restoration is probably one of the best things to do for some bike nerds like us. to find a frame, trace his history and take it back to his original splendour is something really gratifying.
today we just shoot some pictures of the last reborn frame in Casbah factory. But this is just the end of the process, the interesting things had happened before.
we found this frame somewhere (pushers have no name), it was all covered with Viner stickers and painted with this bright yellow you see. But it was clear it was a Cinelli Supercorsa, furthermore a quite old one. Dating a frame is always hard but thankfully. With Cinelli is even worst.
At first you think is going to be easy since there is a code under the bottom bracket box, but it takes few time to understand that Cinelli was placing number with no exact order nor any kind of organization. Just have a look at Cinelli registry website and you’ll understand where is the problem. Furthermore this specific frame is marked with two stripes of numbers, the mystery was growing.
There was only one solution: to get in contact directly with Cinelli headquarters. And that’s what we did. Using our criminals acquaintances we got in touch with Mr Erzegovesi, the head engineer at Cinelli. So we manage to met him in a sunny afternoon at Cinelli factory, he was really nice and helpfull. First of all he told us that the frames with double code stripe were made for teams but he had no further information concerning the team the bike was built for.
Another interesting thing was that this frame was welded in the old Cinelli factory with the classic spined method, you can find the spine inside the diagonal tube nearby the bottom bracket tube. Apparently this method was used by Valsassina wich was one of the best frame builder back in the days and also one of the more undervalued. Mr Valsassina was working for Bianchi in the 30’s and 40’s and was lately called by Cino Cinelli and worked with him until his retirement in the beginning of the 80’s. The spine method was something like a signature.
In addition to this the lugs design was another clue. The typical Cinelli’s “three holes” lugs were introduced the first time in 1968 while this frame still have the plain ones. So the chat with mr. Erzegovesi turned out to be very productive and also gave us the opportunity for a quick visit at the production lines, but no pictures allowed unfortunately.
After that we started the chase for the decals and the front badge, that was quite easy and we got them in a short time.
Meanwhile frame was brought to the chrome guy. That’s another part of a restoration we really love.
Milano surroundings are full of little factories ran by industrious man with lot of funny story to tell and the chrome guy is definitely one of them. On the other side there is always the sad side of the story, Po valley is not anymore the center of a boom economy and you can see shadows in the eyes of those men while telling all the work they used to have back in the days.
Same thing with the painter, he used to work for Colnago, Losa, Magni and many others, than carbon came and steel just went down and the painter with it, he doesn’t like carbon frames at all. But as we all know “steel is real” and now the guy retired and works just for passion and fun (and some money of course).
and that’s all folks! the result is magnificent and soon we will publish the complete set.