Earlier this month we went and visited young Parisian rider Ymane Yenga to talk about her track bike riding in Paris, dream bikes and her collection of Cinelli caps…
Ymane, 25 years old, born and raised in Paris, first started riding 7 years ago. Her boyfriend of the time was obsessed with fixed gear bikes and, says Ymane “obviously he had to have a girlfriend who rode too. He bought me a fixed gear and said ok you can ride home with it now… I was like what? I don’t know how to do this… But soon after I became pretty obsessed.”
“A couple of years later I got my first serious job and immediately started saving up for my dream bike: the Cinelli x MASH Histogram silver from 2014, ever since I’d seen that bike on the streets in Paris I knew that was my bike, the one I had to have… It took ages for me to track down one in my size but I finally found it on a Paris fixed gear facebook group, in mint condition… And it was when I got this bike, the first bike I’d bought with my own money, that I really started riding all the time, buying parts, continuously upgrading and fine-tuning.
My current setup is super fast, super light with a lot of special parts like the Zipp wheels and cockpit." [see full details below – ED]
"I also have another Cinelli bike, the CinellixMASH work (the frame that would later spawn our current Tutto Plus). The Work is very different, heavier, but more comfortable. I’ve even put a front rack on the cantilever mounts and used it for traveling. I use the Work for longer more easy going rides, I use the Histogram when I want to go really fast… This way I have two very different views of fixed gear cycling through the two different bikes, which I really like..”
“Apart from the bikes my favourite Cinelli item has to be the cap, which has become part of my uniform over the last few years.
When I first got into cycling I would see people wearing cycling caps, people who were not racing but wearing the cap as a kind of representation of a lifestyle statement, so messengers or alleycat riders. I alway s thought the cap was a really cool item but for some reason thought I couldn’t wear it, because I wasn’t a serious enough rider maybe or maybe because I have big hair I didn’t think it would fit. But one day someone gave me one to try, it fit, I liked the way it looked on me so after that I bought my first one: a Cinelli.
In fact Cinelli is the only brand of cycling cap I have ever bought and it has become a part of my whole aesthetic. Often I will try to match my outfits with my cap and I never ride my bike without one on, sometimes I even wear one when I’m not on my bike which is maybe a bit too much haha…”
“What I like about the Cinelli cap is the way that I feel like I am collecting art pieces. In fact I love all the items from the Art Program not just the caps and it’s been a way for me to discover artists that I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered such as Mike Giant (I’ve got the Mike Giant x Cinelli bar tape, gloves and ass saver as well as of course the cap) but above all: Ana Benaroya.
All my favourite Cinelli caps are her ones. I even rebought my absolute favourite cap of hers, the Fire cap after it got ruined in an accident… Recently I found somebody selling some ten old Cinelli caps on facebook, I went with a friend to check them out and we ended buying everything from him including the Benaroya socks so my collection keeps growing haha… In fact I just moved into a new place I am trying to figure out not just where to hang my bikes but also my caps…”
Frameset: Cinelli X Mash Histogram
Chainring and Cog: Sugino zen 51t, 18t Cog
Crankset: Sram Omnium 165mm
Saddle: Specialized power
Stem: Zipp 100mm
Handlebar: Zipp service course 80
Wheels: Zipp 303 firecrest
Tires: Continental Grand Prix 4 season and Gatorskin 25c