Cinelli Quaderni: Road Bikes 2023

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Meet Vito, 34 years old, professional skipper living in Genova, ex-fixed gear obsessive and “star” of the very first Cinelli Quaderno, dedicated to our 2023 road bikes.

 

Vito, 34 years old, is a professional skipper.

Born and raised in the nearby seaside town of Rapallo, he lives and rides (when he’s on land) in Genova.

In certain cycling circles he is famous for creating Italy’s most prestigious fixed gear race, Respvblica. Held between 2016 – 2019 (and perhaps returning this year), Respvublica is a fixed gear only race in around the labyrinth that is the city of Genova.
Designed to mix velocity with climbs with traffic jams it was a race with what in wine-making they call terroir, an entirely unique perfume or flavour that reflected the extraordinary geography and culture of Genova and its surrounding landscape.

We met up with him near his house very early on a crisp early December morning to document a ride in and around his favourite Genova riding spots together with his friend and mentor, Daniele.

For Vito, as he explained to us that morning in his own words as we set up the bikes, “for five years, between 2011 and 2016 me and friends rode only track bikes with no brakes. We were fundamentalists of fixed gear cycling. For us no other bike existed.

People who rode bikes with brakes were… [LAUGHTER]. Better not to say what we thought!”“But,” he continues “little by little I realized that what I liked about cycling was SPEED.

I liked being the fastest thing in the city. Realizing this was a turning point… I acquired a road bike, I began frequenting roadies amongst whom Daniele…”Daniele, who is an extremely graceful highly rated local rider with victories last season in important hill climbs, is also a student of the sport and its equipment.

As Vito explains to us “Daniele is somebody with whom I share a lot of obsessions. And it was him that taught me about road cycling, who gave me advice on how to nurture my ability,my ‘fibers’ as they say in Italian cycling slang.

Daniele found a way to spur me on, but to do without machismo. With him there’s never competition, or if there is competition it is the kind that feels healthy. Because in road cycling there tends to be an obsession I did this in this specific time with these watts etc. etc. Daniele never made a big deal of being faster than me at climbing or anything else… so I’ve learned a lot from him.”

At a café stop in the picturesque suburb of Pegli, before climbing the mythical (at least for Genovese riders) Monte Faiallo, Vito further elucidates: “Road cycling and road bikes have changed me. They’ve allowed me to overcome a lot of limits, above all mental but also physical.
It’s like a mantra or a therapy. More than the results I might achieve, what I love is the process.”

After climbing to the highest point of the lunar-esque landscapes of the Faiallo, where it is possible to ride through snow whilst staring down at the Mediterranean, we descend again, stop for focaccia before racing back across the length of sprawling, chaotic Genova to Quarto from which we ride up through the last rural houses and into winding slopes of olive trees and Mediterranean scrubland, before the landscapes opens up onto the extraordinary vision of the sun setting across the sea, France and the entire Italian Riviera’s coastlines visible as a thick black line on the horizon.
Monte Fasce offers the quintessential Ligurian aesthetic experience in 8 very brief and intense kilometres of climbing only twenty minutes from the city center.

We stop to switch on our lights then swoop back down into the city, skitching rides here and there through traffic back to the center…

 

Vito rides the 2023 Cinelli Pressure Triple White
Daniele rides the 2023 Cinelli XCR Disc Mirror

 

 

Cinelli Quaderni is an editorial format dedicated to exploring some of the world’s most interesting riding spots, be they urban, rural, Alpine or otherwise, together with cyclists whose way of riding intertwines the landscape with a mosaic of other cultural attitudes. The way these riders express themselves when cycling reflects many of the design objectives of Cinelli products.

 

 

Stay tuned for more stories of riders and places whose attitude mirror Cinelli design objectives by subscribing to our newsletter.

Race Report: Mythicalstateof’s ATB challenge 2022

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The ATB challenge  is an all terrain bicycle reality TV show organized by Mythicalstateof.

Open to riders from across the world, the core tenant of the challenge is to document a ride of 150 miles (minimum 50% dirt) in 29 hours without ever stopping for more than two hours across a self-designed course that tests your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional limits.

 

This year our friends Andrea, Yuri and Matteo decided to enter the challenge.

Was their ride physical, spiritually, mentally and emotionally testing?
It looks like it from the pictures, so we called and ask them a few question about the challenge.

