Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cinelli "Rapha" XCR Criterium Racer

Beginning January 2011 and for the next two years, Rapha has partnered with four masters of framebuilding to offer four distinct, hand-made bicycles. Each partner has been selected because of the mastery of their craft and passion for road cycling. With each partner we have created a model constructed uniquely for a particular style or purpose of riding. The collaboration between Cinelli and Rapha has resulted in the XCR Criterium Racer. From Rapha:

The choice of the Criterium racer. Fabricated with oversized Columbus XCR stainless tubing, this bicycle is made for diving fearlessly into corners.

Cinelli has been a leader in bicycle design since 1948. Sitting only 10 miles outside of Milan, it stands to reason that design and art also influence Cinelli products. Cinelli is a brand where competition, history, passion and performance have long melded to bring beauty to the sport of cycling.

In an adjacent factory, Columbus Steel is a close compatriot to Cinelli. Columbus began making bicycle tubing in 1919 and has a decorated heritage of powering the likes of Coppi, Merckx, Pantani, Armstrong and countless others.

For this collaboration, the seamless Columbus XCR stainless steel tube-sets are literally passing across the factory floor to Cinelli to make the Rapha Criterium Racer. With geometry specified by generations of building for the strongest, fastest and most fearless in the sport, this frame and fork are intended for the aggressive racer. The Columbus XCR tube material exceeds anything in the market for technological quality and has a higher stiffness to weight ratio than titanium or aluminium, delivering great feel and total confidence at high speeds. Painted Pearl White, except for a polished reveal of the beautiful stainless, and with pink, black and grey race bands, the Criterium Racer marries tradition and performance.

The Rapha & Cinelli XCR is limited to only 30 frames/fork per year because of the scarcity of the material. Delivery of your frame/fork is estimated for 4-months from time of order. Cinelli will take orders direct, go to to buy your XCR Criterium Racer.

Price: Frame/fork starting @ €3,500 + shipping; please note: Prices do not include import tax and duty which will vary by country.

Related blog story: Cinelli XCr Stainless Steel

Photos: click to enlarge

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Share your story. Write a story about your cycling trip, or an aspect of your trip, in Italy. Or, it can be about a granfondo experience, a special encounter, your favorite ride, etc. The period for story submissions for prizes will be January 1-February 15, 2011. Prizes will be awarded on a random basis, stories will not be judged on which is the "best" one. Nevertheless, it should be a good story for the enjoyment of all readers. Photos accompanying the story are most welcome. If you have any questions email me at See photos of prizes here. Prize donated by:
CycleItalia, specializing in cycling tours in Italy, the premiere site for gifts and merchandise for cyclists
Enzo’s ButtonHole Chamois Cream,chamois cream for the ultimate protection
FreeBirdVelo, Italian themed T-shirts
Strada Hand Built Wheels, custom wheel building
Velo-Retro, all things retro for cycling
La Gazzetta della Bici, massage oils for cyclists


  1. Gorgeous! Our friend Mauro Mondonico is the worldwide sales "capo" for Columbus and Cinelli. The same Mondonico who, with father Antonio made the wonderful frames in nearby Concorrezzo. It's great to see this area still active in creating beautiful bicycles when so many others simply have their products produced in Asia by low-paid workers.

  2. Gorgeous bike, to be sure...but PAINTED? Seems odd to paint an XCR-tubed bike, although I do like that at least the chainstays are unpainted.

    And, just as an aside, my word verification was "imrion", not too different from a popular bicycle paint formula IMRON.