The Cinelli Story (La Storia)
Cinelli frames have a loyal following with bicycle fans world wide. They were produced in small quantities (750 in the best years) till the company was sold to A.L. Columbo group in the late 70's. Cinelli frames made up until that point where used used mainly for Olympic and World Championship teams.
Cino Cinelli was a
successful bicycle racer in
Cinelli also was known for components, his steel stems and bars where classic. There where a number of innovations that he brought to cycling. The first clipless pedal, the M71 was released in 1971. The first aluminum handlebars to be accepted by the pros. The first plastic saddle, the Unicantor was designed in 1962 and became the model which all of todays saddles are based.
Hub design was an area that Cinelli put his trademark on with the introduction of the Bivalent q/r hubs. This design left the freewheel behind in the frame, and the wheel could be used in the front or rear. The idea was ahead of it's time, and the cost which was about twice what a Campagnolo hub would cost.
Cinelli also created the Laser bicycle which was one of the first aero “funny” bikes. This model was used to win many national and world titles. Ole Ritter used a Cinelli to set the hour record in 1968. This model had longer cranks and Campagnolo hubs that were 2 cm. narrower than conventional hubs. This bike ran on special tubulars made just for this record attempt. The bike also had a special fork with winged shaped blades for lower wind resistance.
Cinelli serial numbers do not run in sequence. Only in the post - 1981 timeframe (corresponding to the sale of the company to A.L. Columbo) do the serial numbers indicate the date. Some frames may have sat unsold for years in the shop, others may have been built by subcontractors.
The key to dating a Cinelli is the lugs (3 holes or no hole) and the bottom bracket oil port. The presence or absence of these features will help to establish the manufacturing date of a Cinelli frame.
The BB port disappeared in about 1965. The 3 holes in the lugs appeared in about
1968. The Special Corsa ("A"
model) is distinguished by its sloping fork crown, where the "B"
model has a conventional flat fork crown.
The "C" model is known as the "
Steven Maasland contributed the following on the debate recently about the significance of the SC on Cinelli bikes, I wrote to Andrea Cinelli to see if he could shed any light onto the matter. The question was, essentially, what is the difference between a Speciale Corsa and a Super Corsa. His response was:
"Le etichette "Speciale Corsa" e "Supercorsa" identificano lo stesso modello di telaio o bici: venivavo abbreviate "S.C.", in cui la "S" indicava "Speciale" o "Super", mentre la "C" indicava "Corsa", per differenziare il modello più economico: "modello B"."
Which translates to: The labels Speciale corsa and supercorsa identified the same model of frame or bike: they were abbreviated "S.C.", in whihc the "S" indicated "Speciale" or "Super", whereas the "C" indicated "Corsa", to differentiate from the more economical model: "Modello B."
"Avevamo temporaneamente esaurito un' etichetta e per un equivoco dello stampatore la lettera "S" ha avuto due significati diversi. Errori simili succedevano in passato anche con i francobolli con grande "soddisfazione" dei collezionisti che lucravano prezzi più alti sul mercato."
Which translates to: We had temporarily run out of a label and due to a
printer's error, the letter "S" had two different meanings. Similar errors have also happened in the past with postage stamps to the great "satisfaction" of collectors who have sought more lucrative prices on the market.
It would therefore appear that there is no intended difference whatsoever
between the two denominations.