As a rider Mario Cipollini was the embodiment of Italian flamboyance, racing prologues in outré skinsuits and boasting a wardrobe filled with hundreds of sharp suits. A super-bling bike from the marque that bears his name is almost no surprise.
With the MCipollini RB1000 Luxury Edition, SuperMario's bike brand has gone even more over the top than you'd expect. Launched at the recent Like Bike ultra-high-end bike show in Monte Carlo, it boasts a gold, platinum and diamond head badge and platinum down tube logo.
MCipollini says the RB1000 Luxury Edition is "a great mix of high quality jewellery and innovative technology, a true expression of 'Made in Italy' in the world."
It's certainly priced like high-end jewellery. If you're desperate to add a bike to your collection that includes 40 grams of 18-karat gold, 122 grams of platinum and 17 carats (3.4g) of diamonds, it'll set you back about £37,000. We'll have two.
The company says the idea was "to create something new and without precedents, going beyond the limits and producing this RB1000 Luxury Edition in carbon, platinum, gold and diamonds. The result is an elegant and polished piece of art. A bike that is forever."
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.