 

 

What was the worst/best planned part of the ride?

The route was designed starting from the famous Strade Bianche, to which, however, we added MTB parts that took us on really steep and rocky single tracks.
This gave us a bit of trouble and led us to lose a lot of time especially during the first section of the race: a lot of hike n bike happens that night.
On the other hand, this method took us to some very beautiful and easily traveled places through green valleys and farmers’ farmsteads.


What was the worst part of the ride?

Our ride began in the late afternoon and ended the night of the next day, the worst time being when the sun went down again on the second night and we found ourselves in a very cold valley from which we could not get out except by traveling about 30km on a paved road. It was really cold.


What was the best part of the ride?

Definitely the sunrise: after a night spent wandering around inside a nature park we found ourselves at the top of a lunar-looking hill. The sun came up and on the way down we found a cafe that had opened and we ate pretty much everything they had. We were completely muddy, cold and swollen-eyed; we had covered only a very small portion of the trail and there was really a lot of it ahead of us but we couldn’t wish for anything more than to be there.


What was the most beautiful thing you saw?

The hills around Siena (Crete Senesi) are crazy, arid and barren. The population density is very low, there is virtually no one there which is pretty crazy. That was an epic bicycle moment, mega smooth ride. But the most beautiful thing I saw you couldn’t actually see and that was the feeling of being free to roam around with no real destination. It’s amazing how many things you can do and see in 29 hours if you aren’t on 26″ and how many states of mind you can go through.


What was the tastiest thing you ate?

The clay soil of the trail.


What would you keep about bike set up if you were to do the ride again?

The bike was great even on mixed terrain: very fast, precise and comfortable. I carried few things so as not to weigh it down, and there were moments while riding where I thought: wtf this bike rules.


What would you change?

The only bummer I had was that since there was so much mud every now and then I had to stop and remove it to get the wheels to spin again lol

 

 

If you are curious to see how it went, on Saturday 28th of January (9 P.M. CET) they broadcast it live worldwide, and “A PANEL OF EXPERT ATB LUMINARIES AND LEGENDS” will gather to decide the winner of the challenge.

 

 

Stay tuned for more adventures in the coming months by subscribing to our newsletter.

 

Discover more about the Cinelli Nemo Gravel used during the ATB challenge by Andrea.

True Story: The Origins of the Cinelli Art Program Part 2

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We continue to look at the evolution of Cinelli’s Art Program, from its first interactions with artists in 1980s Milan to its airbrushed pro-edition RAM handlebars to the heady mix of subculture, design and d.i.y. art that characterized the fixed gear movement to its iconic best-selling cycling caps.

 

As discussed in Part 1 of our look at the Art Program, whilst Cinelli’s collaborative relationship with artists goes back more than 40 years to its work with Italo Lupi, Alessandro Mendini and Keith Haring.

It was only in the early 2010s that these relationships crystalized into an informal “program” offering regular drops of products made in collaboration with artists and only in 2015 that the program would officially be baptized with a logo.

 

 

Starting in 2008 with the birth of its relationship with San Francisco rider collective MASH SF as well as the ground-breaking Cinelli X RVCA Pressure exhibition involving artists such as KAWS, Barry McGee, Phil Frost, C.R. Stcyk III, Cinelli rode a wave of cultural excitement around cycling that mixed subcultural attitude with Italian design and underground D.I.Y. art scenes.

 

 

This cultural moment brought Cinelli into contact with a new generation of international artists and provocateurs whose creativity it felt bound to share.

 

 

2011 saw the launch of the “Art Tapes” range with a Mike Giant Velvet Ribbon and MASH SF printed volée tape and Barry McGee Unicanitor bar saddle.
2013 the almost-mythical Cinelli Candela, a set of two Made in Italy carbon fiber track frames handpainted by Futura, 2014 the first cycling cap with an artist (what took us so long?), Ana Benaroya’s Eye of the Storm whilst finally 2015 saw the moniker “Cinelli Art Program” enter into its catalogues with official logo and caps designed by artist-riders Chas Christiansen, Alfred Bobe Jr and Lucas Brunelle.

Since then Cinelli has collaborated with over 20 artists on bikes, tapes, jerseys, one-off jackets but above all caps.

It is in fact the Cinelli Art Program cycling cap which has become a global symbol of an evolved, alternative and open-minded attitude towards performance cycling.

