This is the second Formigli to be featured on The Spoken, the first being a Classic — Columbus-tubed with gold-plated lugs. The Asiel RF, however, is a completely different beast: it’s a completely custom carbon fiber frame. Its namesake is one of the archangels, Asiel, and it’s just as divine.
The Formigli catalog actually reads more like a Who’s Who of Heaven, but that’s okay, it’s good to have something to aspire to. And Italian cycling is a bit like a pantheon anyway. I just wonder which model from the range Pope Francis would fancy.
Asiel means The Work of God which may be presumptuous, as the RF stands for Renzo Formigli — or maybe someone in Marketing knows something we don’t. After all, if you have to sell your soul to the devil to play guitar then perhaps Italian framebuilders look skyward for their inspiration?
Renzo has carried the Formigli name through an era of gross capitalisation, emerging today with its integrity intact — unlike many larger competitors. For over twenty years, every frame is still manufactured in-house and that includes the steel, aluminum and carbon fiber offerings.
The Asiel, like many of its stablemates, are completely custom-built to the customer’s specifications and dimensions, right down to finishing kit and colours. The example before you was built for Peter Banco, the Sydney distributor for Formigli and proprietor of Le Puncheur.
There’s six layers of IM600 carbon inside that frame. Renzo doesn’t care too much for the idea of the ‘weight weenie’, preferring to focus on ride quality rather than grams. That said, Peter’s bike weighs in at 6.8kg complete.
He also testifies that it “is easily the best bike I’ve ever ridden; it is sure-footed, ultra-responsive and solid in the front end without feeling sluggish, so there’s a lot of confidence in the steering particularly when descending.”
Naturally, Campagnolo’s super exclusive Super Record RS gruppo contributes to the low-flying weight, but it’s also a performer. Couple that with Fulcrum Racing Speed tubulars and a Deda Superleggera cockpit with Busyman Bicycles bar tape and you’ve got a truly blessed ride.
Special thanks to Donald Sempken for the fine photography. Contact Peter through the Le Puncheur website and while you’re there, score yourself the Renault Gitane jersey that Bernard Hinault won the 1979 Criterium du Dauphine Libere in — complete with Badger sweat.