:: C I N E L L I - T I M E L I N E ::
Courtesy Chuck Schmidt
Last modified 4.5.2012
born in Montespertoli (near Florence), Italy, 9 February 1916, died
20 April 2001.
Poor farming family from the province of Florence. 10 children total
(born in less than 20 years) 7 boys and 3 girls. The second Arrigo
(b. 1913), third Giotto (b. 1915) and fourth Cino (b. 1916) sons
were active in cycling. Arrigo raced as an independent pro
(1936-38); Giotto raced as a team pro for Maino (1936) and Bianchi
(1937) and independent pro until 1940. Cino raced as independent
pro (1937), and team pro for Fréjus (1938-39), Bianchi (1940-43),
and Benotto (1944).
1938 or 39 - Cicli Giotto Cinelli (Giotto with older brother Arrigo
as minority partner) start producing Cinelli Firenze stem and bars.
1940s-early - Cino meets Hedi Matter at the Italian Sieber office
where Hedi works.
1944 - Cino Cinelli retires from professional racing when WWII
hostilities shut down all racing in Italy, Cino goes to work as
sales rep for Benotto in the Milano area, while at the same time
selling other cycling products along with his brother's stems and
1946 to 48 - Giotto Cinelli Firenze bike era (approximately 200-300
1948 - Giotto sells the machinery and stem, bar, and bike
production to Cino and goes on to manage a successful injected
plastic molding company, Elettroplast, that is owned by his
1948 to 50 - Cino moves stem and bar production to Milano in this
1949 - Cino establishes Cino Cinelli & C. in Milano, the first
Italian firm specializing in the distribution of cycle racing
accessories. This enterprise begins by serving federations and
clubs, which at this time represents the entire Italian racing
1949 to 52 - Cinelli frame has semi-sloping fork crown with or
without point on outside of fork leg and seat cluster that is
Frejus-style with separate seat tube collar; frame production around
250-300 per year.
1949 - Cinelli 56mm head badge is acid-etched, silver-plated brass
with the low areas filled in with paint by hand; there is also a
smaller seat tube badge (discontinued after a few years). The small
stem badge is originally made cloisonne-style the first few years
(fired colored glass over brass that is then silver plated). Note
that the head badge has the words "MARCA DEPOSITATA" at the bottom
and the stem badge does not.
1940s-late or 1950s-early(?) - Prototype frame is made for Fausto
Coppi featuring the full-sloping fork crown and fast-back seat post
bolt system; the birth of the S.C. "Speciale Corsa" (see notes at
1950s - Output around 250 frames annually.
1950s-early - Cino Cinelli & C sole sales representative worldwide
for Columbus tubing.
1950 to 55 - Modello B with flat crown and internal rear-brake
1951 - Earls Court Show (London) advert dated Nov. 8th lists Model
S.C. Lusso (Reynolds 531), Model B. Roma, Model C. Corsa (later
known as Mod. Riviera).
1953 - Cinelli "fast-back" seat post bolt system introduced.
1958 – Large paint-filled brass with silver-plate 56mm head badge
discontinued, replaced by smaller paint-filled brass with
silver-plate 51mm head badge.
1959 – Unica-Nitor plastic saddle is introduced by Tommaso Nieddu
of Turin, founder of Vittoria derailleur company. Giotto (owns a
plastics company) and Cino help with development and later Cino
enters into partnership with Nieddu in 1962.
1960 - Mod. S.C. referred to as "Super Corsa" in 1960 Ron Kitching
1960 - Wolf-ear head tube lugs disappear on Mod. S.C. and Mod. B.
1960 - 1A forged aluminum alloy stem is introduced at Italian Trade
Show at Rome Olympics (production begins three years later).
1960 - Viktor Kapitanov of the Soviet Union wins the Olympic road
race at the Rome Olympics on a Cinelli Model B; afterwards Cino
presents Viktor with a Mod. S.C.
