[CR] I'm beginning to see the light

(Example: Racing:Roger de Vlaeminck)

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2009 21:24:16 -0700
From: <euromeccanicany@yahoo.com>
To: classic rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR] I'm beginning to see the light

Oh, man. After getting the Cinelli frame back from Bilenky's this afternoon, I was desperate to ride the beast! I assembled it, mostly with the parts it came to me with: early Dura-ace pedals, cranks & brakes; Fiamme (!) handlebars with a 3ttt stem, plastic saddle & wheels from a fixie conversion that is using a 1/2"X3/32" gear. Taking advantage of the unusually mild night, I stuck on a couple of those goofy flashing LED jobs & hit the road. Well! Sot this is what the hype was all about. Growing up, I remember Cinelli being accorded the same place in the bicycle world as Ferrari held in the automobile world. There were other great bikes, but there was supposedly something magic about a Cinelli. Few in my acquaintance ever rode one, so the info was second- or third-hand at best. Tom Cuthbertson, author of the much loved' "Anybody's Bike Book" referred wistfully to his "dear old Cinelli". The Club of Rome's pale blue encyclopedia of all things related to bike racing (including the recommendation that racers consume 5000 calories a day!) made much of Cinelli and his magic bikes (and parts: many pages were devoted to the bivalent hub). In my teens, these were my bibles (along with Gravity's Rainbow, but boyoboy is that off topic!) Now, in my 50s, the dreams and illusions of youth far behind me, I have finally ridden a Cinelli.

The stuff they said? It wasn't hype.

First thing I noticed was how solid it felt: responsive yet planted. Kind of like, um, a Ferrari. In spite of the handlebars being badly angled, the seat pitched wrong and the rear wheel badly flat-spotted (my daughter's got some 'splainin' to do!), it felt right. Intuitive like my Frejus, but much more forgiving and comfortable. Turn-in is less immediate than either the Frejus track or the Olympia road bikes, but quick enough and quite uncomplicated. Under power, it squirts. Dialed in, it will be one fantastic ride. A list member likened his Cinelli to a Bentley, and I can see what he means. Like an old Bentley, it is easy to get used to and can either cruise or race with great competence. Some Ferraris are like that, too. Plus they are Italian, so I'll stick to the Ferrari analogy.

I gotta ride this thing some more...

Michael Shiffer
EuroMeccanica, Inc.
114 Pearl Street
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
(914) 668-1300