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Cinelli early 60-s Model B vs Model SC

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Cinelli early 60-s Model B vs Model SC

Old 06-01-20, 03:52 PM
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Hockeyjunkie
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Cinelli early 60-s Model B vs Model SC

Hello,

I'm looking for an expert view of someone with the knowledge of Cinelli's bikes from early 60s.


You'll know that Soviet cyclist Viktor Kapitonov won an Olympic race in 1960 riding Cinelli Model B. It was early days of the "iron curtain", yet it was highly unusual for the Soviet athlete to win thanks to a technology from the capitalist world. So the story in the Soviet/Russian media has always been that Cinelli equipped the team with a 2nd tier, touring bike, not properly suited for racing. As a quote from one of the books goes "a bike that Italian postmen used to ride".


I didn't buy into this story and did my own research, and it turns out that Model B was actually a fine racing machine. Surely, it wasn't a top model (Model SC or Supercorsa) at the time, but my perception is that it was far from touring bike as well.


What I'm trying to establish is how much disadvantage did Kapitonov actually have by riding Model B vs other teams equipped with Model SC (Supercorsa)?

I came across a discussion from years ago on one of the classic bikes forums, where someone claimed that Model B frame was heavier by 150 grams (which is nothing by the standard of 1960.


Any other thoughts or insights would be much appreciated.
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Old 06-01-20, 04:43 PM
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None probably.
go into the wheels and tires and I might have a slightly different opinion.

Maybe the bike had cottered cranks, I have not seen images.
What was the gearing range and the terrain of the course?
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Old 06-01-20, 04:47 PM
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I believe SCs were 531 and/or Columbus depending on the year/customer. Model B (Corsa) were Columbus/Falck, and definitely nice bikes.
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Old 06-01-20, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
None probably.
go into the wheels and tires and I might have a slightly different opinion.

Maybe the bike had cottered cranks, I have not seen images.
What was the gearing range and the terrain of the course?
The course was 12 laps of a 9-mile loop, with a reasonably gentle undulation. What mattered on the day was extreme heat - over 100 F. Half of the field didn't finish the race because of that
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Old 06-01-20, 05:28 PM
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I have read that Cino Cinelli presented Kapitonov with a Model SC after his 1960 victory.
Brent
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Old 06-01-20, 05:38 PM
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The bike didn't matter.


PS. I have about a 1960 Model B and a repro Kapitonov jersey Cinelli reissued 10? years ago.
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Old 06-01-20, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
I believe SCs were 531 and/or Columbus depending on the year/customer. Model B (Corsa) were Columbus/Falck, and definitely nice bikes.
I have two B's.

I'm pretty sure they are both Reynolds - I remember seeing that on the tubes when I painted them. They both came with TA 3-pin cranks, sew-ups on Tipo hubs, Universal centre-pulls, can't remember the mechs.

One might not be all Reynolds anymore - I caught a grate edge with the right side pedal on a BIG sweeping curve after a BIG hill and as part of the result the top-tube met a sign post at almost 90 degrees. There was a significant dent, a slight bend, and the seatpost bottom had distorted the seat-tube about 2mm forward where it stopped. I was unhurt, of course. I rode the bike the rest of the summer and then had the tubes replaced, and then it sort of morphed into an art bike. I don't know what kind of tubes were used, but it cost a packet so I hope they were good ones.

Last edited by oneclick; 06-01-20 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 06-01-20, 05:49 PM
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-----

forum members martl & clubman have hands on experience of the Model B they may wish to share...


-----
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Old 06-01-20, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Great clip! I wish my Italian was better. Looks like Trapè started his sprint a little early.
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Old 06-01-20, 07:21 PM
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Great film @iab ! My 1970 Model B is about 10 years late to the conversation and I've found little marketing ephemera or useful specs about late model 'B's; they were phased out in '73 and no one seemed to write about about them anymore.
I can't tell you what steel was used in mine, but the upside is that it looks just like everything else Cino did.



There was a lovely restoration of a '61 Model B displayed in Mike Barry's Leaside shop 20 years ago and it was indeed, love at first sight.
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Old 06-01-20, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

forum members martl & clubman have hands on experience of the Model B they may wish to share..
-----
I met a gentleman at l'Eroica who identified himself as the technical director of Cinelli. He told me the story that as a young trainee in the company, in the 80ies, he spent some time writing a company history and that somewhere around when my bike was built (which has a label that says "Model B"), late 50ies to 1960, they switched suppliers from Reynolds to Columbus. He could tell by the shape of the fork blades that mine in fact was built with Columbus.
If there was a "budget" model in the Cinelli lineup, it was the Riviera. I suspect there is little difference between a B and an SC but for the few obvious cosmetic details (would need to compare geometries of two equal size bikes roughly the same age to be sure) .

