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The Soul of Cycling #1: Officina Pegoretti

By The Heart Of Metal

Introducing a new feature dedicated to the art and practice of framebuilding: The Soul of Cycling.

Through an interview that moves between technical and emotional language we will tell the story of how the frame has been constructed and what makes it special.

Columbus sits down with Pietro Pietricola and Cristina Wurdig from Officina Pegoretti to discuss their “just don’t call it a gravel” cyclocross frame, the Duende, a lesser known part of their catalogue that gives a special form to Columbus’ Zona tubeset…

Ciao Cristina, ciao Pietro, what are we here to talk about today?

We want to talk to you a little about Duende, the model we produce that is perhaps closest to a “traditional” racing frame but which is also orderable as a CX (or road, or track…) bike for cyclocross riders or for cyclists looking for an all-road bike with ample tyre clearance. Our Duende CX is well-known in the States but much less so, which is why we thought it was interesting to talk about it today! The Duende is a frame which struggles to fit into ordinary categories, it’s versatile. Or better yet: disrespectful! This is perhaps the real nature of our Duende. And please don’t call it a gravel!

It’s interesting that in a cycling world that talks ever more about gravel you so stringently insist that the Duende is not a gravel bike. Why?

Pegoretti does not do gravel. The identity of our brand is firmly rooted in the road bike, those are our origins. The Duende also began its life as a road frame, made from Zona, your most versatile tubeset… versatile like the Duende’s soul! The Duende is in fact a playful frame which can morph from its standard road version into a cyclocross or track frame according to the client’s request. And in some way it is also the simplicity of the Zona tubeset that allows to move from one configuration of frame to the other.

Pietro, you weld the frame; what are the technical characteristics of the Duende? How is it constructed? With what kind of welds?

The Duende is a TIG-welded frame, made as we said from Zona, your “all-purpose, hi-resistance” seamless tubes made from 25CroMo4. Our specific version of the tubeset has been customized according to our needs. In particularly the tapered seat and chainstays which you make for us and which have become the signature of the frame are easy to work with, thanks to the elevated mechanical characteristics of the steel, which are also maintained during welding. The same characteristics are extremely beneficial when welding accessories such as cantilever mounts for the CX version of the frame. Our dropouts on the other hand are brazed: this is a choice made from both technical and aesthetic reasons and determines the personality and recognizability of the frame as much as the stays!

What kind of customer orders a Duende CX?

An intelligent client! Some order it for pure cyclocross racing, others who choose it for the greater wheel clearance other for greater comfort.

Who does what at Officina Dario Pegoretti?

Everybody does everything! The versatile spirit of the Duende doesn’t just give a form to Zona tubing, it gives form to the entire company.

sofiane sehili full bike setup vitus

Sofiane Sehili wins Tour Divide with Columbus Futura Adventure

By News

Several weeks ago Sofiane Sehili, the newly-crowned champion of Tour Divide, posted detailed pictures of his race-winning set up on Instagram.

Carefully examining every detail we were surprised to discover that, amongst other meticulously thought out choices, his Vitus Rapide CRX mountain bike featured an after-market upgrade: the Columbus Futura Adventure fork! Intrigued and flattered we got in touch with Sofiane to learn more about this choice and the many others that render both his setup and approach so unique and interesting.

Sofiane sehili con bici setup

Columbus: Ciao Sofiane!

Sofiane: Ciao Lodovico!

Columbus: Thanks very much for taking the time to talk with us.

Sofiane: No problem…

Columbus: So as I already mentioned on whatsapp we were studying the images of your Tour Divide winning setup here in the office when all of a sudden we noticed you were using a Columbus fork!

Sofiane: yes (laughs)

Columbus: Actually there are so many interesting details on your setup… maybe the most interesting and unusual is your cockpit setup. Do you think you could talk us through it?

Sofiane: So basically as a rider I’m more comfortable with a flat bar when things get technical, so that’s why I have a flat bar. The triathlon bars I use for several interconnected reasons. The first one is obviously aerodynamics. Tour Divide has a lot of flat and windy sections where an aero position is advantageous. But the main reason is hand position. As everybody knows on the bike you have three pressure points: butt, feet, hands. I find that hands are the most fragile and prone to nerve damage. With the triathlon bar I relieve pressure from my hands for a period whilst my forearms take the load. Not only that but the different position on the bike provided by the triathlon extensions also puts your butt in a different position on the saddle. So the setup allows me to relieve two pressure points. Important on a very long race.

Columbus: We also noticed you used a Red Shift Shockstop Stem which has about 20mm of travel…

Sofiane: For sure a suspension stem is not as comfy as a suspension fork but it’s not much heavier than a traditional stem at it offers a bit of vibration dampening. Actually I use this stem on both my bikes (gravel and MTB – ED) and I have to admit it works better with the gravel bike as the drop bars offer more leverage and thus you maximize the benefit.

Columbus Futura Adventure fork

Columbus: And this brings us to your choice of fork! First of all, why no suspension fork?

Sofiane: The basic idea behind my build is: minimal risk of failure. I wanted to eliminate any possibility of something going wrong. Suspension forks have a very small chance of failure. But it will happen. It happened to a friend of mine at the Italy Divide and the winner of the Silk Road race in 2019. The Tour Divide is more than 4000km… suspension forks are made for mountain bike riding and require regular checks, bleeding and so on.

Columbus: So you wanted a rigid mountain bike fork. Why did you choose the Columbus Futura Adventure?

Sofiane: So like I said before I wanted security and everything to be top notch so I really had to go with a big name brand that gave me the guarantee of safety. For the requirements I had limited my choices to three brands and products that offered me confidence: Columbus, Niner and Enve. In the end I chose the Columbus Futura Adventure because I liked the design and the fact that you could switch out the dropouts for two different rakes (40-50mm – ED) and because I’ve always been a big fan of the brand, stemming probably from the six years I spent riding as a messenger in Paris where I rode mostly rode steel bike with Columbus tubing before eventually moving to Titanium then carbon for competition.

Columbus fork mounted

Columbus: Ok, thank you! Now for a classic question… how much did your whole setup weigh?

Sofiane: I don’t know actually know (laughs). I don’t know because my philosophy is not to weigh the bike because it’s been built so that there is nothing I can take off it!

Columbus: Good philosophy! Well, thank you so much Sofiane for taking the time to talk to us, congratulations on your recent and victory and good luck at the Silk Road Race and Rhino Run over the next few months!

sofiane sehili full bike setup vitus


Bike: @vitusbikes Rapide CRX with Columbus Futura adventure fork
Wheels: @hunt.beyond trail wide boost carbon dynamo wheels with SON hub
Tyres: @reneherse 29×2.25 Fleecer ridge
Groupset: @shimanomtb XT M8000 11sp groupset (34 front 11-42 back) with XT rotors (180/160) and XT pedals
Cockpit: @redshiftsports ShockStop pro stem, @ritcheylogic WCS carbon bars, @ergonbike g3s grips, @profile_design t3+ aerobars
Saddle:@pro_bikegear stealth off road saddle,
Seatpost: Niner RDO carbon
Bags: @miss_grape_official
Lights: @supernova__design E3 triple 2 front light +E3 tail light
GPS: @hammerheadrides Karoo 2