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  1. #1
    outside agitator redmist's Avatar
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    retro/modern italian steel (cinelli and mondonico)

    hi,

    i'm in the process of putting together a build. i'm a bit older than most (late 30's) and i'm not really interested in having the latest, greatest, lightest, racing bike. i'm more interested in riding the bikes i lusted after in my youth- steel, lugged, italian frames. i'm not a racer, i just like to ride- and an old-school but modern frame is more my style.

    at the LBS, i spied a cinelli supercorsa and a mondonoco futura leggero in my size in the back. the owner is an ex-pro racer from the 70's-80's, and definitely one of the weirdo-types that i love when it comes to bikes. it's a small, messy, bike shop with odd-ball frames, track-stuff, lot's of wheels ready to be hand-built, and other bits laying about- not your average "starbucks-type" shop.

    the cinelli supercorsa is from 2003 and was for a customer who had a chorus head-set installed, but then bailed on it and bought something more modern. the mondonico is a frame that has been sitting since 2002, and is an antonio mondonico hand-built frame. both are made from columbus neuron tubing and either are available to me at a similar price. i'm going to have them do a few of the things that i can't do (bottom bracket, etc), and the rest, i'm going to attempt to do myself. it's a nice project for me over the winter.

    the question is- which one should i buy? i know i should get both , but finances say that only one will come home with me.



  2. #2
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    If they are 56cm, buy the Mondonoco and give me the LBS phone number so I can buy the Cinelli.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, it’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  3. #3
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    They are as different as day and night. What type of riding do you plan on doing? Do both come with the original forks?

    After you decide which you want, tell us the size of the frames and location of the LBS.

    If it's a 54, buy the Cinelli and let me have the Mondonico (I already have a Cinelli!)

  4. #4
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    Don't know anything about the Mondonico, but I don't think you can go wrong with a Cinelli.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Personally I would buy the Mondonico. They are on par with Tommasinis and other legendary Italian frames. Is is a size 57? If so, let me know if you don't buy it.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin lotek's Avatar
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    I'd rather have the Mondonico over a new(ish) Cinelli. Not that there's anything
    wrong with the Cinelli, but when I do buy one it's going to be a proper late 60's early 70's
    model (which I'm going to sacrifice my kid's inheritance for).
    shop sounds like a winner, and yes we do want to know where it is!

    As for your being older than most ( late 30's) you'll be pleasantly surprized to know the
    avg age for this forum is probably mid 40s.

    marty
    Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
    Odio la gente, tutti.

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    Buy the one you think is prettier. I'm not trying to be flippant, I really believe that would be the only big diffrence between the two.

    If the Mondonico was truly built by the man himself (which I kind of doubt) the work should be nicer than the production shop Cinelli. But there's nothing really wrong with those Cinelli's and the ride incredibly well. I can't see either being a bad choice.

    Too bad the shop does not have a Gios Compact Pro to add to the mix, as I would take that over the other two.

  8. #8
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    as one that loves his cinellis, i'd say jump on the mondonico. that bike has greater exclusivity and should only gain in value with time. afaik, mondonico was the very last of the italian builders that pinned his lugwork in the classic tradition & there won't be any more

  9. #9
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    A 2002 Mondonico would be built by Antonio, I'm fairly sure. It should be easy enough to find out.

  10. #10
    outside agitator redmist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otis View Post
    Buy the one you think is prettier. I'm not trying to be flippant, I really believe that would be the only big diffrence between the two.
    yes, i was thinking that there might not be much separating the 2 when it comes down to ride quality, and looks might be a deciding factor- though the mondonico is a hand-made special, and that has an obvious draw. the cinelli is a bright red, which i usually don't like, but the lugs are chromed, which i do like. decisions...



    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
    A 2002 Mondonico would be built by Antonio, I'm fairly sure. It should be easy enough to find out.
    how does one find out? does the serial number on the bottom bracket tell the tale?


    Quote Originally Posted by Old Fat Guy View Post
    They are as different as day and night. What type of riding do you plan on doing? Do both come with the original forks?

    After you decide which you want, tell us the size of the frames and location of the LBS.

    If it's a 54, buy the Cinelli and let me have the Mondonico (I already have a Cinelli!)

    the bikes both have their original forks, and the cinelli's is already mounted with a chorus head-set. i'm challenged in the height department at 5-7- both frames are 52's. can you elaborate when you say that they are as different as night and day?

    as for my riding, i usually ride 3 times during the week to get my engine going in the morning, usually about 20 miles. then on weekends, i like to do anywhere from 30 - 50 mile runs- some hills, and certainly bad roads abound! i've been riding a single speed that i purchased as a commute bike, but now i'm getting into road biking again- i was an avid rider 15 years ago.

    i'll let everyone know what i decide and the other will be up for grabs i should make a decision by the weekend and i'll be back with the usual stupid questions of how i should build it!

    thanks all!


    Last edited by redmist; 12-11-07 at 04:09 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbakl View Post
    Don't know anything about the Mondonico, but I don't think you can go wrong with a Cinelli.
    I know something about Mondonicos: you can't go wrong with one of them!

    Road Fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmist View Post
    yes, i was thinking that there might not be much separating the 2 when it comes down to ride quality, and looks might be a deciding factor- though the mondonico is a hand-made special, and that has an obvious draw. the cinelli is a bright red, which i usually don't like, but the lugs are chromed, which i do like. decisions...
    the handling is quite different between a mondonico and a cinelli supercorsa, with the cinelli a touch on the pointy/quick side of neutral and the mondonico's more relaxed and having a longer cockpit



    how does one find out? does the serial number on the bottom bracket tell the tale?"
    Mondonico is/was a completely family owned and operated business and afaik, up until his recent retirement, did not contract out any of his work.
    His only production assistance comes from his son, Mauro.
    As I understand it, the very latest Mondonico's are now being fabricated by a well respected contract framebuilder in/near Milan under Mauro's supervision & QC during the transition.
    You can contact Bill Mc Gann at Torelli Imports if you have any questions about Mondonico and the frame's specifics.
    Last edited by caterham; 04-10-08 at 03:17 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotek View Post
    As for your being older than most ( late 30's) you'll be pleasantly surprized to know the
    avg age for this forum is probably mid 40s.

    marty

    Avast there, ye whippersnapper!

