Pietrino is a humble, unpretentious fixture of the Milanese messenger scene, with over ten years of experience riding for UBM and underground racing. But under his quiet and unassuming exterior, lies an almost religious dedication to the meditative simplicity of fixed gear riding.
And to us it seems perfectly fitting to discover that the that the faithful bike of choice of an athlete of this kind is the Gazzetta, our “no frills” do-anything steel track bike, designed for riders looking for a reliable, low-maintenance machine able to handle anything the city throws at it. We asked Pietrino to tell us the story of how he and his gazzetta met…
At the time I had a converted fixed gear made from an old road bike but when I started working at UBM [the first Milanese courier company] they were sponsored by Cinelli and would receive a certain amount of free frames each year. That year they received Gazzettas and gave one to me. It was my first real track bike. I didn’t know much about Cinelli then, just that it was a brand I always saw in videos on the internet and at alleycats, and that it was local, from Milan, which was very attractive.
To be honest I don’t think that, just looking at it, I would have ever bought a Gazzetta because it looked a bit “basic”. I couldn’t have imagined how tough and versatile it was. But using it I fell in love with it. It’s the perfect bike for working in the city: tough but still fast like a true track bike.
For both my Gazzettas, the first one and my new one (6700 km and counting), I made some small modifications that made all the difference for me. Above all I installed the Columbus Minimal carbon fork, which totally changed the bike, making the handling more agile and obviously much lighter. Other build details include compact road drops, NJS-stamped Shimano Dura Ace cranks, wheels that I built myself lacing a Phil Wood flip-flop hub to Dt Swiss rim (rear) and a H-Plus Son Archetype (front) and Hope headset for increased durability. My current gear ratio is 47 x 17t with 19t cog on the other side for when I take it climbing. Last thing: I have empty brake levers/shifters on my bars for extra positions on my bars when climbing…
For me riding brakeless fixed gear is a religion. It’s a way of experiencing cycling in a more extreme way. Of entering perfectly into harmony with the bike. To do the kinds of rides we do on a track bike [Alpine mountain passes] you have to listen to your body completely, both climbing and descending…
Frameset: Cinelli Gazzetta track
Chainring and Cog: aarn 47t chainring , 17t Cog
Crankset: NJS-stamped Shimano Dura Ace 165mm
Saddle: san marco aspide
Stem: zipp service course
Handlebar: zipp service course
Wheels: Phil Wood flip-flop hub to Dt Swiss rim (rear) and a H-Plus Son Archetype (front)
Tires: gatorskin (rear), pirelli pzero (front)