Cinelli Zydeco 2012 Review

The Zydeco is a bit of a rarity. It is Cinelli’s only Cyclocross bike and was first released back in 2011. Cinelli were obviously happy with last years model as the 2012 Zydeco is largely unchanged. This means the bike still features Columbus zonal triple butted aluminum tubing and a carbon fiber-bladed fork. The Zydeko also features a slim oval top
tube combined with a thick and beefy down tube. Cinelli may have kept the frame of the bike the same but they have seen fit to add brand new graphics to the Zydeco which have been ‘originally styled by Cinelli.’

The Zydeco features an aluminum alloy frame made from triple butted Columbus Zonal tubes for extra durability, while the steep headtube, longer wheelbase and higher bottom bracket is designed for improved handling and mud clearance. The Zydeco also comes with a Shimano 105 setup, Fulcrum 5 Race wheels, a Cinelli branded seat, stem, seatpost and handlebars and Cane Creek SCX-5 brakes.

Being a Cyclocross bike the Zydeko is not specifically designed for long uphill hauls but the bike performed well enough on a couple of steep climbs during our test ride. The setup on the bike is a little heavy for long uphill treks and the Zydeko certainly wasn’t quick on ascents but it also didn’t under perform. An upgrade to lighter wheels and tyres would
certainly improve the climbing performance. The long wheelbase of the Zydeko also means that it feels very stable when cornering. Long winding corners were no problem for the bike but the response was a little slower on tighter turns. The bike also handled itself very well over bumps and gravel roads. The aluminium frame absorbed a lot of the vibration and the Zydeko felt stable even over some particularly rough ground. The carbon fiber fork also helped to absorb a lot of the road vibration and even after a long ride the Zydeko still produced a comfortable and impressive ride.

When we took the Zydeko off the road and onto the dirt we weren’t sure what to expect but the bike actually provided improved performance over the rough terrain. The long wheelbase and grippy tyres led to excellent traction, while the long stem and wide handlebars ensured we were confident tackling the more technical trails. Once again the bike felt a little slow around the tighter corners but once we got more familiar with the feel of the bike it performed admirably. The Zydeko really comes into its own down the straights though and even when we hit bumps or were on a rough gravel track the bike stayed true and felt impressively stable. The faster you go on the Zydeko the better it feels and the fact the brakes are so responsive means you can shoot down long descents with confidence.

The Zydeko really is an impressive bike from Cinelli. It performs admirably on rougher terrain like dirt and gravel and still provides an impressive road performance. The Zydeko might not be able to match the road qualities of an out-an-out racer but if you are looking for an all round cyclocross bike then the Zydeko really is a worthy option. It provides a smooth and responsive ride and its aluminium frame and carbon forks ensure that vibration is kept to a minimum, even on long gravel rides.

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