The klunker blazed the trail for modern mountain bike design and subsequent bikes were more purpose-designed and built, yet handmade in steel. After a few generations of evolution and development, a steel hardtail still seems to be the pinnacle for the long-term rider. Madrid’s Rubén Durán of Rizzo Cycles is dedicated to upholding the torch.
Rizzo Cycles has been established for about two years and although Rubén is a young gun he’s got the passion, respect, and sensibility to build a strong influence on the local scene. A specialist in TIG-welded frames, he counts Italian masters such as Pegoretti and Zullo as primary influences, along with Kris from 44 Bikes and Mattia of Legor Cicli.
Rubén builds a frame to be ridden hard down or up hills, whether it’s a road, gravel or mountain bike. This new single-speed hardtail can also run a geared drivetrain but is trail-ready — running a 140mm fork, 2.6/2.4″ tires, and modern slack geometry. The parts list is exotic and functional, with a few rare gems.
Barcelona’s Frasen Wheelworks laced WTB rims to a pair of Ukrainian Trailmech hubs, which are made “on Soviet-era machines and sound like a Kalashnikov”. Braking Brakes is an Italian motorcycle brake maker and their MTB offering adorns the Rizzo. Rubén tells me they’re lighter than an XTR unit with superior modulation.
The chain guide was a considered choice as per the client’s wishes for Rubén’s proprietary dropouts, a lack of eccentric T47 bottom brackets, and ease of conversion to gears. A pair of Ingrid cranks and chainring delivers power to the rear wheel; the headset, T47BB, and cog are from Chris King. Together, it’s a stunner and I bet it rides como un sueño, too.
Rizzo Cycles Website | Instagram
Big thanks to Alejandro Cubino for the fine photos.