Bikes of the Bunch: Pegoretti Marcelo

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In the latest edition of Bikes of the Bunch we feature a steel-framed Pegoretti Marcelo, owned by a cyclist in the US and bought through the Californian bike shop Above Category.

We asked the owner of the bike to tell us a bit about why he chose it, why he decided on the build he did and how it rides.

A few years ago I saw Chad (the owner of Above Category) riding a baby blue Pegoretti Marcelo with the “why not” paint scheme. It was one of the best looking bikes I’d ever seen. Since then I’ve always wanted one of Dario Pegoretti’s bikes. It doesn’t hurt that he’s built many Tour de France-winning frames — I wasn’t really worried about how it would perform at all. Dario also seems like a great guy but also a character and it was pretty cool knowing he built my bike.

The ordering process was very simple — I fit a 58cm Pegoretti very well so I did not need to get the bike custom built. While I originally wanted the “why not” paint scheme in blue when I saw this “Baci” scheme I changed my mind. Even though it’s a stock paint scheme I’ve never seen another on the road and it’s very unique and different from the norm.

While the frame was stock I had a great time working with Above Category on selecting the build kit. Based on my budget we found a way to get the most bang for my buck.

It had to be Campagnolo and for racing and fast climbing I have not been on a better wheel than the Campagnolo Bora. I’ve tried Lightweights and other high performance wheels and while the Bora may not be the lightest they feel the fastest.

We saved money by going Record instead of Super Record, used inexpensive but solid bottle cages, aluminium bar and stem and used a Chorus cassette and chain. So, I spent the bulk on the most important part; the wheels. When these bearings wear out I’ll switch them out to CeramicSpeed Bearing units and then the group will be even better than Super Record.

The specs are:

  • Pegoretti Marcelo steel frame
  • Enve 1.0 fork
  • Campagnolo Record group
  • Zipp SC bar and stem
  • Thomson post
  • Fizik Kurve saddle and super light bar tape
  • Campagnolo Bora Ultra wheels
  • Continental Grand Prix 4000 tubulars in 22mm
  • King stainless bottle cages
  • 50×34 rings, 12×27 cassette
  • Speedplay Titanium Zero pedals

The bike weighs 17 pounds (7.7kg) fully built. I feel that this is pretty light for a 58cm steel frame. But I don’t really care what the weight is — this bike feels like it’s climbing as fast as lighter carbon bikes I’ve had in the past. Dario knows what he’s doing for sure.

The ride is amazing. This is a great all-day, all-round bike. I think it’s the best-feeling bike in a sprint as well. Descending is great and very sure and it feels fast on the climbs. Maybe on steeper and longer climbs I may be a bit faster on my sub-15-pound (sub-6.8kg) bike, but it doesn’t feel like it. Plus, every time I look at this bike I want to head out for a ride. I can’t say that about a lot of other bikes I’ve had.

Image: Veeral Patel
A portrait of Dario Pegoretti by Veeral Patel.

We spoke with Above Category owner Chad Norwall who had some interesting insight into framebuilder Dario Pegoretti.

For paint, Dario does one scheme called Ciavete. He’ll paint any of his frames in this except for lugged frames which he has two [paint schemes for]. The only input the customer can have for this is the base colour and he doesn’t even like doing that.

Right now frames are taking about six months to get to us. This has come down dramatically. When Dario had cancer (Lymphoma) he fell well behind as you can imagine. At this time he got even more popular and it took him a few years to catch back up.

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