Stay tuned for the first Art Program launches of 2023 in the coming months by subscribing to our newsletter.

 

Discover more about the Cinelli Art Program products on our webstore.

eBay Find of the Month #1: Cinelli Supercorsa Leggerissimo 1970s

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To celebrate the launch of a new monthly feature dedicated to rare, unusual, neglected or just plain beautiful pieces of Cinelli history that we have found for sale on the internet over the last month we decided to shine a light on a true vintage classic Cinelli Leggerissimo from the early 1970s that a lot of connoisseurs out there probably already have on their watch list. 

 

 

The “Leggerissimo” is not just any old “special” Cinelli Supercorsa, it is an extremely sought after variation of our icon.

Produced by Cino’s factory between 1972 and 1976 for the German distributor, Brügelmann.

The Leggerissimo, as the name suggests, was an ultralight model with three very particular distinguishing features:

  1. the 7 cut-outs in its Georg Fischer investment cast bottom bracket 
  2. a Campagnolo Super Record bottom bracket with titanium spindle
  3. a striking, exclusive and never-repeated yellow and red paint scheme

The frame that we found for sale on eBay at a fairly reasonable (and surely negotiable!) $2499 retains only one of these original features – the cut-out bottom bracket – so the big question that remains for an eventual buyer is: what kind of restoration project should you follow?

 

 

 

On one hand the most obvious choice is a meticulous returning of the frame to its original glory with Brügelmann paint, titanium Super Record bottom bracket and other period correct features.

A second, to us more interesting and contemporary approach, might be to let the history and “patina” of the frame in its current state talk.

Discover the history of the bike: who first owned it? Who was it subsequently sold to? How did it end up in Serbia? Who repainted in its current (probably 1980s) paint scheme and why?
Perhaps the answers to these questions could inspire a more unusual, hybrid rebuild with layers of history…

 

If you are curious, you can find the Cinelli Supercorsa Leggerissimo for sale at this link.

Otherwise click here to see a beautiful meticolous restoration from our friends speedbicycles.

How We First Met #5: Kondo and Cinelli Pressure & XCR

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Yuji Kondo is a 36-year old Japanese cyclist living in the Kanagawa prefecture, outside of Tokyo.
An impeccably stylish and strongly-opinionated cyclist he has developed something of a cult following online thanks to the extravagant modeling of his collection of bikes and clothes.
We caught up with him for a chat about his thoughts on performance cycling, fashion, design and of course his two very special Cinellis, a stainless steel XCR and aerodynamic 2022 Pressure.

 

 

Ciao Kondo!

Hi Lodovico!

So my first question is really about your uniquely creative approach to cycling style. Could you explain to me a little bit your “style philosophy”?

I have a passion for combining road biking with art and fashion. I don’t need a road bike to be only fast. My feeling is that in both road bikes and fashion it is good to seek rationality and the latest trends in simple design. Designs that pursue aerodynamics and lightweight to the extreme, or frames and jerseys with near-monochromatic color schemes, as has been the trend in recent years, are good. But I find it boring that “everyone is the same”. If you want to have fun, don’t you want to be more assertive? So as a cyclist I try to find and use more artistic products in order to express my sensibility differently from others. This also leads to more opportunities to socialize with different people. I try to be playful, even with socks or gloves. This way you might even get a “Hey, that’s so stylish! when you stop on a ride for a break. Following this philosophy Cinelli has become one of these tools for me to express my sensibility.

How did you first come across Cinelli and how did you understand that it could be, like you said, a tool for expressing your sensibility? 

 My first encounter with Cinelli was when I came across images of a 1980s Cinelli Laser track bike in a Japanese road bike magazine. Apart from the bike I also immediately was drawn to the logo, which I later discovered was designed by Italo Lupi. I was impressed by the overwhelming beauty and coolness of Cinelli’s design, and was captivated by the brand.

As I got to know the brand better I discovered that the appeal of Cinelli for me lay in its stylish design and hidden performance. Unlike with other companies, thanks to Cinelli’s tasteful design pioneered by Antonio Colombo and elements such as the Italo Lupi logo with its very unusual colours, and I feel that the concept of a road bike as a competition tool is removed in a good sense, and the bike can be enjoyed as a work of art.

