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Road racing is now almost exclusively a purvey of carbon fiber machines, glued together and molded in high-temperature autoclaves. Dario Pegoretti's Marcelo (technically, now called the "MXXXXXO") is the Old World's middle finger to that notion, the one that steel is a relic of the past, incapable of comparing to the latest composite wunderbikes. We put our money where our mouths are, and slid the Marcelo (along with Dario's now-defunct Love #3) under our elite road squad for two seasons on the American national circuit, where it performed admirably.

A pure steel race bike comprised entirely of heat-treated, TIG-welded oversized Columbus Spirit tubing, the Marcelo's connected, responsive ride convinces ardent carbon junkies of its legitimacy. Hooded dropouts give the massive seat and chainstays extra weld surface at their meeting point, helping make the Marcelo an ideal launchpad for even the most powerful of riders. Dario's trademark grand tour geometry ensures comfort over the long haul, and when diving into corners or throttling the bike at 1500 watts in a sprint, the D11 oversized headtube keeps the front tracking true. Even with the massive amount of stiffness, the Italian steel's comfort delivers, muting harsh road buzz and taking the ragged edge off of bumpy roads.

Available in any of Dario’s current paint schemes or in the original “Surprise Me”, Mr. Pegoretti’s choice Ciavete, each Marcelo, like all other Pegoretti frames, is first a bicycle, and second a work of art. Handmade and painted in Pegoretti’s frameshop in Verona, Italy, all frames are available in stock sizing or custom geometry for an upcharge. Pegoretti framesets include Falz fork, Chris King D11 headset, and mechanical routing only.