Made of butted Columbus Life steel tubing with a triple butted chromoly fork, the new Cinelli Hobo has geometry somewhere between a travel bike and cyclocross bike. That should make it both fast and comfortable over the long haul, something they tested with three riders in this year’s 12,000km Tour d’Afrique.

The Hobo is part of their Bootleg project, which essentially creates mashup bikes that span (and defy) categories to create something that’s capable across a range of disciplines. In this case, it’s capable of hauling butt for several months with daily rides of 70-ish miles.

Video and more pics after the break…

It’s not on their website yet, but the official presentation just happened this week and word is it’s a 2014 model. Things like spare spokes, fender and rack mounts, triple bottle cages and full length cable housing make it what it is. The absence of disc brakes might seem an error, but depending on where in the world it takes you, having commonly accessible replacement parts trumps the latest spec. Pricing details aren’t out yet, we’ll update as we get more.



  1. I don’t care what the retro-grouches say, but I for one will never own another bike with cantilevers. A bike like this needs mechanical disc brakes like the Avid BB7. Carry a few sets of brake pads and you’re good to cross Africa. If you are really paranoid you could carry an extra caliper in your panniers, but I really think the odds of failure are way too low to worry about replacement parts. And doesn’t this bike have STI shifters? Can you find those way out in the jungle? Probably not.

  2. Bravo on the spoke holders! With a 20 spoke radial laced front wheel & lowrider rack, you are going to need them. BTW, “bootleg project” “mashup” “span/defy categories”? Isn’t this just a touring bike?

  3. Finally! I’ve been on an On One Il Pompino for the past couple of years and really love the ride and fit. Comfort and stability come from the Cinelli design. There are those occasions that I would like to run gears, racks and more than 2 bottles. This seems perfect. Canti is making a comeback. New designs have easier set up, great stopping power, lighter weight than disks and parts are readibly available. No need to add what you don’t need (disk tabs). I just hope it has good tire clearance. Can’t wait to see it in person.

  4. Make a great commute bike. Find cantis work just fine and last way longer (and cost less maintenance wise) than discs (quieter also).

  5. Disc tabs would be a nice touch and at least give the owner the option but I agree that cantis are the better choice for reliability in remote areas. When was the last time you wore out a pair pads in a year or broke a canti arm?

  6. @James S – agreed. To me it should have discs and canti studs for just in case. The benefit of being able to ride – and brake – after bending a rim outweigh the small risk of a brake caliper failure. I think I’d trust bar cons more than STI too.

  7. Meh. Lot of other people playing in this space and doing it as well or better. Will give them credit for running full length housing for the cables. Split stops made sense back in the early days of MTB when brake housing was really squishy and you needed all the help you could get when trying to stop with Mafac or Modolo Rocky cantilevers. These days brakes and housing have improved greatly so the need is no longer there. As for maintenance, yes split stops make it easier but then again they also allow more crud to get in. Don’t let the crud get in and you don’t have to worry about maintenance as much. As for discs, they’re better in theory but RIGHT NOW if you want to run drops cantilevers are still a better way to go. I a few years the bugs will be worked out and discs will be the only way to go as they are now for MTBs.

  8. Just my uneducated guess but by sticking with canti’s, it allows them to stay in whatever price point their research says they need to stay in. That’s not to say that disc brakes would put it over the top as far as price goes but, apparently the powers-that-be for Cinelli think it’s a non-plus for the bike as it is. Plus, they may be marketing this more in other coutries that don’t put as high a value on discs. JMHO

  9. Canti studs are an ugly blight on a frame if your a disc fan. as fas as the decision to go with cantis, I think they’re reasoning is silly. Who doesn’t bring extra pads on a long tour? Disc pads weigh almost nothing – certainly lighter than canti shoes. And to not wear out your wheels as you brake is beautiful.

