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We’ll get this out of the way immediately. Gianni Pegoretti, the principle behind DeAnima bicycles, is the brother of the late legend Dario Pegoretti, the mercurial maker of custom-painted steel. They stopped working together in 2005. They did not get along. That’s the least interesting thing about Gianni and DeAnima.
This article originally appeared in issue 76, get your copy here today: pelotonshop.com
For the past decade Gianni worked with San Patrignano, an Italian drug recovery and rehabilitation community grounded in teaching its member’s a trade. Gianni taught frame building, helping countless kids find worth and meaning in their lives with a welding torch in their hand. Along the way, Gianni also made black-label frames for some of Italy’s most revered brands. Today, Gianni, along with Antonio Attanasio, one of his original students, sees DeAnima as a way to preserve Italy’s custom-frame heritage in an age of Asian carbon. DeAnima makes both steel and carbon bikes with both stock and custom geometries, but always in Italy and always manufactured and painted in the same facility by the same two men: Gianni and Antonio.
DeAnima’s carbon road-disc frame, the AMG-01, begins with a custom-carbon tubeset designed specifically for the AMG-01, made in Venice and used on no other bike. In his workshop outside of Trento, Gianni makes his frames in a fashion similar to other custom-carbon manufacturers, like Alchemy or Parlee: tube-to-tube construction, bonded, then overwrapped with pre-preg carbon sheets. But by eschewing generic carbon tubes available to any brand, DeAnima can pre-mold tubes in critical areas. The bottom bracket is molded to the chain stays and the head tube is molded to the down tube, which keeps those junctions light, stiff and durable yet allows for custom geometry by mitering, bonding and overwrapping the rest of the joints.
The AMG-01 is a disc-only frame and the tubeset was designed that way from the ground up, not adapted from a rim-brake design, using a mix of Toray T800 carbon, both UD and 3K. Our test bike, a 55cm, came with DeAnima’s stock geometry—and it’s quite racey. Bucking the long and lazy rear end of many disc-road bikes, the AMG-01 has just 408mm chain stays, yet can accept a 30mm tire. Built with a Campagnolo Chorus H11 group, Campagnolo BORA One 35 clinchers, Deda Elementi cockpit and Selle Italia SP01 saddle, this stock 55cm weighs 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds). Of course, DeAnima is all about custom geometry and custom builds, so you can get what you want, from nimble-and-twitchy to stable-and-stately, with essentially any build under the sun.
Like his brother Dario, Gianni Pegoretti offers some beautiful paint options. DeAnima’s “stock” paint options go well beyond most other manufacturers’ semi-custom options. There are seven different schemes and 18 stock colors in the pallet. There are six different options in what DeAnima calls the Art Series, with influences ranging from Jackson Pollack’s abstract expressionism to iconic menswear designer Paul Smith. An AMG-01 frameset, stock or custom geometry, is $4,400; that’s less than many stock monocoque frames. It’s less than many custom steel and Ti bikes and thousands less than custom carbon from Parlee or Argonaut. Want a custom color? That’s $200 extra. Fully custom paint? Just another $500. Whatever you want, it’s delivered within 12 weeks.
Any ride review of a custom builder is a bit of a challenge. The different angles and dimensions a rider chooses can fundamentally alter the ride experience, but an in-depth look at the stock geometry a builder chooses can give clues to the kind of experience they have and the ride quality they can impart. The AMG-01 and its tube-to-tube Toray T800 build is above all a comfortable ride. That said, it provides this comfort with little sacrifice of speed. The frame, with its overbuilt seat stays and fork legs designed from day one to accommodate disc brakes, superbly dampen rough roads without sacrificing too much stiffness, while the short rear end keeps the bike quick at the pedals. There is the feeling of a lot of carbon between you and the road, making the bike less of a pure exercise in acceleration, but masterful at damping high-frequency road buzz as well as directing high wattage to the back wheel with a minimum of loss.
The stock geometry lends itself to balance. The bike does not handle with quite the twitchy responsiveness of one of the “superbikes” but it is extremely stable, especially at high speeds. This stability equates to predictable steering and the bike won’t ghost-steer or speed-wobble when you take your hands off the bars. Our test bike had a 31.6mm seat post, so it easily handled big, in-the-saddle efforts and felt firm and efficient during tempo climbing. A 27.2mm seat post is standard but, with the bike’s built-in road damping, we’d recommend all but the slenderest of riders opt for the 31.6mm.
Gianni Pegoretti’s DeAnima may be a new name, but it holds firm to the old ideals of Italian cycling. Handmade in the heart of Italy, the AMG-01 is a bike that rides as impeccably as it is finished. It is a manifestation of the craftsmen that make it, a bike we feel lucky to have had in the PELOTONmagazine stable, even for a short time.
BUILD: Campagnolo H11 Chorus, Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 wheels and Vittoria Corsa 28m tires. Deda Elementi cockpit with Selle Italia SP01 saddle.
$4,400 (frameset) ; $8,550 (as built)
7.5kg/16.5lbs, 55cm (w/o pedals or cages)