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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Experiment at photographing a bicycle: The Zullo MaxSilenus

An experiment combine my interest in bicycling and my photography. I have not done any work on bicycles professionally...its rather different from photographing watches, or landscape. So here is my try on a very special bicycle. Handmade by Tiziano Zullo in Italy, this is one of a limited series of only 20 worldwide.

A good friend, on hearing that I was going to return to the steel is real crowd in cycling...those of you who are cyclists know this battle cry...immediately offered me a choice of either his Zullo or Pegoretti. I thought to try the Zullo first. Tiziano Zullo handmakes the bicycles, reminds me of Philippe Dufour in watchmaking, and currently have a Japanese artisan as his master Dufour.

Frame material for bicycles started with steel, and as metalurgy and material science progressed, the general trend moved to aluminium, a fling with titanium and magnesium to the current rave of carbon fibre frames all over. I will not enter into a discussion of which is better...its another Canon-Nikon, Mercedes-BMW type of argument...each one have their preferences.

The tubeset is Columbus Max...a very strong and stiff tubeset.

Called the MaxSilenus

This particular piece, no 9/20

Handmade in Italy

Totally handmade by Tiziano himself, and painted by Masso, his master apprentice...I call Masso this because he is a fully qualified frame builder, having done his initial apprentice with the other famous Italian frame builder - Dario Pegoretti.

The paintwork is extremely beautiful. With specs within which reflect light. And the strip of multicolour bits adorn the top tube.

The lugs are magnificent too, and contribute a bit more weight to the bike, but I must say its quite impressively light...I didn't have a scale to weigh it, but I hazard a guess that it must hover around 8kg.

Built up with the silver Campagnolo Athena 11 groupset so it looks a bit retro...fitting in this build, as the frame is also a modern frame built to very traditional looks. Standard double, 53/39

11-27 cassette

Athena gets skeletonized dual pivot brakes for the front and single pivot for the rear.

Wheelset is built on a vintage Ambrosio Hypothesis rims with lightweight Tune hubs on a set of magnificent, very comfortable 25mm silk tubulars built by FMB.

Another view of the entire bike...I am not happy with either full bike pictures...will need to figure out a better way to shoot this.

Riding the bicycle...its almost like a dream. The frame is very stiff...the tires, pumped to 110psi is very comfortable. The Athena 11 groupset does the job well. Could be a bit quieter, but looks beautiful and retro and works fine. The traditional 53/39 double gearing is a bit tall for me...I won't be able to climb well...maybe a 50/34 compact with the new 12-29 cassette might work better for me.

And of keep timing, what else but to depend on German engineering...

On hindsight, I should have setup my Profoto flashes and get more even lighting. Perhap another day soon.

p.s. The Brooks saddle is mine. The bike came with a matching electric blue Italian made Concorsa saddle.


Oldyonfoldy said...

Captured the bike so beautifully, as always Peter!

Eddie Sng said...

Maybe with the wheel in a turning position. Makes the "whole" bike smaller?

Derek said...

Love the 'cycling computer' mate!