Prototype has just proved its credentials in Tour d’Afrique

Italy’s Cinelli will have a new steel bike called the Hobo in their 2014 line-up and three riders have just ridden the prototype in the 12,000km (7,500 miles) 2013 Tour d’Afrique.

The Hobo is a new steel bike designed for road/off-road rides over long distances. The Tour d’Afrique from Cairo, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa, safely qualifies on that score.

Cinelli say that the idea of the Hobo is, “To equip all riders willing to test themselves on long and great distances, on every kind of ground, off-road and on-road.”

It is made from a Columbus Life triple butted tubeset (the ends of the tubes having different wall thicknesses to the middle section and to one another). The walls are as little as 0.4mm thick in parts.

Cinelli haven’t released too many more details yet although, as you can see, the Hobo comes with mounts for cantilever brakes rather than disc brakes (assuming this prototype is the version that eventually makes it to full production) and there’s plenty of clearance for chunky tyres. Cable routing is along the top tube rather than via the down tube and you get a full complement of rack eyelets.

We’re not sure that many buyers will be riding the Hobo on the Tour d’Afrique like Chas Christiansen, Lucas Brunelle and Dario Toso just did between 11 January and 11 May, but we can imagine the bike being used for all kinds of adventure touring and plenty more besides.

That’s about all the info we have for the moment. We’ll give you more when the bike is eventually launched.

In the meantime, keep your eye on the Cinelli website


Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.