Sunday, March 15, 2015

1953 Cinelli

A reader writes, "It all starts around 1960-61 when I was 13 or 14 years old, I bought a 1953 Cinelli Super Corsa from a school friend.

I soon had it re-sprayed as it was looking a bit tired and at that age originality did not seem important. After a few years I took up motorcycling and passed my Cinelli on to my younger brother, who used it as a ride to work bike for some years, but when he moved house he stopped using it as the distance was a lot further. Eventually after many unfortunate modifications, the bike was put in his shed, where it remained for many years, and my pleading to have the bike back fell on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, I acquired a 1985 Cinelli which only made me even more desperate to save my old bike, but my brother would not part with it. Then in December 2014 my brother was packing to move house again, and unlocked his shed for the first time in many years, only to find that the roof had collapsed and the bike had been open to the elements for several years. At last he relented and let me take possession of the bike, which proved to be in a terrible state.

Over the last two months I have stripped the bike back to bare metal, brazed on all the gear cable lugs which had disappeared over the years, and welded on a new gear hanger lug which had been hack-sawed off, interestingly the chain-stays have dragonfly logos stamped on them on the bottom bracket the number 585 is stamped and also & GR 14; the number 585 is repeated on the front forks.

Fortunately I am an engineer and I have accumulated a very good workshop over many years, so I was able to make many of the missing or un-usable parts, but the chain-set and wheels are later components as 50's parts are very hard to find. At last the bike is finished it has been sprayed brown with the colour scheme exactly as it was when I first met the bike back in the sixties, and I hope it will never be allowed to fall into disrepair again. It is so nice to see an old friend looking so well after over 50 years.

I hope this is the kind of story you want for your "Cinelli Only" website which I have found to be very informative."

Notes: a 1952 catalog drawing hereThe dragonfly stamp signifies that the steel tubing, "Libellula", was manufactured by Castello Mario & Figlio of Torino:

Here is another early 1950s Cinelli with the dragonfly stamp.

Reminder: I invite you to contribute by sending in photographs of your Cinelli bike, illustrations, personal stories, and articles about Cinelli bikes and components. I can be contacted at

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous! Just saw a nice Cinelli here in Rome the other day being used as an everyday "beater" bu a fellow who likely had no idea what he was riding. If it had just been a size smaller Larry would have tried to buy it out from under the guy!!!