RE: [CR]Telavio - Pino Moroni

(Example: Framebuilders:Jack Taylor)

From: "Dave Patrick" <>
To: "'Bingham, Wayne R.'" <>, <>
Subject: RE: [CR]Telavio - Pino Moroni
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002 15:31:47 -0500
In-Reply-To: <C868CB2D287CD04AACA367D51848C214085476@mlsswn02p.WAS.INT.IMF.ORG>


I knew Pino fairly well, as my older brother raced bikes in the late 60's/early 70's and was a very good friend of Pino's. In fact, when I was in jr. high school I use to tag along with Pino and my brother to bike races in Pino's old green Fiat. I wasn't a bike racer at the time, but I use to love to listen to Pino, as he was such an animated character, always waving his arms and talking in his heavy Italian accent. He was right and everyone else was wrong. In fact, most conversations with Pino were like a test, with Pino constantly asking the other party questions. If you didn't give the answer Pino wanted to hear, you were then usually dressed down with a bit of profanity and then corrected, with every expectation that you would remember this information for a furture test date.

Now, a few items. Pino built frames in the 1970's that have the "Pino" name on them, usually the typical white sticker with the Pino name in a black block lettered outline. These stickers were quite frequently on the down tube and the top tube, as well as the fork blades. These frames also have the three green mice on them somewhere, which was Pino's trademark. By the mid 1970's Pino was in collaboration with Cecil Behringer, working on developing a full titanium bicycle frame. In fact, I think Pino was leaving all of the frame building to Cecil in 1978 or so, if I am not mistaken. Pino was machining the titanium and Cecil brazed the titanium (yes,brazed)into the frameset. These usually carried the "Pi-Behr" or "Pino-Behr" name and are VERY rare (I only know of two that exist).

Now on to the Telavio: yes, Pino built these frames and they do indeed date to the mid-1980's for the most part. The holes you are talking are indeed intended as frame stiffeners, as there are small internal tubes, or a channel, going entirely through the tube. These were placed at areas that Pino felt were succeptable to flex. These frames are indeed a bit of a rare item. There are a few scattered around here in Michigan (maybe 4-5). Pino did return to Italy for a time in the late 1980's and he did build some Telavio steel frames there, but I sincerely doubt if any of these have found their way back "across the pond". In fact, during this time period, Pino was employed by the Italian Cycling Federation, so these frames may very well still be in the federation's hands. Also of note, a lot of the Telavio frames were finished in yellow.

Later on in the 1990's, Pino built some steel frames that just had a small "Pino" sticker on the downtube, which included the three green mice. These were cosmetically very bare, but featured Pino's latest ideas that he was developing (reverse-rake suspension fork, one-size-fits-all frame sizing, a lot of other goodies).

I think I'm rambling on, but he was such a character and I miss him. A few items of note: his last name is spelled Morroni. Also, the CR page has his year of death listed as 2000. This is wrong. Pino entered the hospital in early 1999 to have surgery and caught pneumonia while in the hospital, which led to his death a few weeks later. The last time I was at his house was the day before he went into the hospital for this surgery. He has just gotten back from Italy and had given me a handful of Mercatone-Uno clothes the he had been given by the team while in Italy. I offered to pay him something for these items, but he refused. His last words to me: "There's an old saying in Italy. What good is money? When you have to take a shit in the woods, you can't wipe your ass with it". Words to live by.

Dave Patrick Chelsea, Michigan

-----Original Message----- From: []On Behalf Of Bingham, Wayne R. Sent: Friday, January 04, 2002 2:12 PM To: '' Subject: [CR]Telavio - Pino Moroni

More questions for the CR brain-trust.

I just ran across a track frame with Telavio decals, supposedly built by Pino Moroni. It's built with Columbus SL tubing and is suspected to be from the mid 80's. What's most curious about this frame is that it has several small holes in each of the three main tubes. The holes look something like bottle braze-ons, but smaller, maybe 2mm, non-threaded, with what appear to be a small reinforcing rings around each hole. The holes are on the sides on the down tube, bottom of the top tube, and front and back of the seat tube. Other than that, the frame appears fairly conventional with plain lugs, Campagnolo drop-outs and a very thin tube-shaped bridge on the seat stays . The fork is chrome with a semi-sloping crown, and the upper part of the fork legs are pressed into a diamond shape, similar to De Rosa's Diamante chainstays.

Is anyone familiar with Telavio frames? Their history and/or other details? Any ideas as to what the little holes are all about? Were these really built by Moroni? Given Moroni's history, could the holes be some sort of weight saving/stiffening device (although I can't imagine any significant weight savings from a few 2mm holes)?

Come to think of it, the holes may be sleeved-through the tubes (the frame was hanging up high and I didn't have a chance to actually fondle it). Anyone ever seen that detail?

Any clues? Inquiring minds, you know.

Wayne Bingham
Falls Church VA