Aug. 30, 2014 – The launch of Cipollini’s new TT bike, the NUKE, has us intrigued because no bike surprised us more this season than Cipollini’s road bike, the RBK1000.
Like the man, the bike announces itself with an enormous amount of style and hype, and, like the man himself, it takes all of that style and hype and follows it up with incredible substance. Beautiful road manners, supersonic descending ability and incredible power transfer for the big, strong rider.
It is with this in mind that we looked at the NUKE time-trial bike. While at first glance it might appear like a slew of other time trial bikes, Cipollini has developed a few interesting features we haven’t seen before.
Like all Cipollini bikes, the NUKE was not only designed in Italy but it also was truly manufactured in Italy, which is rare these days. The majority of Italian-made carbon is tube-to-tube (Carrera) or tube-and-lug (Colnago). Cipollini is the only Italian brand doing full monocoque frames in Italy, and like the RBK1000, the NUKE uses a recipe of high modulus carbon — t1000 and t800 carbon, plus a bit of 1k weave in strategic areas.
The bike is not a full monocoque like the RBK1000; the front monocoque is bonded to the rear, but that bond is anything but traditional. Called the AtomLink, the chain stays are not simply bonded to the back of the bottom-bracket shell — they wrap completely around the bottom bracket, using a lock-and-key fit to assist the bonded joint then the crank spindle itself further reinforces the entire area. It’s a new solution we wouldn’t be surprised to see used in other bikes soon. Cipollini bikes only, though — it’s patented.
This design gave Cipollini the room to truly integrate the rear brake into the chain stays themselves. There is no need for a bolt on faring or flaring of carbon to shield it — it’s actually in the stays and totally out of the wind.
The front brake is integrated in the same way, native to the fork blades, not bolted on to the front then shielded. Of course integrated brakes can be dodgy when it comes to stopping, so we’ll have to wait for a test ride before we weigh in on function.
The stem is in line with the top tube, cleaning up the all-important initial airflow as has become the aero fashion. Cipollini has put its own spin on it with the stem’s bar clamp. Instead of using the entire stem to change base bar height, the clamp itself can be flipped to increase bar height creating fit options without harming airflow and aesthetics quite so much. Another very nice touch is the internal routing of cables or wires through the stem itself for a track-bike-clean front end.
Of course missing from all the info on the NUKE is wind-tunnel data. The bike certainly appears narrow, clean, low, and aggressive, but how it stacks up to the current crop of superbikes we don’t know. Which of course is really what it’s all about. (We’ll update you with that information as well as pricing and availability in the U.S. when we get it.)
We’d imagine the bike does very well in the tunnel, though, like the RBK1000 before it, we expect to be very pleasantly surprised by the NUKE’s substance. As for that Cipollini style? Well, the bike is sexy, no question, but check out the teaser and launch video here.
Pure Cipollini gold.