My Leica Bike (aka “Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats 2014“)

Leica Bike!

When I am not taking photos there is a good chance I am eating, sleeping or cycling!  After having my Leica M9 almost a year now I think it has given me a taste for simplicity and quality.  As with my photography where I came from a Nikon DSLR to Leica I have now also simplified my cycling moving from my custom made 20 gear road bike and 27 gear hybrid bike to a single speed Cinelli.

The Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats is an Italian born single speed (fixed gear + freewheel) road bike.  The matt black paint is said to originate from Italy where riders covered their bikes in black tape to disguise the value of the bike underneath.  Weighing in at 8.1kg off the shelf it has great potential to become a lightweight racer once I change the wheels, tyres, saddle, pedals for lighter alternatives (in time).  I ride most days and it has been an absolute pleasure racing to the office this week.  Yes I have to work harder with only one gear to get up hills but I try to describe it like a car with only a 2nd gear.  It is slow initially to pull away from the lights but once up to speed you only really have 2 speed options, fast and faster regardless of terrain.  If you go below that speed you would have to get off and push if cannot rotate the pedals.  Having no gears to clatter and click the Mystic glides silently over rough road surfaces and cuts between the traffic with easy with the narrow yet beautifully crafted Cinelli Lola bars.

With the no frills design and matt black paint the Cinelli Mystic reminds me a lot of my Leica M9.

Attached are a few shots of the bike taken with the Leica M9 + new Leica Summicron 75mm f2 APO lens (Cron 75f2 lens review to follow).  All photos taken at f2, 1/30 or 1/60, ISO 160 as in camera B&W JPEGs.


Full bike spec here –


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