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Pegoretti Duende: Firm Where It Needs To Be, Plush Everywhere Else

by Anthony Little |  | 

Lovingly crafted in a small shop in the Dolomites, Dario Pegoretti’s steel Duende offers the smooth ride quality and steering precision that reminds all of us of what you might call the golden age of hand built steel frames. Thing is the Duende has the stiffness and pedal response of any modern racing frame. Dario has made this possible simply this by combining the front triangle of Marcelo and the rear triangle of the Palosanto. The result is bike that’s equally at home in any bike race as it is on a century or credit card tour.

The oversize tubes of the bike’s front half resist torsional flex, while the smaller tubes of the seat and chain stays give a comfortable ride. Don’t get us wrong – this ain’t your father’s Oldsmobile. You still get to have all the road feel and responsiveness you need, without having to soak up the full force of each bump in the road with your backside.

When he was a contract builder, making frames for the superstars of professional cycling in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, Dario began to collect feedback from the riders – feedback that eventually lead to him experimenting with frame geometry that’s specific to the types of material he is using to build them. The Duende’s geometry provides a very precise feel without being twitchy and simply begs to be cornered. In fact, the way this bike flows down the long, twisty mountain descents close to the shop make it a favorite for those mid-week afternoons when the road is dry and there’s not a car in sight.

We love carbon and all of the other wonder-alloys that are used to make the other brands of bikes we sell, but there is something inherently wonderful about the steel blends that Dario creates that we don’t often experience with those other materials. For the Duende he uses Columbus Niobium Spirit drawn to his dimensions.

We love Dario's creations and try to keep as many of them around the shop as we possibly can. Right now we have frames in 51cm, 55cm and 62cm in the grey ‘ABVD’ paint scheme (named for the cancer treatment he received) and a 56cm in the white ‘Lori’ paint scheme (dubbed after his girlfriend who authored the scheme).

Dario builds the Duende with 1cm increments from 48-cm to 62-cm and if you want to custom order a Duende or any other Pegoretti, it’s roughly an eight month wait. Custom geometry (which includes any Pegoretti paint scheme) is a $220 up charge. If it’s you want a non-stock paint scheme it’s definitely possible, but the options are so great that you’ll want to call us.

Call the shop 415.389.5461, email or come by to talk about how we can custom build your next Italian dream bike.