Hallelujah, I’m a bum

The Cinelli Bootleg Hobo comes ready to ride, with racks, fenders and pedals.

The Cinelli Bootleg Hobo comes ready to ride, with racks, fenders and pedals.

The first review bike of the new year landed at Chez Dog on Friday.

It’s a Cinelli Bootleg Hobo, and the little bugger sorta snuck up on us as Adventure Cyclist editor Mike Deme and I prowled Interbike earlier this fall.

This Colombus Cromor bike is a nifty bit of marketing. The color is dubbed “Railway” and the Hobo motif is extended throughout, including bar tape that sports some of the coded symbols the ’bos used to communicate with each other back in the day. And the spec’ is strictly hit-the-road basic — nine-speed Shimano triple with Microshift bar-ends, Tektro cantilevers, Alex rims, and 700×35 Vittoria Randonneur Trail clinchers.

There are some nifty extras, though. The Hobo comes with bosses for three bottle cages, Tubus racks and fenders, and a pair of Wellgo pedals. When was the last time you bought an $1,850 touring bike that came with all those goodies? You could ride the sonofabitch home from the shop, is what. Check that — you could ride it away from home, which is even better.

I anticipate a steep drop in unauthorized rail traffic as soon as the hobos find out what a steal this thing is.

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20 Responses to “Hallelujah, I’m a bum”

  1. bromasi Says:

    Ahhh, Cinelli a magic name back in the 70’s and 80’s.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Man, I had me a bunch of Cinelli bars and stems over the years. I think I still have a few in the garage, come to think of it. I may still be rocking a Cinelli Eubios handlebar on my old Steelman Eurocross. Just ’cause they old don’t mean they daid.

  2. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Looking forward to the review and video. Thanks for the sneak peak. Now, it’s time to impress Larry and NOT burn the garlic!

  3. Khal Spencer Says:

    Seems like a nice touring rig, but a little thick at the Cinelli site on what we yesterday called “content”, i.e., that stuff you pull the lever on first thing in the morning.

    Would be nice to compare the Hobo to some other serious touring rigs in similar price categories, such as the Long Haul Trucker (triple water bottle mounts, low rider mounts, spare spoke holders, etc) and REI’s bikes, as well as the high end stuff, such as Co-Motion’s Pangaea, Divide, Cascadia, and Americano. I suspect all five of us who actually would tour on the thing are dying to know, i.e., maybe all the P.R. horseshit at the corporate site is to make up for a small market niche being contested.

    Looks nice, Patrick. Send your reviews!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yep, the marketeers got a little wired, eh? Too much espresso, I expect.

      The Hobo does have spare spoke holders, on the drive-side chainstay, where they also serve as a chain-slap protector; my Soma has them on the other chainstay. Three bottle bosses, si; low-rider mounts, da; and fully sheathed cables — miles and miles of cable housing from stem to stern.

      More as I uncover it.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        Those fully sheathed cables are interesting. The claim is the housing protects the cable from contamination. But, I wonder if the friction from the long housing is more than the friction from dirt and water entering shorter lengths of housing. I know, I must have patience and wait for the review.

  4. veloben Says:

    Spec and cost is pretty cost to my Bianchi Volpe (tubus racks, etc). I’m not a big fan of the LHT, so maybe this is a solid competitive answer.

    Have to agree about the flush able ‘content’ of the website with Khal. So many pretty word so little useful information.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      There are some specs here: http://www.bootleg.it/b-product/hobo-rats/

      Gorgeous bike, I have to say. Looks like nice steel, too. 0.5 mm center tube thickness away from the butted ends suggests decent mettalurgy. Two grand for a nicely built frame hung with decent components is really hard to beat. Now if I have a buyer for the LHT….(although I’d miss the 26 x 2.2 inch tire clearance on my bike for winter commuting).

  5. Khal Spencer Says:

    The Tubus racks look great and highly functional. I assume the double decker on the back rack is so a rack trunk doesn’t interfere with mounting and removing the panniers?

    The LHT was a lark. I had sold a Univega Speciallisima about a decade ago as I was not using it very much after buying a cross frameset as a sportier commuter, and a retiring-from-LANL friend made an offer. So about three years ago, with a full bike worth of touring-compatible components sitting in a box from our old tandem and the LHT frameset available at Mellow Velo in Santa Fe for a reasonable cost ($500??), I sprang for it. I’ve yet to tour on it, but its a great commuter, reasonably nice ride for the price, and handles climbs and descents pretty well. One of these days I’ll have to put on the Low Riders and give it a tour so I can bitch about it if need be.

