What's Cool In Road Cycling

Cipollini’s New Dolomia Goes Light, Fully Integrated, and Full Monocoque

Carbon Frame designed to climb faster and descend more fluidly

If you follow Mario Cipollini on Instagram, you’ve seen him talking (in Italian) about the latest bike coming to the line that bears his name.  The new model is called the “Dolomia” – and designed to be “agile uphill, fluid downhill”.  Add in fully integrated cable routing, disc brakes, a full monocoque frame weighing just 800g (Size M), and this looks to be an exciting addition to a line that’s already set the bar pretty high for performance road bikes.

When the brand launched a few years back, sceptics wondered if this was a case of another ex-pro bike racer creating his own bike line simply to use his name to sell some bikes.  We’ve seen plenty of those over the years, but when we first rode the RB1000 – we were impressed: it really was a race bike.  Sure it came with some “flash” that was 100% consistent with Mario’s personal brand (the right thing to do on my books), but the bike, and subsequent models were backed up by real engineering, and the Italian production delivered at a very high level.

Like a lot of high-end Italian brands, production is de-centralized, so that specific parts of production are handled in small batches by expert craftsmen who do the carbon layup, moulding and construction, paint application, and more.

The Cipollini crew have been working on the Dolomia for over 12 months, with at least 6 months of riding more than 20 different carbon layup configurations and testing different pre-production versions to fine tune the final characteristics.  Final frame layup was the result of feed back from pro riders, including their own sponsored women’s team ALÈ BTC LUBJANA TEAM – and final approval from Super Mario himself.

Now that disc brakes are the pretty much standard issue, the next evolution in design is how to get rid of all the cables.  Wireless shifting has eliminated two cables, but you can’t eliminate the mechanics for hydraulic disc brakes – so the next step is full internal routing of brakes cables through the handlebars, stem, and frame tubes.  This option is offered with their new one piece carbon Alanera handlebar.

The frame itself is made of 3K carbon, layed up to optimize stiffness and weight.  Where the Dolomi stands out is it’s single piece monocoque construction.  The frame – including both the front- and rear-triangles, are molded as a single unit in one mould.   Cipollini claims to be the only high-end road brand making frames like this – while other brands will form the front and rear triangles separately then join them together with adhesive.

The result is a frame unit that works as one piece to create a better ride quality than  other build methods like tube to tube construction.  Essentially, the joints no longer act as stopping points for the transfer of power, or the input of fatiguing feedback from the road surface – so the design creates a smoother overall ride.  I’ll let you know my own take as soon as I get my hands on a review bike.

The new Dolomia will be available soon, and you can find more info at the Cipollini website here .

  • FRAME WEIGHT 800g for a size M

• Dolomia Frame & Fork: US$5590
• Dolomia Frame, Fork & Alanera Handlebar: US$6,090


Also Read:

PEZ’s Custom Cipollini MCM Project build

MCM Allroad First Look Video

Readers Rigs: Cipollini Bond

Video: Cipollini LineUp First Look from Interbike

Top Ride: With Mario In Viarreggio

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