Classic and Vintage Bicycles: What's it Worth? Appraisals and Inquiries - Italian bike builder created high art in canada, anyone familiar with Marinoni ?
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12-17-10, 12:27 AM
Hi, I'm a new member living in NYC. I have a few bikes and have a taste for the good stuff but the absolute standout is a bike I know nothing about, a Marinoni Omega Plus. The hand painted lettering and exquisitely sprayed and softly triangulated starship aluminium tubing with carbon forks and stays stops me in my tracks, I often just sit to admire the happy mystery of it's existence. To ride this bike is to ride an unbreakable thoroughbred, I cannot find it's flaws. If anyone can tell me anything about this fine machine's pedigree I'd be mighty interested.
The man behind the machine is Guiseppe Marinoni, an Italian pro racer who emigrated to Canada in 1964. He had been selected to represent Italy for a race in Quebec but was disqualfied after an incident with another rider. With time on his hands, he explored the Quebec countryside and fell in love with it and a young girl, his future wife, Simonne. He continued to race in Canada and the USA but after the movtivation ebbed, he decided to keep involved with cycling via framebuilding. Manufacturing was set up in a backyard workshop and commenced in 1974, after apprenticing with Marc Rossin. His present shop has been located in Lachendale Quebec since 1983.
Marinoni quickly developed a reputation for excellent frames, with many custom orders. In the early 1980s, on the recommendation of Canadian racer of Hugh Walton, Marinoni manufactured the frames for Raleigh's USA team, whose members would earn several medals at the 1984 L.A. Olympics on their disquised Marinoni. This was not an isolated incident. Many racers have campaigned on Marinoni frames hidden under sponsor's decals.
A perfectionist, Marinoni frames are famous for extraordinary performance, a stiff ride and impeccable finish. To ensure a high quality standard, all operations are performed in house, including chrome plating and painting. Marinoni does not advertise, instead relying on word of mouth. Despite this, the demand exceeds yearly output of approximately 1000 frames, which Marinoni refuses to increase, lest it affect the quality. About 25% of his production is is intended for the USA. In the early 1990s Guiseppe, phased himself out of framebuilding, turning the operation over to his 3 sons. He still comes in work to supervise and do some painting.
It's hard not to love a Marinoni, but none of us are as ardent as Madame Marinoni. As she is fond of joking. "Everynight, I take my Marinoni to bed with me".
FYI, the first number in your serial number represents the year of manufacture. Now, be prepared for an onslaught on picture requests.
Edit: An Omega Plus should date from the early 2000s. It's not vintage but its still a great bicycle.
12-17-10, 06:48 PM
yes, great bikes. T-Mar has some great info! I have three Marinonis. Two from 1987, Special, one with full c-record and cobalto brakes. the Other is all NR. the third one is a track bike, it might also be late 80's. take a look here, on the right hand side under sub-albums:
...the third one is a track bike, it might also be late 80's. take a look here, on the right hand side under sub-albums...
It's really hard to say. Those appear to be painted logos and I'm not sure exactly when Marinoni got their new paint equipment but it was sometime after the early 1990s. If it's not a repaint and those are painted logos, then it's not a 1987 and should be 1997. Marinoni typically applies the Columbus repaint decal, so there should be little doubt. Of course, the other alternative is to e-mail the shop. They're very good about serial number enquiries.
12-18-10, 10:20 AM
Hi T-Mar, yes you are quite correct on the repaint issue, it does have the repaint columbus decal. I was in contact with simmone a couple of years ago shortly after I acquired the bike. She was unable to trace it. The serial number was difficult to interpret the first number looking like either a 1 or a 7 and the third number almost looked like it had been double struck. The painting was done after they got the new equipment the logos are painted on except on the headtube the maple leaf is a decal.
I see what you mean. I initially thought it was a 7 but it could be a 1 struck on an angle. All I can tell you is that the bridge doesn't match my 1991 road frames. Does it match the bridges on your 1987 road frames?
12-18-10, 03:53 PM
yes, the bridges are identical, also all of the BB shells are the same. There sure seems to be a lot of '87s around. Fork crowns identical as well.
Then, it is most likely a 1987, as it wouldn't appear to be a 1991 and the full chrome forks and stays had not achieved wide popularity in 1981 but were trendy circa 1987.
The late 1980s were definitely a period of popularity for Marinoni. Not that he ever had a problem selling all his production but the demand was really high in the wake of the 1984 LA Olympics, after the knowledge of his manufactuing the Levi's-Raleigh frames filtered though the cycling grapevine. Still, you seem to have beaten the odds by getting three from the same year.
12-19-10, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the info T-Mar. I really enjoy riding the Marinoni's, I have only ridden the yellow NR and the Corsa but they are something 'special':) I haven't ridden the one with the c-record group as yet, the weather kind of kept defeating me after I bought it. Have you ever come across one of those 'Raleigh' frames from '84?
I've come across them a few times but the owners know what they have and set unreasonable prices.
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