In 1979 I asked Italo Lupi to redesign the Cinelli logo. He knew what I wanted and I gave him carte blanche. The result was the most imitated logo in modern cycling. Hard to imagine now but the mix of design, fashion and competition embodied in the logo was startling, even Cino was a little bit offended.

The collaboration with MASH SF began after they sent me a t-shirt with on it a deformed version of the logo of my other brand, Columbus. I sent them an email saying 'What the hell do you guys think you are doing???' And we became friends.

The colours in the winged-C of the Cinelli logo had nothing to do with cycling when Italo Lupi chose them. They were inspired by the enamelling on old British trains. They were 'chic' colours.

Barry McGee wanted to work with Cinelli because when he was a kid he lusted after the Cinelli BMX frame, CMX - it was the most expensive BMX on the market, and also the lightest, at the time we only had the Italian racing performance mentality - we thought it was best for the athlete to have the lightest frame possible even if it meant it lasted less time - we were completely wrong, the market wanted mass-produced cheap stuff and everybody complained about our CMX and tried to return the frames. Now people buy broken ones on eBay for as much as they used to cost new.

When Andy Hampsten won the Giro d'Italia in 1989 with his heroic ride on Passo del Gavia in an enormous snowstorm he was riding Cinelli products. If you look closely you will notice that the bar tape is not standard cork but a special edition with screenprinted pattern designed by Milan's most famous design studio at the time Alchimia. In all that Spartan heroism Cinelli inserted a sense of humour without ever compromising professional performance.

All this to say: Cinelli bikes aren't just designed to look good. They're designed to combine the essential technical elements for performance - be it the legendary 'no flex downtube' or Saetta's lauded 'skeletal efficiency concept' - with an unparalleled emotional and cultural sophistication - what bike will ever be considered more of a reflection of its times, historically speaking, than the MASH? Riding a Cinelli FEELS EXCITING in the most complete sense of the expression.


- Antonio Colombo
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