[CR]Giotto and Cino Cinelli's early years

(Example: Framebuilders:Bernard Carré)

To: Classic Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: "Chuck Schmidt" <chuckschmidt@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 14:05:47 -0700
Subject: [CR]Giotto and Cino Cinelli's early years

Came across this great old post in the archives about Giotto and Cino Cinelli's early activities:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Archive-URL: http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp Filename=classicrendezvous.10306.0430.eml Date: Sat, 07 Jun 2003 08:16:05 -0400 From: Mara & Steven Maasland <TheMaaslands(AT)comcast.net> Subject: Re: [CR]Cinelli question

Aldo asked:

> When did Cinelli begin making stems? > > When did he begin making handlebars? > > When did he introduce aluminum bars? > > What is the difference between of "Cinelli Firenze" and "Cinelli > Milano"stamped on the stems?

I have had a recent exchange of emails with Andrea Cinelli (Cino's son). He has stated the following:

The first bikes to carry the name Cinelli were built in 1946-47 and carried the name Giotto Cinelli Firenze. Giotto is Cino's older brother and is still alive, even if in fragile health. All the frames were built in Florence and carried a stylized knight mounted on a horse on their logo, together with the flower of Florence (similar to the fleur de Lys). Cino and Giotto worked together for 18 months in Florence, after which Giotto decided that more money was available elsewhere and then set up the production of electrical outlets and sockets, leaving Cino as the family member who would focus on the bike industry. The company name then was changed in 1948 from Giotto Cinelli to Cinelli & Co. at which time Cino's name first officially appeared alongside Giotto's name in the corporate registry. Shortly thereafter, Cino moved to Milan. While it seems that Cino then became the one solely responsible for the production of bike frames, Giotto did continue to concurrently make stems and bars in Florence into the 50's, hence the stems marked Cinelli Firenze. It would appear that Giotto was largely responsible for the production technology of the bars and stems. The early stems did not have the fancy Cinelli plaque on them, just as most of the early bars did not have a Cinelli logo whatsoever. These both came later. By 1950, between the two brothers, they already offered a variety of bar shapes, including the Coppi and Cinelli bend drop bars and the Tirolo, Torino and Valencia 'sports' upright bars with braze-on brake levers and stems. Ambrosio was already making alloy bars and stems well before Cinelli & Co began doing the same.

Steven Maasland Moorestown, NJ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chuck Schmidt
South Pasadena, CA USA
http://www.velo-retro.com (reprints, t-shirts & timelines)