In fact, I have a perception that in Japan Cinelli is considered a fashionable brand, and yet it has the performance to be used in competitions… It is truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing!

 

 

How did the XCR end up becoming your first ever Cinelli bike?

Up until I bought the XCR I had been riding so-called “high-end” carbon frames but I was curious to try other materials. The materials I considered were titanium and steel. Since above all I wanted to buy a Cinelli, steel had to be the material. And since I had already decided that the Supercorsa will be the last bike I buy in my life the XCR remained the most interesting option. I was intrigued by the fact that the bike was made from stainless steel, an unusual material for a road bike. And for this reason I bought it. 

I find the XCR to be a great frame that combines the suppleness and tenacity of chromoly with the responsiveness of high-end carbon. Surprisingly it tames uncomfortable road noise, and pedaling with the suppleness gives good acceleration. It is the most comfortable frame I have ever owned, and the weight is light for a steel frame, and it is very comfortable to ride. Not only for long rides, but also for hill climbs, as it is a frame that puts less strain on the legs in a good way, so it is more comfortable than the stiff high-end carbon frames.

 

And soon after buying the XCR you also bought a Pressure!

Yes! The Pressure is truly for racing. On the flat, I can ride very fast with an aero position. It’s so much fun to realize that the latest aerodynamic performance is so much better than traditional bikes, and I can face the headwind without getting tired. The Pressure handles more like a TT bike due to its geometry and although it does feel a little heavier, can hill climb. I don’t have any problem with this weight considering the advantages on flat terrain. 

Pressure and XCR are clearly aimed at different fields. I ride Pressure when training or ride a certain distance in a short time. XCR is for long distance or leisurely rides. For example, when I go for a gourmet ride with friends.

 

 

Last question, I know that your team is called Goloso i.e. good appetite in Italian. Obviously food is very important for you, so could you share with us a recommendation for a great place to stop to eat when riding outside of Tokyo? Or a classic local snack to have on a break? 

There are several places to eat that I would recommend when riding in Tokyo.

First, there is the tempura bowl at Yamatoya, located on the approach to Shibamata Teishakuten, a famous temple in Tokyo. It is a traditional dish of tempura topped with rice and sweet soy sauce.

This store is also famous for its sweets called Kusa-dango. The combination of mochi and anko (red bean paste) is sure to soothe your tired body and give you energy! The temple Shibamata Teishakuten is a very nice and Japanese sightseeing spot, although road bikes are not allowed. Please visit here as well.

My next recommendation is Zebra Coffee, located along the Ridge Highway. Here you can enjoy croissants and coffee, etc. in a stylish space. It is also nice that bike racks are located here since many cyclists use it. It’s close to the city center, so you can eat here before heading to your destination, or stop by for a post-ride rest.

My last tip is Enomoto Dairyfarm, located along the Arakawa Cycling Road, the most famous cycling road in Tokyo. This is a famous spot that is not unknown to Tokyo cyclists. You can enjoy fresh and delicious dairy products such as gelato, milk, yogurt, etc. that only a dairy farm can offer. And since winter is coming to Japan, you can warm your body and soul with a glass of hot milk!

There are many other delicious and highly recommended places to eat, but I can’t introduce them all…

 

Discover more about the Pressure and the XCR on our website.

True Story: The Origins of the Cinelli Art Program Part 1

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The origins of Cinelli’s unique relationship with art are scattered across the late 1970s and early 1980s.

They can be found in their graphic designer of choice, Italo Lupi who would go on to design Miu Miu and Fiorucci logos as well as Miuccia Prada’s private residence, in its commissions from stalwarts of the 1980s Milan design scene such as Alessandro Mendini or the Alchimia group, or in the exchange of letters and ideas between Keith Haring and Antonio Colombo that led to the now iconic Laser collaboration

 

 

But the origins of the Cinelli Art Program – the program within which the brand’s relationship with art has been formalized into products, most famously our signature cycling caps adorned with custom commissioned graphics for artists such as Futura2000, Ana Benaroya, Barry McGee, Mike Giant and Yoon Hyup – can be located in a single, unusual, moment: the Cinelli RAM AUTOGRAPH.

The Cinelli RAM, launched in 2001, was the world’s first ever integrated carbon fiber handlebar and stem.

