STORIES> Build Inspiration

A Ciavete Responsorium in Australia

13th December, 2023 / Words and Photos by Frank Mercurio
Over the decades, the brilliance of Dario's craftsmanship in fabricating steel and aluminium frames has been chronicled in numerous magazines and online articles. His works for professional cyclists are meticulously documented. Subsequently, his TIG-welded masterpieces, narrating jazz-infused tales curated for esteemed celebrities and the fortunate few, mark the rhythmic trajectory set forth by Mr. Pegoretti.

Having encountered Dario nearly two decades ago, I found an inquisitive, humorous, and slightly roguish personality—a captivating companion exuding spirit and willingness to connect. Reconnecting with him the following year affirmed my belief: he was undeniably unique.

Recalling conversations with Dario regarding the intricacies of his building process, he passionately discussed his team, collaboration with Columbus, and his painters and artisans, lauding their talents and creativity. He homed in on their specific abilities and skill sets. Uninterested in self-promotion, his focus unwaveringly rested on their continual improvement.

Enthusiastically, he delved into discussions about his newly crafted stainless-steel framesets and unique painting process, elucidating his approach to interpretive painting. His excitement about his work was palpable. Several years after his passing, the question lingers: has the magic of Dario Pegoretti endured?

Cristina and I considered the course of the build. With recent back surgery on the mend, a ride necessitating compliance was in the cards. She advocated for Disc brakes, enabling a broader selection of tires and contributing to a more supple, comfortable ride.

Crucially, stainless-steel tubing would further smooth out the road. For this, she wholeheartedly endorsed the stainless-steel Responsorium Disc. The advice was heeded. And it appears, one 'disc' was swapped for another.

The company of Dario Pegoretti continues today and excels at the very thing Dario aspired to create—they perpetuate the greatness he had the foresight to develop. To that end, I suggest we raise a glass of Vino Rosso to their continued success—the ‘boss’ would undoubtedly be very proud.

Pietro, Cristina, and the team loyally carry his torch and reaffirm what’s been written many times over—their bikes are simply as amazing to behold and ride now as they ever were. At Pegoretti, the magic unmistakably persists!

Patience is not always easy, and there is often uncertainty in a multi-month-long waiting process. Anticipation comes with a pretty high level of trust. Once the frame was seen in person, the uncertainty dissipated, and once ridden, the doubt is absolutely obliterated. 

So, the question lingers—how does it ride?

The stability in conjunction with silky-smooth road feel is its paramount attribute. In a word, it appears to roll less than it feels like it glides. What the Disc set-up allows for only enhances the overall ride ability in all respects. To run wider rims, wider tires, and lower psi, enhances what I find is a stainless-steel frame of impeccable stability and predictable handling. It's unflappable on the road. This Pegoretti rides like no other bike I’ve ridden… ever!

In the heart of the workshop, where dreams get spun, the notion to paint on this steel beast, a solid one – a hue, in python green. As fabrication near, something stirred in the air, a wild idea sneaking in, last minute, I loaded Ciavete to the shopping bin.

Trusting the unknown, it’s a ride on a highway of nerves, but down at Pegoretti, they’re not unaware. After all the midnight toil, their outcome has flare. The minds at work, the hands at play, they birthed a masterpiece, dare I say. A pattern dancing like a rainbow in a flyscreen, or sunset on a reptile’s back of this stunning machine, breathing life into the python’s green—Pegoretti's soul is laid bare.

You can stare at the photos all day, but the real magic they say, you gotta stand in its presence, breathe in its aire. This ain’t just paint; it’s a symphony of steel and colour; Pegoretti’s hymn. You gotta see it live, feel the vibe, and let it grip you from within.

And so, in this workshop, with a hum and a tune, this Pegoretti, its Ciavete full moon, stands testament, the spirit that runs through the tubes a rareness, born of the hands that know all this is real.


Cristina Würdig, Pietro Pietricola, Neill Stanbury, and Paul Bowden, for all their help, effort, and diligence, and most especially for dealing with my idiosyncrasies on this project.


Campagnolo Shamal carbon Disc wheels, Campagnolo Chorus Disc 12 spd, 48x32 crankset and group, Super Record 11-34 cassette and 12 spd chain, Thomson post, Brooks C13 saddle, 3T bar and stem, Pirelli 28mm rubber, Speedplay pedals and King Ti cages.

← Back to Stories


© 2023 Officina Dario Pegoretti. All rights reserved.