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Just in: Cinelli Nemo TIG

Steel bikes haven't been this purple since 1997

It'd be a shame to rock up at road.cc Italy week at the Hotel Belvedere without at least one nice Italian bike to test. And this year we've got our hands on the most purple bike you're likely to see today: The Cinelli Nemo TIG.

First off, feast your eyes on its purpley goodness. It really is very purple indeed, possibly even more so in the flesh. The metallic finish has a lovely deep lustre. It's a beautiful frame; if you like purple, obviously. If you don't like purple you can have it in silver, red, black or yellow. Get the purple one though.

But enough about the colour. Underneath the paint it's a TIG-welded steel frame, made from Columbus Spirit tubing. "Steel is back", Cinelli say. It never went anywhere though. You can make a lovely responsive frame from steel and our inaugural rides on the Nemo suggest Cinelli have done precisely that. 

It's a classic-looking machine with some modern touches: The head tube flares to a 1.5" bearing at the bottom and the frame is matched with a new carbon monocoque fork that's painted to match the frame. Round profiles are used extensively but the down tube is flattened where it meets the PressFit bottom bracket shell, and the chainstays are heavily shaped too, with a deep vertical section to cope with the drivetrain forces. The deeply-coved dropouts are designed to "provide an ideal surface for welding, avoiding stress concentrations", and the cabling is classically and simply external.

Our Nemo has gone full Italian in the build, too. The groupset is Campagnolo's 11-speed Athena, with a 52/36 chainset and a 12-27 cassette, which is just enough gears for what is a pretty hilly area. Just.

Cinelli provide the bars, stem and seatpost from their VAI range, and the saddle is a Selle Italia X1. The wheels are 35mm section Miche Altur, topped off with 25mm Vittoria Rubino Pro Speed tyres.

Ok, the Lezyne bottle cage isn't Italian. But I brought that with me. If I'd been thinking, I'd have brought an Elite one. Never mind.

We don't have the road.cc scales of truth here but the frame has a stated weight of 1,800g which will be for a medium size. Our XL, in this build, probably comes in at around 8.5kg - not the featheriest of bikes then, but if you're looking for something pretty, with classic lines and a traditional steel ride, this should be one for the list. We've already taken it up to a 1,300m Giro mountain stage finish and pointed it at some of Europe's patchiest tarmac on the back roads round here, and we'll have lots to report when we publish a full review, which will be soon!

Read more about the Cinelli Nemo TIG (in Italian)

Contact Chicken Cyclekit for Cinelli dealers in the UK

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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