A pioneering project at a time when carbon fiber technology was still nascent in the cycling industry, the bars were an immediate success in the professional peloton, with their stiffness and responsiveness literally changing the way a generation of professionals would ride their bike, as Gilberto Simoni so articulately put it in his interview in the Cinelli: the Art and Design of the Bicycle.

 

 

The success of the bar from a technological point of view immediately led to Cinelli’s favourite pastime: “play”.

Over the next 5 years a series of ever more exuberant and unusual hand-painted (or even randomly hand placed carbon strips…) graphic schemes were released, dedicated to different professional riders.

These were sold under the name of RAM AUTOGRAPH.

In 2010, Antonio Colombo’s friendship with the artist Mike Giant led to the brand commissioning Giant to produce a new RAM AUTOGRAPH graphic.

Thanks to the creative team’s closeness to the burgeoning fixed gear scene and urban culture in general they proposed to Colombo adapt Giant’s graphics to a series of more affordable and immediate products such as bar tape and cycling caps that could be purchased and used by urban track bike riders.

And it was these new Mike Giant illustrated products which inaugurated the first ever edition of the Cinelli Artist Program.
Over the last twelve years the brand has gone on to collaborate with over 25 different artists.

The opinionated, outspoken and spontaneous creative freedom of these artists, combined with Cinelli’s historical closeness to Il Grande Ciclismo has transformed the Cinelli cycling cap into the definitive icon of a new cycling attitude…

 

Discover more about the Cinelli Art Program products on our webstore.

How We First Met #4: Bibi Enriquez and Cinelli Vigorelli “Shark”

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Bibiana Enriquez  is a fixture of the Oakland fixed gear scene.
From a background in competitive running she has slowly morphed into alley cat and crit racer as well as face of new, more diverse, wave of San Francisco riders. Here she tells us the story of how she got into track bike riding and her beloved 2020 Cinelli Vigorelli Shark.

 

I’ve been riding bikes and doing sport since forever. All my childhood I was a competitive runner from age 6 onwards.

I competed at the Junior Olympics in 2018 and won the silver medal for Mexico in the 5k. I was Norcal champ in my sophomore year and had a full scholarship at USF. In 2020 I tore my harmstring 90% and had to more or less give up running competitively.

The only thing they told me I could for my rehab was bike riding. I’d be limping around when I was walking but on the bike I felt no pain…

 

 

I started riding fixed seven years ago.

One weekend I was in downtown Oakland, at Lake Merritt, I was there with my regular bike that I used for riding everywhere… and I saw this guy riding backwards and I asked how is that even possible and somebody told me it was a fixed gear.

I looked around and saw tons of groups of people riding the same kinds of bikes… so that day I decided I wanted to buy a fixed gear too.
I didn’t know what kind of bike I wanted exactly, I just bought an old steel bike and put a fixed hub on the back.

Some people say I was the first Oakland girl to ride fixed

 

“In 2020 Shaun called me and said to me a Cinelli Shark is coming in today come check it out.
I went down and the very same day I cashed out.”

 

Because of my new interest I discovered the shop King Kog and started going there all the time. Each week they’d have some new frames in and I’d go check them out and Shaun, who is my main guy at the shop, would explain them to me.

One time there was a bike I thought was so beautiful I asked what’s that? They said “Oh that’s a Cinelli”. It was beautiful but so expensive and I would have been afraid of breaking or scratching it.

In 2020 Shaun called me and said to me a Cinelli Shark is coming in today come check it out. I went down and the very same day I cashed out.

Because of the sparkles in the paint, the shape of the tubes, everything. I had to have it! I built it up as my race frame for alleycats and the Mission crit but whenever I ride it around town people stop me and comment it especially at time when the paint sparkles… I also always flip the bike to show people the “shark fin”

These days I prefer competing on the bike to running… I ride everywhere commuting to build my condition which means training is much easier to fit in around work unlike when I was running which was almost like a full-time job… The bike community here in Oakland is great and mixed and for me riding fixed and the visibility it has given me is kind of a social platform.

There is not a lot of women, especially women of colour, riding round here and I love inspiring people to keep riding more or start riding.

 

Discover more about the NEW Vigorelli coming back in stock very soon.

2022 Xmas limited edition print: Thelma’s Bidon

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In the 1980s Cinelli was considered Italy’s leading mountain bike brand thanks in part to its extraordinary successful launch of the Rampichino, Europe’s first ever mountain bike (still today in the Italian dictionary the word Rampichino is associated with the mountain bike). 