  10. I’m surprised to see so many people still claim that discs are unreliable – my Hope and Shimano disc brakes have not required any maintenance in more than five years apart from pad changes, and they were used off-road. Hell, if you are using Hope or other systems using DOT5 fluid, you are more likely to find brake fluids than brake cables in many parts of the world, since rod brakes and foot brakes are pretty much the standard in large part of the developing world. If you are worried about breaking hoses (which rarely happens anyway), bring a piece of hose plus hardware, they weigh next to nothing anyway. It’s also pretty silly to single out discs as we are talking about a bike with STIs and external BB.

    Although I must say it’s very nice to see Cinelli at least trying again- they haven’t really been relevant for nearly two decades now (if you discount the track bikes they sold to the fixed gear crowd, and all the NOS stuff), and mostly stayed alive as an also-ran who made so-so parts and boring mediocre aluminium frames. They use to be such a design-focused company, remember the stems? The XA, the Sesamo, the Alter? The Spinacci? That’s not even mentioning the iconic Laser.

  11. Looks pretty cool, has the Africa Corps kinda thing going on.

    Might have been a nice touch to see some standard down tube shift bosses. If your shifters crapped out it would make it easy to throw on a set of down tube shifters which are relativity easy to find worldwide (old world), or could be carried. Expect however that the need for this to run cables along down tube would give up too much in the fashion department for the modern crowd.


  12. Discs? There are a lot of reasons to not have them and just only one to have them on a road/cx/touring bike. Weight, noises, friction, less flexibility to swap wheels, maintenance are common feature of disc brakes. I am so glad that this bike is designed to use with cantis or v-brakes.

  13. @Mudrock – Totally agree with the rim wear comment. For me, that’s one of the biggest benefits of disk brakes, you can have a really nice, expensive wheelset that doesn’t wear, even after years of use, just general upkeep and bearing changes. no need to worry about expensive re-builds or new wheelsets as the rims wear.

    I’m surprised it’s taken this long for disks to be accepted on road / touring / cross bikes although the component choices are still slightly limited.

    It seems to be that mountain bikers who have seen the “disk break light” are all for them, where as the roadies don’t think it’s necessary, interesting debate.

  14. I loath that reviewers continue to make the same tired excuse that “off the beaten path you want commonly accessible parts”. How many times have you had a mechanical disc brake fail? How stupid do you have to be not to carry spare pads for your brakes on an extended tour in remote areas? Disc brakes are now more common than rim brakes. At least put tabs and canti posts on like surly so there is a choice. Rim brakes on this category of bike is a fail.

  15. Disc brakes are just a pain! when Rim Brakes are the biggist disc brake you can run on a bicycle!
    In the end a well set up rim brake is the best for Touring and to ride across Africa, Please read a well set up rim brake as most people ride bicycles with brakes Not set up right!
    I have been lucky to ride in Tour d’Afrique and there is No need for disc brakes, a pain when the sand is blowing and dirt getting into the workings of disc brake was a pain.

  16. Disc brakes stop the hub, that is it. Then it is the job of the spokes and rim to stop the bike. Let me know when the nipples start pulling out, breaking, etc.

  17. It seems clear to me that no one of the previous discs’ defenders has ever made a trip longer than 300 km. (not to speak 10000) so far. Otherwise the opinion would be quite, quite different.

  18. Hi, Really interested in picking this or a similar bike up. The frame looks close to perfect.
    My 2 cents worth is this:
    I’d like to see more makers having the frame ready for both disc & canti brakes.
    + (or at least), Having both types of fork available too (painted the right color etc.).
    Personally I’d go for canti front & disc rear.
    Having Forks strengthened to handle discs, increasing rigidity & will make the ride less comfortable. Anything to put off numb fingers has to be a good thing. I suspect the previous post might be speaking of this issue. Of course, that isn’t a problem for frame mounted discs. Thorn Bikes have taken this into consideration, but these guys are just too expensive for my liking.
    If there’s any bike makers reading – please help.

What do you think?