[CR]recent KOF frame outings..

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Chater-Lea)

From: "Charles Andrews" <chasds@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2007 22:40:46 -0700
Subject: [CR]recent KOF frame outings..

The Tommasini and the Raleigh, frame and bike respectively, recently outed, are nice enough if you like that sort of thing. The Tommasini is especially attractive, even if it is red..

I was looking over a mid-70s Cinelli SC recently in-house (and a slightly earlier one here that's about to go up for sale), and, I have to say, I'd take the Cinellis in a heartbeat over just about any KOF frame for sheer beauty.

I'm not sure how to articulate the issue..other than a silver Cinelli SC is about the most elegant frame on the planet, file-marks and all. The lugs are thinned down a lot, but still have very crisp profiling. The paint is that very fine-grained silver. The graphics are simple, but very pretty, as we all know. The chromed lugs and ends with red highlights are refined without being affected.

I have yet to see a more refined-looking semi-production frame than a 70s SC. And the geometry of these frames is very much in the 50s/60s italian road-bike zone, so they track like an ocean-liner, handle with great predictability. And are plenty fast enough when asked to get up and go. The old Cinellis are great riding bikes...as anyone knows who rides one.

A recent ebay cinelli track frame from the 80s is approaching 2K, last I checked...looks NOS, but with nowhere near the refinement of the 70s frames in terms of construction.

the KOF frames of today all use the cast lugs, and these lugs are not thinned down at all...with the result that they look clunky and even crude, to my eye.

And I suspect the old Columbus SL tubing used in these frames is still some kind of benchmark for ride-quality in classic steel.

That Tommasini now on ebay, nice as it is, can't hold a candle to an old silver SC. There's somethin' about those old Cinellis. I can't help thinking that if I had to give up *all* my other bikes, and I was left with just this one Cinelli SC, I would probably be quite content. A nice thing to know, you know?

Charles Andrews
Los Angeles