Cinelli’s approach to mountain biking was outstandingly irreverent and creative. Enormous energies were devoted to creating rich, complex, witty and ironic paint schemes some of which would go on to become icons of the brand’s visual history.

 

During a recent trip to the archive we came across a box of hand-drawn illustrations of mountain bike graphics from the 1980s.

Mixed in with these illustrations was a series of apparel graphic proposals which we recognized as the genesis of one of the iconic jerseys in the brand’s history, what is now referred to as the “Thelma and Louise jersey” thanks to its appearance in the cult 90s film, worn during the unforgettable desert cameo of the bike riding Rastafarian.

The drawings, made by the internal Cinelli design team under the creative direction of Antonio Colombo, reflect the joyous visual experimentation of the era as well as the pure tactile delight of an era where most graphics and visual concepts were born from loose hand-sketching.

 

 

 

We immediately fell in love with one particular drawing of a water bottle graphic and chose to adapt it for this year’s limited edition Xmas artwork, printed in Italy to fine art archive standards in a limited edition of 50 pieces.

Visit our shop to discover and see if there is still one available!

CLICK HERE to purchase yours!

How We First Met #3: Eric Scaggiante and Cinelli Vigorelli “Vigorosa”

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Eric Scaggiante is a Milan-based fashion and street photographer as well as proud owner of the Vigorelli Vigorosa (his first track bike) and the world’s youngest ever finisher of the legendary unsupported endurance Silk Road Mountain Race.

We sat down with him in Milan and asked him about how him and Vigorosa met and what cycling has meant to him culturally over the last ten years.

 

If I’m a photographer today it’s thanks to my passion for cycling, which was the first important passion of my life.

I grew up in Spinea, a small town near Venice, and always loved cycling. As a kid for me it was a first taste of independence, and of speed.

But my real passion started in around 2013 when I first discovered the world of alley cat races and fixed gear bikes which at that moment, in Italy at least, were in full boom. I was initiated into this world by the ragazzi of TrueHardcoreCycle (THC).

After discovering this world I immediately started looking to buy a track bike for myself. One day on Subito [an Italian second-hand listings website – ED] I came across a listing for a Cinelli Vigorelli Vigorosa for sale in Treviso, fully-built up, for only €560! A real deal! I was so excited I immediately counted up all my savings from little jobs I’d done and sold anything I owned that had value and managed to scrape together the money to buy it.

 

 

I can still remember how much fun I had on that bike… I rode it everywhere, so much so that my first – and probably only – nickname was “Vigo”.”

 

 

Among the most important races I rode with my Vigorelli I remember in particular my first Respvblica, Italy’s greatest fixed gear hill-bombing race, organized around Genova by SCVDO.

Through this scene and its races I subsequently met another a cyclist called Cesare Pedrini, from Bologna, who at the time was preparing to ride the Transcontinental Race on a fixed-gear. Through him I discovered another new cycling world: unsupported ultra-cycling.

To cut a very long story short I too became interested in ultra-cycling and in 2019 shortly after graduating from high school I flew to Kyrgyzstan where I celebrated my 19th birthday alone in a hotel room and two days later set off to ride the Silk Road Mountain Race. The race was my personal chimera, the single most beautiful, challenging, intense experience of my life. I completed the race becoming the youngest ever finisher and, upon my return to Italy, started my first job, at 3T in Bergamo.

With my first paycheck I bought a camera and from there discovered a new passion. Soon after I quit and began my career as a photographer… But the genesis of everything was the purchase of my Vigorelli Vigorosa for €560 in 2014!

Discover more about the upcoming release of the newly redesigned version of the legendary original “Vigorosa” paint scheme.

CLICK HERE to receive access to purchase the limited edition frame before its public release!

How We First Met #2: Jobst Brandt and Cino Cinelli

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Jobst Brandt (1935-2015) was one of cycling’s most influential outsiders and inspiring explorers.

A pioneer of riding road bikes off road, he led legendary ‘Jobst rides’, which, years before the evolution of mountain bikes and gravel bikes, took cyclists like Tom Ritchey, Gary Fisher and Eric Heiden deep into the trails of the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as developing meticulously innovative solutions for the modern cycling such as treadles tyres and the first bicycle computer.