1960s-early – Decals lose metallic quality silver and gold.
1960 to 64 – Bottom bracket shell occasionally 74mm width for
Campagnolo 74mm axle.
1961 - Cinelli Monza version (very few known to exist) with Mod.
S.C. decals and "CINELLI MONZA" decals on down tube.
1962 to 64 – Mod. B occasionally equipped with Altenburger
dropouts, derailleurs,brakes and hubs.
1963 - Mod. Riviera offered in Ron Kitching catalog.
1963 - Cinelli five-pin steel cranks (made by Magistroni);
1963 - Switch from Reynolds 531 main tubes (with Columbus fork and
stays) to Columbus SL (Strada Leggera = Road Light) tubing; Reynolds
531 main tubes still available on request. Mod. B made with
Columbus main tubes and Falck fork and stays.
1963 - 1A (A = aluminum) forged aluminum alloy stem and aluminum
alloy bar production begins; non-anodized till mid-late 1960s.
1963 - Handlebar end caps in soft plastic introduced. Installed
over bar end and under tape, they provide covers for corks inserted
flush in end of bar.
1963 - Bivalent hubs introduced (first version has steel barrel
with alloy flanges). In a 1986 Cino Cinelli interview by David
Herlihy, Cino states that the hubs were made for Cinelli by
Campagnolo and the special splined-body freewheel by Regina and were
mostly sold to Americans in the late 1960s.
1960s-mid - Campagnolo Sport derailleur spring anchor-hole no
longer appears in rear dropout.
1960s-mid - Mod. S.C. bottom bracket shell oil port and drain hole
discontinued (some earlier S.C.s known w/o oil port).
1960s-mid - Frames no longer supplied with chrome Cinelli "Supercorsa"
headset and chrome Cinelli bottom bracket (track bike supplied with
1960s-late - Campagnolo dropout loses "boss" for the Sport
derailleur spring hole.
1967 or 68 - Bivalent hub with one piece alloy shell (second
version) produced around 1967-8 in a limited run of 1-2 years.
1968 – Three holes in the tops of lugs start to appear on some
1970s - Output around 600-700 frames annually.
1970 - Three holes in fork tangs added.
1970s-early - Most Mod. S.C. have fender eyelets removed.
1970s-early – Bottom bracket braze-on cable guides added.
1972 to 76 - Mod. S.C. Leggerissimo made to order for Radsport
Brugelmann in Frankfurt; yellow with red head tube and seven holes
(six holes arranged in circle with seventh hole in center) in bottom
of BB shell.
1972 - 1A stem has both 12mm bar clamp nut and 7mm hex expander
bolt changed to 6mm hex.
1972 – New binder bolt (two hex bolts threaded into hex-shaped
1973 - Production of Mod. B ended.
1973 - 1R (R = Record) forged aluminum stem (hidden handlebar
binder bolt) is introduced.
1973 - M71 clipless pedal starts production.
1973 or 74 – Shifter braze-ons added.
1974 or 75 – Bottle braze-ons added.
1974 - Paint-filled brass with silver-plate 51mm head badge
replaced with anodized aluminum head badge.
1974 - Aerodynamic "funny bike" for Dane Ole Ritter's Hour Record.
1977 or 78 - Top tube cable braze-ons added.
1978 - Sale of Cino Cinelli & C to Antonio Colombo.
1978 - New Flying C logotype is introduced, designed by architect
1978 - Anodized aluminum head badge replaced by Cinelli crest
1979 - Antonio Colombo, having recently separated the bicycle
specific tube manufacture Columbus – his brainchild – from the his
family’s core A.L. Colombo steel business, enters as a shareholder
in the Cinelli company. He is allowed this by Cino Cinelli who has
an eye towards retirement, and who as a long-time world-exclusive
distributor of Columbus bicycle tubes has watched Antonio grow the
business in recent years and sees that the two of them might have a
vision and passion that could be compatible.
1979 - New Flying C logotype designed by architect Italo Lupi.
