Cinelli is founded by ex-professional cyclist and Milano – San Remo winner Cino Cinelli
At the Rome Olympics Cino Cinelli introduces the product which will become most strongly associated with the brand’s name: the aluminum 1A stem and its accompanying series of handlebars. The stem was first appreciated for its superior safety: unlike any other stem on the market it did not use a simple nut and bolt to tighten the handlebars nut a proprietary tube and bolt system which, when used with Cinelli bars allowed for perfectly parallel closure, avoiding the problem of “pinched” bars.Both bars and handlebars were subject to an elegant finishing process which gave the aluminium products their distinctive “milky” appearance. The complexity and high cost of the process meant it was both easy to distinguish from the competition and almost impossible to imitate. The “milky” anodization became a guarantee of quality. These products are the first true Cinelli icons.
Ole Ritter sets hour record on a Cinelli Supercorsa (painted with the colours of his sponsor, Benotto). This is the first time an hour record is set on a Cinelli bike. The second time will come 17 years later.
Antonio Colombo, founder of Columbus tubing, acquires Cinelli from Cino.
Colombo commissions new logo from Italo Lupi, then a young architect but who will go on to design logos for Prada, Fiorucci and the Turin Olympics amongst others. The logo is one of the first to distance itself entirely from the heraldic symbol and becomes the most imitated logo of the modern cycling era.
Cinelli begins its collaboration with the design supergroup Alchimia, composed of Alessandro Mendini, Alessandro Guerriero and Carla Ceccariglia. Over the following years Alchimia will design a Supercorsa, mountain bike, bar tape, catalogue and entire clothing system for the brand.
Cinelli opens Gran Ciclismo, Italy’s first lifestyle cycling store which sells not only Cinelli but is the first to introduce to the Italian market exotic, more lifestyle orientated imports, such as Oakley sunglasses and Patagonia outdoor clothing. Its impeccable interiors are designed by Franco Raggi with lighting by Castiglioni. Clients include Sir Norman Foster and Eric Clapton.
Cinelli releases a limited-edition Supercorsa model in collaboration with Fornasetti.
Cinelli patents the “Spoiler”, an investment cast bottom bracket shell which thanks to its unusual form, collaborates with the air to suck humidity from the shell. The invention is used not only on Cinelli’s bicycles but across the world by prestigious framebuilders.
Cinelli introduces the Rampichino, Europe’s first ever mountain bike. Over the following years Cinelli will become Italy’s market leader of mountain bikes.
Antonio Colombo meets a young Keith Haring who is in Milan to paint the new Fiorucci store. They become friends and Colombo sends him an orange mountain bike which Haring rides constantly in downtown New York, as well as a Laser pursuit frame. Four years later Haring tells Colombo to come to New York, to his studio, to pick up the Laser. Colombo arrives in the studio and sees that Haring has painted a beautiful series of interconnected figures on either side of the disc wheels on the bike as well as a small crawling baby on the non-drive side downtube. The bike becomes a symbol of everything the company represents.
The Laser Evoluzione wins the Compasso d’Oro, the highest accolade possible in the world of design.
Release of the Grammo stem. Made from three different leagues of titanium and weighing only 110 g, it remains the lightest production quill stem in cycling history.That same year Lance Armstrong wins the world championships using the product.
Antonio Colombo baptizes the up until then nameless range of custom hybrid urban-endurance all black Cinelli bikes he has been selling through his Gran Ciclismo stores with the name Bootleg. These bikes, ridden through the desert, across America, at night, through traffic and Maui’s ironman competition, with their strong urban subculture flavor, are direct predecessors of Cinelli’s participation in the urban fixed gear movement.The project’s graphic identity has developed together with the artist Alessandro Pessoli, whose work today is collected by the MOMA of New York, amongst others.
First introduction of Spinaci bar extensions. Described by Bicycling Magazine as the “only change in the rider’s position worth noting in the last ten years” the extensions are an astonishing success, reaching sales of 20 000 pairs a month as well as being bought and ridden by unsponsored professional teams. Their success is cut short by a controversial, highly contested, UCI ban in 1997.
Launch of the Alter stem, the most extreme example of CNC machining available on the market. The hollowed-out oversized shape allows for aggressively large logos and customization in the form of stem covers. Mario Cipolini wins a stage of the Giro d’Italia with a custom Pamela Anderson cover on his Alter stem.
Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France riding the Cinelli 101 stem. This is the last time in cycling history that a major race will be won using a quill stem.
Launch of RAM, the world’s first single piece carbon fibre integrated handle bar and stem. The product is an immediate success, particularly with professional riders and will be much imitated in years to come.Gilberto Simoni wins the 2003 Giro d’Italia with the bars. He claims that the stiffness and increased tactility offered to him by RAM has allowed to understand his bike better and accordingly ride more aggressively.
Cinelli launches the Vigorelli, a new, simple, all purpose, performance aluminium track frame. The frame, which today, more than a decade later remains in production almost unchanged, becomes an icon of the nascent urban track bike movement.It is ridden and loved by everybody from Italian National track riders, to messengers, to graphic designers, to Kanye West, to Red Hook Criterium champions…
In collaboration with its sister company Columbus, Cinelli builds the world’s first stainless steel racing bicycle frame, XCR. Weighing little over a kilo and with exceptional ride quality, the frame inaugurates the return of steel to high-level competitive racing.Later Cinelli will collaborate with Rapha to design a limited edition version of the frame.
Cinelli collaborates with internationally renown artist Barry McGee to create a limited edition Supercorsa pista frame. The frame is first exhibited together with one-off artist interpretations of the supercorsa by artists such as KAWS and C.R. Stecyk II at the Pressure exhibition joint-hosted by brand RVCA in San Francisco. Cinelli continues to collaborate with McGee on further products.
Cinelli’s sponsorship of San Francisco-based group MASH, the world’s most extreme urban track bike collective, grows into a design partnership with the launch of their first co-branded product, an urban track pursuit frame, with tone-on-tone grey graphics by skate legend Benny Gold. The MASH is the world’s first urban specific performance track frame and an immediate bestseller.The collaboration soon grows into further products including further track bikes, a cyclocross bike and a fixed gear commuter as well as handlebars, stems and bar tapes. In 2013 the Cinelli-MASH team wins the inaugural Red Hook team classification competition riding criterium specific Cinelli-MASH Parallax frames.
Cinelli sponsors the second ever Red Hook criterium and in doing so becomes the first cycling company to sponsor the event. This partnership lasts 5 years during which Cinelli dominates the race, winning both individual and team championships numerous times.In 2016 Cinelli ends its sponsorship but continues to dominate the competition with its Cinelli-Chrome team.
The Cinelli Laser “Nostra” is auctioned at the Sotheby’s Red sale organized by Sir Jonathan Ive, Marc Newson and Bono for USD$50 000.