I was told racers used the Model B and SC was for dentists who wanted that bit of extra bling 😀
​​​​​​




Model B and Riviera


Last edited by martl; 06-01-20 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 06-02-20, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris View Post
Cino Cinelli presented Kapitonov with a Model SC after his 1960 victory.
Brent
That's what making me suspicious, if any.
Cino Cinelli clearly didn't want the world to know that Kapitonov won the Olympics on his lesser bike. So immediately after the finish they put SC in his hands and took a bunch of photos.
If you go to Cinelli's website now, it says that Kapitonov won the race on SC(!). Why would they need to conceal the truth?
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Old 06-02-20, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Great clip! I wish my Italian was better. Looks like Trapè started his sprint a little early.
There was more drama actually, as Kapitonov first finished after 11 laps, having had miscalculated the distance. Coach told him he needs to carry on for another lap, so he needed to catch the Italian who opened the lead
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Old 06-02-20, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Hockeyjunkie View Post
That's what making me suspicious, if any.
Cino Cinelli clearly didn't want the world to know that Kapitonov won the Olympics on his lesser bike. So immediately after the finish they put SC in his hands and took a bunch of photos.
If you go to Cinelli's website now, it says that Kapitonov won the race on SC(!). Why would they need to conceal the truth?
The photo beside that shows a bike with rear-dropout eyelets.
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Old 06-02-20, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Hockeyjunkie View Post
That's what making me suspicious, if any.
Cino Cinelli clearly didn't want the world to know that Kapitonov won the Olympics on his lesser bike. So immediately after the finish they put SC in his hands and took a bunch of photos.
If you go to Cinelli's website now, it says that Kapitonov won the race on SC(!). Why would they need to conceal the truth?
After that, who would have bought the more expensive SC if you could be the best in the world with the cheaper one?
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Old 06-02-20, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by oneclick View Post
The photo beside that shows a bike with rear-dropout eyelets.
They all had mudguard eyelets up to the 70's, even SC's.
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Old 06-02-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
They all had mudguard eyelets up to the 70's, even SC's.
There are pics on the web showing Kapitonov *using* fenders in a race....
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Old 06-02-20, 01:14 PM
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Respect!
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Old 06-02-20, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
The bike didn't matter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiLHAKc3j3g

PS. I have about a 1960 Model B and a repro Kapitonov jersey Cinelli reissued 10? years ago.
Finish line pic
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Old 06-02-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jeirvine View Post
Finish line pic
Great pic.

Definitely not a full sloping fork crown. Looks like FB or Campagnolo high flange hubs, not Record. Stronglight cranks? And most interestingly, center pulls in 1960, on both bikes. Perhaps Mafacs on Kapitonov's bike, but no self-respecting Italian like Trape would have French brakes. (although his cranks look like TA)
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Old 06-02-20, 05:19 PM
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Those brake levers and maybe calipers look like Balilla with the big adjusters and flat tops.
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Old 06-02-20, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Those brake levers and maybe calipers look like Balilla with the big adjusters and flat tops.
-----

if levers were Balilla we would clearly see the prominent QR lever mounted at the front of the lever body

also the shape of the Balilla lever body differs in that it has a prominent bluge at the front





calipers appear to be a member of the MAFAC family. note the flatness of the face of the front caliper arm

note also how the pad holders mount to the arm - not Weinmann, Universal nor Balilla

the mounting of the pad holder to the arm can also be seen on the rear caliper

suspect levers Fratelli Pietra (Universal)

it was fairly common in the 1950's and 1960's that when a rider did not have to employ a particular brake due to sponsorship they would pair MAFAC calipers with Universal levers. some riders found the reach of the MAFAC lever to be too great.

-----
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Old 06-02-20, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hockeyjunkie View Post
Why would they need to conceal the truth?
Because they want to continue to market sales of their eternal flagship bike?

Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----


....suspect levers Fratelli Pietra (Universal)

it was fairly common in the 1950's and 1960's that when a rider did not have to employ a particular brake due to sponsorship they would pair MAFAC calipers with Universal levers. some riders found the reach of the MAFAC lever to be too great.

-----
Yes indeed. I was thinking of some lower end models I once owned.
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Old 06-03-20, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by iab View Post
Great pic.

Definitely not a full sloping fork crown. Looks like FB or Campagnolo high flange hubs, not Record. Stronglight cranks? And most interestingly, center pulls in 1960, on both bikes. Perhaps Mafacs on Kapitonov's bike, but no self-respecting Italian like Trape would have French brakes. (although his cranks look like TA)
Can you (or other experts on this forum) explain to me how exactly was Kapitonov's bike different (presumably worse) than Trape's?
From what I'm seeing on the photo above, the frame geometry looks very similar on both bikes.
Kapitonov's bike gets commonly labeled as a touring (or a "postman's") bike in Russian sports history literature. However, I'm not getting to this conclusion by looking at the bike's photo, as Kapitonov's rig looks like a top notch racing bike for the time (1960).

It seems that Trape may have had better components, so I think of it (using a modern day analogy) as him riding a bike with a Dura-Ace groupset, whilst Kapitonov had one equipped with Ultegra. Is my analogy correct? Better groupset/components wouldn't guarantee a victory, especially in a 100-mile race in the 100+ degree heat.

Appreciate your insights.
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Old 06-03-20, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Hockeyjunkie View Post
Kapitonov's bike gets commonly labeled as a touring (or a "postman's") bike in Russian sports history literature.
It's generally accepted that Model B's are high quality frames. The fable that Kapitonov was riding a junker and still overcame this embarrassing handicap simply embellishes the hero of the story. Revisionist.

To me, he simply looks like a powerful rider determined to win. As noted earlier, it wasn't the bike.
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