    • veloben Says:

      Khal,
      I lust after a set of the Tubus Logo Evo racks. The lower side rail is supposed to bring the center of gravity of the panniers down a bit to compensate for all the stuff tourist tend to wedge between rear panniers.

      How do you like Mello Velo? I was in there this summer. Small but competently run place. Need to get one of their jerseys.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        They’re easily had, Ben. All it takes is American money and a visit to The Touring Store. I have one on the Double Cross and it works like a charm.

      • Khal Spencer Says:

        I’ve only been to Mellow Velo a couple times, once to buy the LHT frame. They seemed nice, competent, dedicated to cycling, quite “Santa Fe” in their outlook, and bent over backwards to help me get the right frame, including taking a customer’s bike off a hook and letting me ride it around the streets to see if it fit, which it did. The customer had just brought her LHT back from a tour of Ireland, so I guess one could say it did the job for her.

        They just moved into digs just a couple blocks from the Plaza. Nice digs, I should add. Hope they can cover the overhead.

  6. Larry T. Says:

    Never met Cino Cinelli, but a disciple of his, Serafino Tomi is a friend and from what he’s said and what I’ve read about the great man, a fist would come up out of his grave directed at the perps responsible for the……well….content… they’re using to sell these things if he knew about it. I hope there’s more to the bike than just the marketing baloney – Cino’s reputation deserves that.
    On the garlic note, whipped up some classic Piemonte dishes yesterday from Passion for Piedmont, by Matt Kramer. His book’s out of print but still can be found via used book stores.
    Anchovies in green sauce, washed down with a nice Barbera…pretty nice on a cold afternoon. He calls Piedmont “Italy’s Most Glorious Regional Table” and he’ll get no argument from me! Counting the days until we’re over there again later this month – white truffles will be in season.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      You don’t need that… “content”… to sell a good bike. I wonder who that is aimed at, anyway.

      I am looking forward to Patrick’s review. Might even take up a membership in Adventure Cycling so i can see it in a timely fashion.

      • Patrick O'Brien Says:

        Hey there Khal. I joined Adventure cycling this year. The magazine and the monthly “Bike Bits” via E mail are worth the price of admission. The website is really neat, and you can also read the magazine on line. The Cyclosource catalog/online store has a good selection of touring stuff. I wish I could do more than overnight trips, but that satisfies me and Sandy for now. The Saga is a real dream machine, rode it today, and I am always dreaming about a grand tours when I am on it. I just need to get many more miles in my legs. Working on it.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      Roasted red cauliflower florets, onions, and garlic in olive oil over penne rigate, little sprinking of pecorino romano. Washed down with a moderately heavy chardonnay (Beringer, which is the six dollar special at Smith’s up here on the Hill).

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We ate light last night. Snacked, really. A bit of homemade hummus with pita chips made by slicing a couple pitas in half, then cutting the halves into wedges, painting them with olive oil, sprinkling the lot with oregano, salt and pepper, and oven-frying them on a cookie sheet for six minutes per side at 400 degrees. A dish of mixed Greek olives for a sider. Should’ve had a salad, but neither of us felt like wrangling the veggies.

      While thus noshing we watched a bit of “Hear My Train A Comin’,” a documentary about Jimi Hendrix aired on PBS. I found it over at Charles P. Pierce’s site, and it’s a couple hours well spent.

      • Larry T. Says:

        We didn’t exactly gorge ourselves, skipping a second plate as for me those are the weakest part of Piedmont cooking. Along with the anchovies in green sauce as antipasti there were homemade breadsticks in the Piedmont (as in big, thick and crispy) style, a spicy, mascarpone-based cheese spread and a tuna pate. Next it was traditional bagna cauda, the hot garlic and anchovy bath for fresh vegetables. We stopped after egg pasta dressed with butter and fresh sage. Gelato affogato all caffe for desert, then a shot of grappa or sambuca left everyone sated rather than stuffed.

  7. Paul Says:

    The difference between the LHT and the Hobo is the difference between a Ford Explorer and a Porsche Cayenne.

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