Thanks everyone for posting the Bicycle Guide article info regarding Cinelli and Coppi link. According to a posting, it was written by Christopher Koch with research from David Herlihy.
I gave David Herlihy a call - he dosen't remember much from his Cinelli research, but he said he may try to dig up his notes and see if there is anything there. I mentioned the Cirque, and I've peeked his interest - maybe I can motivate him to make it?
For those who do not know David, he is the driving force in untangling the early history of the bicycle. He pretty much rewrote the history of who invented the bicycle. No - it wasn't Leonardo...
Regarding the Cinelli/Coppi link, it seems from a cursory glance that there may have been room for quite a bit of interchange between all these players at the time. It would be fun to really sort out who might have built what.
Mike Kone in Boulder Colorado
> Chuck wrote:
> > Bicycle Guide, October 1989 discusses the 'Cinelli/Coppi' connection, in that
> > Cinelli lured Bianchi's top builder Luigi Valsasina to join him. Shortly
> > thereafter, Cinelli was asked to design a new frame for Coppi (1947) which
> > Valsasina did not want to build (nor Coppi to ride) because it featured
> > Cinelli's
> > sloping fork crown. Apparently, Coppi thought the design looked too fragile,
> > Cinelli offered a compromise and had Valsasina build two frames: One with
> > the "standard" design of the day, and the other, with the sloping fork crown
> > fastback seat cluster.
> > As the article points out, Cinelli proved his point to both skeptics, and the
> > Supercorsa was born.
> There are so many photos of Coppi riding that if such a 'Bianchi' bike were to
> exist, there would be photographic evidence of it. I certainly have never seen
> such a bike in the Coppi books and photos that I have seen, but I suppose that
> Brett Horton would be best placed to state whether perhaps such a photo does
> exist. As I mentioned yesterday, Cino raced on, among others, Bianchi bikes and
> would therefore have known Valsassina, if as the article states, he was the top
> builder of the day at Bianchi. This previous Bianchi framebuilding experience
> prior to joining Cinelli would also explain the otherwise impossible 60 years of
> framebuilding attributed to Valsassina by Carsten on his site.
> Steven Maasland
> Moorestown, NJ