Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1969 Cinelli with "Alpine" Gearing by Spence Wolfe

My thanks to Don Martinich for writing in with, "I just wanted to let you know I have a vintage bicycle site which focuses on racing from the 50's to the 80's. It has a page devoted to my family's Cinells including the S.C. my wife bought in 1969 with a Spence Wolf alpine set up and TA cranks. It's spent most of it's time indoors since it was new and is in excellent condition.

Tt wasn't a custom order, but, a Spence-buildup in-shop item. Two components that stand out are the crankset and the rear derailleur. The crankset is a Specialites T.A.'Criterium' with cottered aluminum alloy cranks. The rear derailleur is a Campagnolo Nuovo Record modified by Spence for alpine gearing. The bicycle has all original finish, decals, and components with the exception of the clincher rims. (The original Fiamme sew-up rims have been saved.) The hubs are wide flange Campagnolo Record. The pedals are the classic Campagnolo Stradas. Bars and stem are Cinelli. The centerpull brakes are Universal. The seatpost and bar shifters are also Campy. The bike is now in the care of our son, Anton."

Pictured above is Kathy Martinich's 1969 Cinelli (photos by Don Martinich).

Don's website is

Don also has this photo of Spence and Lillian Wolfe at their Cupertino Bike Shop. They only dealt in quality lightweights and became West Coast (of U.S.A.) importers for Cinelli frames for many years. Spence was also a bike mechanic of "guru" stature and collaborated with the Phil Wood company on their component designs.

I invite you to contribute by sending in photographs of your Cinelli bike, illustrations, personal stories, and articles about Cinelli bikes and components.

Thanks for stopping by.

I can be contacted at

1 comment:

  1. Hi--I grew up, so to speak, in Palo Alto, Calif. I was in junior high school from 1962 to 1964, and came upon some bicycle enthusiasts who tossed around exotic names like "Allegro Special" and "Cinelli". Being of obsessive-compulsive and narcissistic bent it occurred to me to acquire what seemed to be the world's finest bike gear, excuse pun. After garnering more scuttlebut and learning that Cupertino Bike Shop was The Place, a more rarefied world than Tony's Bike Shop (a place my mother forbade me to enter, as Tony was...Tony--sipping a beer can during the day and allowing the suburbanite delinquents to smoke around his shop on "the" El Camino in Barron Park, a then-unincorporated scruffy enclave of P.A. (I saw a John Fahey concert right near there a few years down the line--folding chairs, 25 or so in the audience, Fahey periodically swigging from a little brown bagged flask bottle and looking gut sick.) Oh Yeah, Cinelli. There was Jocelyn's Bicycle Shop in Menlo Park, with there Raleighs and some French stuff, etc., but I got my Dad to order me a 15-speed Cinelli, a silver Super Corsa with clinchers. Sensible--I hate walking up hill, so the 28 or 30 tooth front sprocket combined with a 30 or 32 tooth rear--hey I still did some walking. When it arrived it came with cool aluminum fenders only I took them right off, to my parents' dismay. The bike cost $203.84 and took months to arrive, and then get fitted with the rear derailleur that could take all that chain slack. That bike was neglected and abused and generally mistreated I severely regret to confess. It was stolen from in front of my dorm at UC Berkeley in late 1967 or early '68. I stupidly locked it to itself. It was pretty light all right. Serial number I recall to this day: overstamped 367-->365. I hope that its new caretakers have enjoyed it and treated it with loving care.