1980 - New frame decals designed in the Memphis Group style by
architect Italo Lupi are introduced.
1980 - Serial numbering system organized by 5 digits, the first two
being the year and the last three being the serial number of the
frame for that year.
1981 or 82 - Laser aerodynamic bike introduced.
1982 - Gianni Gabella, designer of many landmark Cinelli products
of the period, designs a new set of investment cast lugs for the
Supercorsa; these are a little shorter, with only two “points”.
These would be followed, shortly after (1983?), by another set of
investment cast legs, still used today, with even shorter more
rounded lug - emblematic of the modern Italian “sport” style – fork
crown with Flying C logo, the seat tube lug and fastback stay with
inlaid pearl logo above the bolt, as well as the Cinelli “spoiler”
bottom bracket shell – the first bottom bracket shell to
significantly resolve the problem of corrosion caused by water
residue in the bottom bracket area of steel tubes.
1983 - Antonio Colombo takes greater control of the company and
becomes the majority stake holder and Cino Cinelli retires, but his
son, Andrea, stays on as President for several years, collaborating
with Antonio and the designers and engineers on several nascent
projects of the period.
1983 - Sleeved seat lug (26.2mm seat post) replaced by new,
non-sleeved seat lug (27.2mm seat post).
1983 - Mod. "Golden Black" (black paint, black anodized components
and 18K gold plated steel parts) shown in 1983 Cinelli catalog along
with Mod. SC ladies bike.
1983 - "Domino" stem (polyurethane openable upper half, alloy stem)
and Mod. L saddle (plastic top, forged aluminum "wishbone" frame,
comes with longer aluminum bolt to use with Campagnolo Nuovo Super
Record single-bolt seat post). Personalized engraving available on
1R stem from Cinelli. "VIP" saddle, bar/stem and tire bag set, all
covered in matching colored suede leather.
1983 - Cinelli decal at bottom right side of seat tube is moved up
above the chainring for more visibility
- Cinelli would paint or chrome frames anyway the customer wanted
through the 1970s (matching a color swatch sent by customer if need
be, substituting a decal for the headbadge, deleting decals, chrome
- Mod. S.C. track frames and Mod. B lack oiler and drain holes in
bottom bracket shell.
- Cinelli branded Magistroni cranks gone after the 1950s.
- Over the years Cinellis were built with various dropouts including
Campagnolo Cambio Corsa and Paris-Roubaix, Simplex TdF and
Altenburger among others.
- Cinelli M71 pedal still shown in 1983 catalog.
- Mod. Riviera city/sport bike was primarily built for the English
and German markets by a builder from Monza, who never built under
his own name, according to an interview with Andrea Cinelli. Over
the years the Riviera was built by various companies, including
Garlatti in Parma.
- Over the years Cinelli offered juvenile bikes, boys and girls
Rivieras, along with city bikes, all made by various companies. But
the Mod. S.C. and Mod. B were always made in house, never by an
- The head badge has the words "MARCA DEPOSITATA" at the bottom and
the stem badge does not.
Cinelli Model Names:
- S.C. originally the abbreviation for "Speciale Corsa" and later
"Super Corsa" (listed as "Super Corsa" in 1960 Ron Kitching catalog
and listed as "Tipo Supercorsa" in 1963 Cinelli catalog).
- England 1951: Earls Court show ad lists Model S.C. Lusso, Model B.
Roma and Model C. Corsa (Mod. Riviera)
- Germany 1950-early: early 50s German HORMANN catalog shows Cinelli
line as: CINELLI 'A' (Riviera), CINELLI 'B' (Mod. B) and CINELLI 'C'
- England 1963: Ron Kitching catalog lists Mod. S.C., Mod. Corsa
(this is the Mod. B) and Mod. Riviera.
- Luigi Valsassina - lured away from Bianchi to begin production of
Cinelli frames for Cino Cinelli. Previously Valsassina built frames
for Fausto Coppi when he rode for Bianchi.
