed steel frame. I have ridden a Serotta Coer d’Acier (heart of steel) bike, that we designed, for twelve years. But even though my Serotta is notionally made of the same material – Columbus Niobium Spirit heat-treated tubing - the Mxxxxxo is functioning at another level entirely. It is fashioned to be Pegoretti’s front-line race bike, for those brave enough to risk their Ciavete paint in the rough-house of a criterium. It still has zip and kick of my Serotta but it works in a different range – it needs more input to make it react' but the resultant dividend is also discernibly bigger. It is a much tauter and more effective bike to ride fast and sprint (quite unlike the jockey). It has simply been tuned to work a different pitch. Compared to contemporary oversized carbon or aluminium, the Mxxxxxo will still zing along happily on 25c tyres with precisely the right ratio of feedback v's noise. We live in a world where 28c tyres are an effective working minimum - as a direct corollary of disk-brakes driving frame and particularly fork and head-tube design. Take away discs and oversized carbon and the requirement disappears.
Strip everything away and you are left with the beauty and simplicity of the best steel frame available, with the possible exception of Richard Sachs, anywhere in the world. The riding experience is uncluttered, direct and soul-cleansing. There is nothing to distract you from the sun in the sky and the tarmac under your wheels. Nothing beeping, dropping connection, telling you if you are off-course or riding slower or faster than you did last time. No meaningless bullshit. Just the simple epicurean pleasure of riding in your own time and space. In an ideal world we would all have a Pegoretti in our stable - a one-off unique bicycle that we take out when we need a little mental feng shui. Time away from our obsession with binary one's and noughts and the almost inevitable information and therefore emotional overload. There was a time before carbon and it was a great time. Me and Jules have still climbed more mountains and crossed more finish-lines on hand-made steel than we ever have on carbon. It is in many ways the perfect material to make a bicycle from - unfortunately it just didn't make much sense on a spreadsheet once carbon could be mass produced in huge factories in the far-east.
Our test MXXXXXO is available to test-ride if you would like to sample the very opposite of mass-produced. A completely unique bicycle, made from locally sourced Columbus heat-treated steel, by a close-knit group of gifted artisans, in a small Bottega, in Verona, Northern Italy.
Pegoretti MXXXXXO - Frame and Fork - £2785
Ciavete Paint Scheme - £850