    Oops, pirate day is long past ar ar ar.

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmist View Post
    yes, i was thinking that there might not be much separating the 2 when it comes down to ride quality, and looks might be a deciding factor- though the mondonico is a hand-made special, and that has an obvious draw. the cinelli is a bright red, which i usually don't like, but the lugs are chromed, which i do like. decisions...





    how does one find out? does the serial number on the bottom bracket tell the tale?





    the bikes both have their original forks, and the cinelli's is already mounted with a chorus head-set. i'm challenged in the height department at 5-7- both frames are 52's. can you elaborate when you say that they are as different as night and day?

    as for my riding, i usually ride 3 times during the week to get my engine going in the morning, usually about 20 miles. then on weekends, i like to do anywhere from 30 - 50 mile runs- some hills, and certainly bad roads abound! i've been riding a single speed that i purchased as a commute bike, but now i'm getting into road biking again- i was an avid rider 15 years ago.

    i'll let everyone know what i decide and the other will be up for grabs i should make a decision by the weekend and i'll be back with the usual stupid questions of how i should build it!

    thanks all!


    Recently I googled Mondonico, and found a lot of history notes. I think the stories will make clear that either Antonio or Mauro did the brazing. Mine is from the late '70s to early '80s, when Antonio re-started the family business (Cicli Mondonico) and left Guerciotti, and started teaching Mauro.

    Seems simpler than Masi, at least!

    Does your example have an S/N? Mine does not, just a size stamp.

    Torelli was the importer and may still be able to use the name - ask them?

    Road Fan

  15. #15
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by caterham View Post
    the handling is quite different between a mondonico and a cinelli supercorsa, with the cinelli a touch on the pointy/quick side of neutral and the mondonico's more relaxed and having a longer cockpit
    Than tears it, you need to buy the Cinelli IMMEDIATELY and leave me to properly dispose of that slow, dangerous Mondonico!

    Road Fan

  16. #16
    juneeaa memba!
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    Of course, you know what any of these guys would do? They'd buy 'em both, and then lord it over the rest of us with some snazzy pictures...and a lot of gloating...

  17. #17
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    caterham is spot on as far as the differences between the two go. Road Fan rides a Mondonico most of the time. Follow caterham's advice and contact the importer, if it's that important to you. I think those who are knowledgeable would agree that the Mondo is hand built by one of two people, both Master builders.

    From your description of what you want, I'd say go with the Mondonico.

    If you want a quick handling , sporty feel, the Cinelli is a better bet, and I'm sure Road Fan would snap up the discards.

    Buy both, and see which suits you better. You won't lose on that investment!

  18. #18
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redmist View Post
    ... i'm a bit older than most (late 30's) ...
    You're just a kid!

    I would vote for the Mondonico, because I, too, am more interested in a smooth, stable ride than in bottom bracket stomping stiffness. Having said that, I also note that I really enjoy the contrast between my Bianchi and my Capo, and I am glad to have both in my fleet.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    Totally hearsay but the way I understand it, both Mauro and Antonio each have all the necessary skills to construct complete framesets but that Mauro generally does the mitering, machine prep and finishwork with Antonio handling the jigs & torch.

    btw- by "more relaxed", I mean relaxed relative to the cinelli. neither could be categorised as being either nervous & twitchy nor sluggish & sonambulant handling machines
    Last edited by caterham; 12-11-07 at 09:29 PM.

  20. #20
    WATERFORD22
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    Wow as usual what interesting bunch of muck!! I agree with Luker don't give anybody an idea where the the transaction will take place or they'll buy both out from under you. It happen just recently to me here on the boards.

    I am just finishing up a Cinelli project a 1995 Genius tube set - even though stamped a 55 it's really closer to a 56 so measure both frames. Also check the angle I suspect the Cinelli is more aggresive and last check out the fork clearance for tire sizes. I usually ride 25 or 28, but once I got the bike built up I found 23's were the largest the fork would take although the rear would take either. So it turns out it's a real racing machine.

    As I think someone already stated Cinelli ontracts out some frame building so not all frame are equal so really go over the frame.
    Just my two cents

  21. #21
    Senior Member skyrider's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that Masi contracted out to Mondonico in the past ?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyrider View Post
    I read somewhere that Masi contracted out to Mondonico in the past ?
    correct. Antonio Mondonico has been producing the Italian-built Masi's since approx. 1990

  23. #23
    outside agitator redmist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luker View Post
    Of course, you know what any of these guys would do? They'd buy 'em both, and then lord it over the rest of us with some snazzy pictures...and a lot of gloating...
    interesting idea...



  24. #24
    FSU Bulldogs Red Wave pv0463's Avatar
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    Mondonico frames were actually hand-made by the man himself until his retirement (a couple or three years ago). I believe the Cinelli (along with most other made in Italy frames) are made in a 'carousel' manner, where individual parts or sub-assemblies are made by hand and then assembled by a single person at the end.
    As unique and as desirable a Cinelli is, the Mondonico is really the only way to go...

  25. #25
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    My vote would be for the Modonico as well. I'm very partial to single (or at least small)-builder Italian frames.
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
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