2020 / Steel frame size 46cm / Sram 1 x 11 / Sram rival hydraulic brakes
Cinelli's Hobootleg Geo is not an ordinary bike and it can be difficult to put it into a category; drop bar mountain bike, adventure bike, off-road touring, monstercross, drop bar plus bike or 29er are some of the classifications that can be found on the net. The trend was started by the American brand Salsa with their model Fargo and the main focus is to be able to travel long distances on mixed terrain but particularly ready for off-road. The main features of this breed are:
- Drop bars: they allow for multiple hand positions, especially necessary on long distances. Drop bars on these bikes are wider than on road bikes and they are flared which gives more control on rugged terrain.
- Ready to be loaded: they have plenty of mounts for water bottle cages and bikepacking bags. The frame is strong and capable of carrying heavy loads.
- Tire clearance: being able to put on wide tires is key for off-road capability.
- Specific geometry: it has some MTB characteristics, like a rather high bottom bracket to be able to go over obstacles, and a long chainstay to grant stability. At the same time, they need a short reach, like a road or gravel bike, to be able to accommodate drop bars.
Cinelli's Hobootleg is probably one of the most noticeable and dramatic examples of an off-road expedition bike. Xavier, a friend and colleague, has kindly shared with Bicycle Picnic his opinion after a year of use.
At the time you bought this bike, what were you looking for ?
I wanted a bike that was as versatile as possible, I was also searching for a "look" that was out of the ordinary. Although, I really disliked the only color offered by Cinelli, the characteristics of the frame ended up convincing me. For the versatility, I am totally satisfied. I've been able to test different types of configurations (different types and sizes of tires as well as different amounts and distributions of load) which are all consistent with the different desired activities (road mode, gravel, mountain bike or travel bike), the travel mode is the optimal version in my opinion.
Any favorite features ?
Without any doubt, no matter the configuration, what I have consistently experienced is comfort. It is a very comfortable and stable bike both on the road and in rougher terrain. I would say that my second favorite characteristic is the variety of possibilities for accessories, the frame has plenty of mounts which makes the bike an excellent travel companion.
Bikepacking the "Moselle" in Luxembourg and Germany
Anything you would improve ?
The color ! Although with time I got used to it. Other than that, I find the bike a bit heavy in its original build. The BSA square spindle bottom bracket is very basic (and heavy) but I imagine it makes it easy to replace in remote places like the steppes of Mongolia. I also had to replace the stem which is too long for a "medium" size frame, and the saddle which looked like a child's one.
Finally, I would say that I am very satisfied with my choice and I think that I still have plenty of possibilities to explore.
Many thanks to Xavier for sharing his impressions on his Cinelli Hobootleg Geo 2020 on Bicycle Picnic.
Do you like bikepacking bikes ? Check out this Thorn Nomad long term review, or the Kona Sutra LTD and the Kona Rove ST, two gravel bikes touring and bikepacking ready.