Cinelli Zydeco

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Release Year
Wheel Size
Number of Gears
22.9, 23 lbs
Brake Type
Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Cinelli Zydeco. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

16 reasons to buy

  • Some call this a ‘do-everything bike’, performing well on sprints, endurance rides, gravel and on-road.
  • The Zydeco stands out with a polished aluminum frame and classic Cinelli colors.
  • Featuring bosses for a rear rack and fenders, the Zydeco can serve as a commuter or light tourer.
  • The attention to detail and finish on the Zydeco was stunning and precise.
  • An efficient transfer of power was experienced on the Zydeco, even when loaded.
  • The combination of a carbon fork and alloy frame offered great value for performance.
  • On the ‘Full Color’, SRAM Apex 1 componentry impressed, while the rest was low-cost but good quality.
  • The Zydeco felt stable and comfortable on difficult terrain, aiding endurance on longer trips.
  • Clearance allowed for tires up to 42c, plus fenders.
  • The Zydeco’s geometry was well-matched to racing; offering a short reach, lowered bottom-bracket and whippy steering.
  • Internal cabling is new to the 2019 Zydeco, creating a cleaner look and room for bag straps.
  • The bar, stem and seatpost were furnished with Cinelli-brand parts under the ‘Vai’ moniker. These were reliable but kept costs down.
  • Tektro and TRP brakes were low maintenance and performed well for cable discs.
  • Challenge Griffo 40mm tires were grippy in the wet and delivered ample speed on gravel.
  • Experts stressed that the Zydeco’s cornering was sharp and nimble.
  • Reviewers said the Zydeco climbed, descended and handled rough trails well.

10 reasons not to buy

  • The Zydeco was considered a bit pricey, due to the premium demanded by the ‘Cinelli look’ and finish.
  • Some owners also felt that cable discs and Shimano hubs were a bit under-specced for the cost.
  • Non-SRAM componentry on the ‘Full Color’ was just ‘acceptable’, not outstanding . QR axles and a rear IS disc mount was not the latest tech.
  • Some riders experienced a lack of clearance in muddy conditions, with the front fork clogging up.
  • Tektro or TRP mechanical discs offered less bite and efficiency than hydraulics.
  • One expert felt that the Zydeco’s geometry was a bit cramped due to a short stem and narrow bars.
  • The weight of the Zydeco was seen as heavier than average for its class.
  • For one reviewer, a stiff front-end put pressure on wrists over longer rides on rockier terrain.
  • 40mm tires were judged as too wide to attain decent speed on roads.
  • Alex wheels with Shimano hubs, were seen as fairly average.

Bottom line

Cinelli’s Zydeco has seen a few updates over the last few years; tweaking its geometry, componentry and concealing cables. In fact, it was born without a carbon fork or disc brakes. The 2019 models combine either Tiagra or SRAM kit with house-brand Cinelli parts and mid-range componentry elsewhere. To some, these cheaper parts are considered reliable but under-specced on a bike of this price. The rest of the cost is widely assumed to be sunk into the trademark Cinelli design-work. It must be said; the Zydeco’s graphics, colors and finish are impressive. Generally, the Zydeco impressed most experts and owners, striking them as a highly feasible ‘do-everything’ rig, at home on and off-road. However, most said it wasn’t quite a purebred cyclocross race bike.

Expert Reviews

72/100 based on 2 rated expert reviews

Cinelli Zydeco Review

A cyclocross bike for commuters and more.

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Cross Bike Review

Cinelli Zydeco

Gravel-road racing is an emerging discipline… the Zydeco would be a great choice for such adventures.

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Review: Cinelli Zydeco Cyclocross Bike

…as a do-it-all bike suitable for dabbling at some cyclocross races, it certainly fits the bill.

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Cyclocross Magazine

A Fresh Look at the Cinelli Zydeco Cyclocross / Gravel Bike

The Cinelli Zydeco componentry suggests it is aimed at dirt roads and gravel, not just cyclocross.

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Gravel Da Mille E Una Notte Cinelli Zydeco Test E Recensione (Test and Review)

The Cinelli Zydeco is a fun and easy-to-use gravel bike. It gives a calm and relaxed ride even for long journeys.

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User Ratings

89/100 based on 18 ratings
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Bike Comparison

Cinelli Zydeco in comparison to averages