Re: [CR]Cinelli years

Example: Framebuilders:Brian Baylis

In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 07:06:07 -0700
From: Jan Heine <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Cinelli years

>Why no precise Cinelli dates in the 1950s and 60s? - Some vagueness
>is explained by overlaps in framebuilding supplies and things laying
>around before they were built up into bikes. But what about the
>questions of when they first appeared? I've heard '59 to '63 for
>intro of Bivalent hubs, '60 to '65 for aluminum bars, and also a
>good half decade on the Fischer BB and big vs small badges.
>Many of the dates given in published articles have been contested
>here on the List, such as Gabe Konrad's article
>and "La Storia" from Cinelli
><> where it says the 74mm
>Fischer BB disappeared around 1965.
>I'd really like to know more about the Italian team in the 1960
>Olympics, if it's true they were on SCs w/ all the goodies. Also, I
>remember Dave Staub was excellent on Cinelli specifics of the early
>60s- did anyone ask him about these questions?
>-Jack Bissell,
>proxy member of Cino Fan Club
>Tucson Az

I think that items like a "set of alloy handlebars" as Cinelli's first product, presumably in 1944 may be a mistranslation. It could be a steel alloy... The same article states 1963 as the introduction of the "New Concept" aluminum bars. (This is from Gabe's article in the Bicycle Trader.) Or were there other Cinelli aluminum bars before the "New Concept" model?

These old articles were intended as an introduction to a name, and even to the concept of old bicycles in general. When I first got interested, there simply wasn't much info, and even the bikes were hard to find.

When I read some of MY old writings, I don't know whether to smile or shudder. Despite their obvious flaws, these articles show us how far we have come in the hobby. Back then, we relied on hearsay, public relations materials from the companies themselves, and our own creative imagination. Many of the contemporary sources (like old trade publications) were not immediately available to people doing research. We knew of few bikes, whereas today, more and more bikes have come to light and can be studied to draw conclusions.

Beyond that, I feel it is important to list sources for historical articles. Then a reader can draw their own conclusions. For example, take the allusion of Cinelli building frames for Fausto Coppi. If this is from a 1948 magazine arcticle, preferably with photos or a drawing that identifies the frame, then there is a high likelihood of it being true. Same if a guy who raced with Fausto remembers it (although memory often gets hazy). If a 1984 Cinelli press release says that Cinelli built his first bike for Fausto Coppi, I consider that much less credible.

I appreciate that most people posting this kind of stuff on the CR list explain how they know it. It really helps creating a big picture and resolving some of the discrepancies.

Is Cino Cinelli still alive? It would be fun to ask him. (I'd love publish an interview with him in Vintage Bicycle Quarterly!) I remember seeing an article about him in a late -1980s Bicycling magazine issue on Italian makers.

I am surprised, too, how little appears to be known about early Cinellis - or Italian makers in general. Considering that the bikes were made in significant numbers, I am surprised how few survived. Speaking of numbers - I have heard the figure of "no more than 750." Does anybody know more, especially during the 1950s?

Jan Heine, Seattle
Vintage Bicycle Quarterly