- Chirico - studied under Valsassina for 11 years.
- Mario Camilotto - Said to have personally built every Cinelli
Supercorsa from the time that Antonio Colombo bought Cinelli (1978)
until frame builder Giovanni Losa took over in the early 1990s.
- Giovanni Losa - Cinelli 'house' builder from the early 1990s till
Cinelli Head Badges:
1949 - 1958 56mm Cinelli crest paint-filled silver-plate over
brass head badge
1958 - 1971 51mm Cinelli crest paint-filled silver-plate over
brass head badge
1971 - 1978 Cinelli crest anodized aluminum head badge
1978 - 1979 Cinelli crest decal head badge
1979 - today Flying C decal head badge
Columbus Tubing Specs
from the 1963 catalog:
Columbus butted frame tubes for road races --
No. 1 - Type "SP" butted 0.7/1.0 - weight kg. 2,375 per set -
Strada Pesante (Road Heavy)
No. 2 - Type "SL" butted 0.6/0.9 - weight kg. 2,065 per set -
Strada Leggera (Road Light)
Columbus frame tubes for track races --
No. 3 - Type "PS" for Sprint and 6-days-races - weight kg. 2,435
per set - Pista Spiccato (Track Strong)
No. 4 - Type "PL" for pursuit or record-races - weight kg. 1,830
per set - Pista Leggera (Track Light)
Cino Cinelli Palmares:
Raced professionally from 1937-1944
- 17th Giro di Lombardia, October
- 1st Giro dell'Appennino, August 29
- 1st Coppa Andrea Boero
- 1st Coppa Bernocchi
- 12th Giro dei Tre Mari
- 1st Stage 7, Giro d’Italia, May 14
- 1st Stage 11, Giro d’Italia, May 19
- 1st Giro di Lombardia, October 23
- 2nd Torino – Ceriale
- 1st Stage 3, Giro d’Italia, April 30
- 1st Giro della Campania, June 25
- 1st Giro della Provincia di Torino
- 1st Giro del Peimonte, May 2
- 1st Tre Valli Varesine, August
- 2nd Giro del Veneto, April 20
- 3rd National Road Championship, May 5
- 3rd Giro del Lazio, August
- 2nd Giro di Lombardia, October 19
- 3rd Giro dell’Emlia, October
- 1st Milano San Remo, March 19
Yearly number of sales of Cinelli frames sold at Spence Wolfe's
Cupertino Bike Shop
in Northern California. Sales records cover the period from
1955-1977. In 1954 a complete, high-end Cinelli road bike from
Cupertino Bike Shop would sell for $67.50!
Total sold at Cupertino Bike Shop from 1955-1977:
SC = 649
Mod. B = 79
Pista = 32
Strada SC by year
1954 = 0
1955 = 1
1956 = 1
1957 = 18
1958 = 15
1959 = 29
1960 = 26
1961 = 53
1962 = 31
1963 = 15
1964 = 19
1965 = 28
1966 = 25
1967 = 25
1968 = 18
1969 = 49
1970 = 67
1971 = 60
1972 = 71
1973 = 66
1974 = 13
1975 = 13
1976 = 4
1977 = 2
Mod B by year
1954 = 0
1955 = 4
1956 = 9
1957 = 10
1958 = 7
1959 = 15
1960 = 3
1961 = 2
1962 = 3
1963 = 7
1964 = 9
1965 = 8
1966 = 2
1967 = No sales recorded from this point
Pista by year
1954 = 0
1955 = 0
1956 = 1
1957 = 3
1958 = 1
1959 = 4
1960 = 0
1961 = 5
1962 = 0
1963 = 1
1964 = 4
1965 = 2
1966 = 4
1967 = 1
1968 = 3
1969 = 0
1970 = 1
1971 = 0
1972 = 1
1973 = 0
1974 = 1
1975 = No sales recorded from this point