Wishbone seat stay. Columbus SL. Camp..
Wishbone seat stay. Columbus SL. Campagnolo Record. Mavic Ceramic rims.
Before introducing Olmo vintage bicycles it is interesting to find out about how this brand was founded and how it became so successful. Giuseppe Olmo was one of Italy's most famous cyclists in the 1930s. With a Italian amateur team called Azzurri he achieved second place in the World Cup in Denmark in 1931. At the Los Angeles Olympics in the following year he was awarded a gold medal in the team time races. He became then a professional cyclist, signed with Bianchi and this partnership was very successful. Between 1932 and 1938 Olmo won the Milan-Sanremo twice and many stages in the Giro d'Italia and the Italian National Road Race Championships. Olmo additionally beat the world one hour record in 1935.
When Olmo retired in 1938 he went back to his hometown of Celle Ligure, which is where he founded the classic bicycle brand Olmo Biciclette.These high quality steel bicycles can be compared to the well-known classic bikes of Colnago. Olmo used his experience as an athlete in the development of new bicycles. Olmo's vintage bicycles became very popular and the brand grew to produce not only racing bicycles, but also city bikes and mountain bikes. The production of Olmo bicycles is still located in Italy. The brand remains a very popular choice today, for both the range of vintage bicycles built in the 70s and 80s and the range of new designs which are being developed for the future.
Masi, or Masi cicli, was founded by Faliero Masi in 1949. Faliero Masi had been a professional cyclist since the 1930s and throughout his competitive career he had accumulated an array of knowledge about steel bicycles and their properties as racing machines.
Faliero had his own way of fitting racing bikes to their riders, becoming known as 'the tailor'. He built bikes for both Jacques Anquetil and Fausto Coppi, but as the popularity of the Masi brand grew, many professional racers had already signed contracts with other companies. This, unfortunately, meant that Masi bicycles were not in as much demand as Faliero had initially hoped for.
Cinelli’s story started in 1948, when Cino Cinelli was tired of mechanical failure during his time as a professional racing cyclist. He tirelessly attempted to sell his ideas of a number of companies, but no one was interested in his pursuit of faultless components; they seemed to forget his expert knowledge as a winner of Milan-Sanremo. Giotto – Cino’s brother – manufactured parts like stems and handlebars from steel in Florence; Cino saw the opportunity for development and together they moved the factory to Milan.
Through years of research and development of their craft, Cinelli produced the Unicator saddle in 1962, expanding the line of products and allowing the Cinelli name to grab wider attention as cyclists in Europe continued to seek the finest parts for their racing bicycles. This interest became worldwide when Japan required bicycles and components for their 1964 Olympics team; Cinelli obliged to supply them and at the following Olympics, Mexcio used Cinelli products too. In their history, Cinelli-supplied teams were awarded 28 gold medals at the Olympics.
At the heart of Cinelli is a desire to move bicycle design forward. Naturally, there would be some unusual designs along the way – Mario Cippolini’s alter stem adorning Pamela Anderson being one of them – but some would become legendary. ‘Legalise Spinaci’ is the cry of many nostalgic fans of the World Tour, and they refer to the notorious Spinaci bars of Cinelli – used in le peloton between 1993 and 1997. They were part of the revolution in aerodynamics, allowing riders to get lower on the bike and assume a faster position. However, the UCI began to see the dangers. Crashes were caused by riders unable to react to danger; they were preoccupied by their Spinaci position and couldn’t reach the brakes. This element of danger and their ban from racing in 1997 only adds to their legend.
Contemporary Cinelli components are some of the best available and their frames are always made with the finest Columbus tubing (including the infamous MASH Histogram and Vigorelli). It is a testament to Cino’s legacy that the winged ‘C’ is one of the most recognizable images in the bicycle industry.