Thanks to our old friend and contributor to Cinelli: the Art and Design of the Bicycle, Max Leonard we recently discovered that Brandt was a passionate customer of Cinelli’s framebuilding department throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, purchasing at least six bikes over these three decades as well as taking priceless photos of the factory and Cino. Because of Brandt’s longstanding passion for using road bicycles offroad, Cino’s own familiarity with these surfaces from his days as a professional in the heroic 30s and 40s we were extremely curious to discover more about the technical dialogue and relationship between these two very different, very opinionated innovators of the modern racing bicycle and how it might relate to gravel cycling innovation today.

Below are notes and photographs from Max’s soon to be published book on Brandt for which you can pre-order a copy and support the project HERE.

 

Throughout the course of his life Jobst also spent almost fifty summers in the Alps, lightweight touring and adventuring over 2,000 miles each time, always carrying a camera to document his trip. On his first Alps ride, in 1959, he paid a visit to the Swiss tyre manufacturer Sieber, who persuaded him to swap to wooden rims (Jobst’s tubular glue was melting on his Fiamme alloy rims on the long Alpine descents).
Then Jobst headed to see Cino Cinelli.

“The next morning with tires glued and wheels true,” Jobst wrote in his journal, I thanked Mr Sieber for all his help and rolled on to Milano where I stopped at the train station and got rid of some extra clothes into the suitcase. I headed east across town on the via Andrea Doria and via Porpora to Lambrate, to via Egidio Folli 45 where the Cinelli factory is located, producing bicycles, bars, and stems at a great rate. Mr Cinelli’s office lies next to a branch of the Lambro river that is apparently a main sewer outfall”.


“I found a sharp contrast with the surroundings and the buzzing thriving factory that was producing such elegant machinery. Mrs Cinelli briefly mentioned her days at Sieber, and that she had been his secretary for years when a young bicycle racer from the Toscana, who dropped in for equipment on occasion, offered her his hand. Cino looked at my bicycle and how it fit me and said that he would do something about that tomorrow after giving it some thought”.

“In the morning he had me ride around the yard a few times and then raised the saddle a bit and moved it forward. He put his newest model 360mm extra wide bars with deep reach on a 120mm stem, placing the brake levers in a better position. Down below I got the newest Campagnolo crank spindle and 180mm five-pin Cinelli (Magistroni) steel cranks that finally gave me true running chainwheels in contrast to the previous three pin style. He was disturbed by my choice of wooden rims and tried to get me back on Fiamme aluminum but I didn’t take.”

 

 

 

“I had asked Mr Cinelli what the greatest road in the Alps was, to which he replied without hesitation, the Stelvio, but that I might not like it because it was unpaved.

That especially caught my interest so here I was heading up the Valtellina at Tirano where the road to the foot of this great pass starts its climb.”

 

 

The bike Jobst was riding on this trip was a 62cm blue Cinelli Super Corsa, ordered from Spence Wolf’s bike shop in Cupertino, California.

Jobst ordered one such frame in 1957 and one in 1958. After the 1959 Alp tour, Jobst took a job at Porsche in Stuttgart, where he translated the manual to the 356 and later worked on race car suspension. From his new European home he visited Cinelli again on his Alps tour in 1960, and then throughout the 1960s and 70s.

In 1962 he ordered a Super Corsa direct from Cino, and in 1964 he took his new wife Helga on a tour of the Alps, during which they stopped off at Cinelli to pick up a matching frame for her (which she still owns). They also dined with Cino and family in his private apartment. Helga’s bike features a very early set of vertical rear dropouts, which had been designed and manufactured by Jobst; later, he claimed Cinelli must have passed these to Campagnolo and that they became the model for Campagnolo’s own.

Back in the USA after he married, he would go on to order at least another Cinelli from Spence Wolf in Cupertino, in 1971, and kept up a correspondence with Cino into the 1970s.

After meeting and riding with Tom Ritchey, who was building fillet-brazed road frames while he was still in high school in the 1970s, Jobst began riding a Ritchey frame, and ended his riding life on a frame built another California builder, Peter Johnson.

All in all, Jobst owned at least six Cinelli frames. None of them survive: as a 6’5″ rider who liked to ride on dirt, he was hard on frames and components, often cracking, shearing or denting what he rode.
He was not shy of pointing out what he saw as manufacturing defects even to master builders like Cino Cinelli!

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