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Old 02-08-09, 10:39 PM   #1
dannyg1 
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A Japanese Cinelli, market as a Cinelli!

Now here's an interesting bike, a late 80's Cinelli Proxima, from the same year as the Fisher built Cinelli MTB's by the looks of the decals. Weird part is that the thing screams of original paint, but check out that seatstay cap. Anyone care to add to our known history knowledgebase?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ayphotohosting
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Old 02-08-09, 11:46 PM   #2
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Strange indeed
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Old 02-09-09, 12:00 AM   #3
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I bet it's a Lotus that was built with Cinelli lugs and has been repainted.
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Old 02-09-09, 12:06 AM   #4
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I bet it's a Lotus that was built with Cinelli lugs and has been repainted.
my thoughts exactly. The frame sitting next to me has Cinelli lugs/fork crown/bb shell. Cinelli sold those parts to anyone that had the money.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:16 PM   #5
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I've owned one of the Cinelli MTB's from that year (I think it was 1985), a model called a Tamputucco I believe, and I can say with some surety that this bike isn't a repaint. Who would rebadge a Cinelli-Lotus, which was a top-of-the-line bike and parade it as a low-line Cinelli? This is a factory sanctioned build AFAICT.
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Old 02-09-09, 03:47 PM   #6
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I think there was a Lotus Record that was designed by Cinelli. This could be one, just named Proxima for the European market.
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Old 02-09-09, 04:31 PM   #7
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I think there was a Lotus Record that was designed by Cinelli. This could be one, just named Proxima for the European market.
There's one on ebay right now. Many Cinelli frame parts used, not unlike the Centurion Cinelli. Listed several times, but the seller refuses to come down on the price. Not original, but set up exactly how I would modify it (triple chainset and raised bars).

Some photos he emailed attached below.

http://cgi.ebay.com/CINELLI-Lotus-vi...3%3A1|294%3A50
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cinelli H.JPG (56.7 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg cinelli E.JPG (68.3 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg Logo CLOSE 2.JPG (52.9 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Rear brake and Logo.JPG (54.3 KB, 30 views)
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Old 02-09-09, 07:49 PM   #8
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can you get a pic of the seat stay cap on that blue Ebay job? That would nail it. I've always been a little unclear on the several Lotus(s) I saw that were very Italian: Columbus tubing, Cinelli fittings, seem to be built in Italy...yet from a company I assumed to be Japanese. I'd like a history lesson on the Lotus Co., someday.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:24 PM   #9
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can you get a pic of the seat stay cap on that blue Ebay job?
I've asked...will post it if/when received.
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Old 02-09-09, 08:35 PM   #10
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Only $400 too expensive (at least)
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Old 02-10-09, 01:25 AM   #11
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can you get a pic of the seat stay cap on that blue Ebay job?
From the long shot, it looks pretty close to the OP bike. I always wondered about Cinelli putting their name all over their framebuilding parts. Maybe it was a nefarious plan to confuse ebay sellers?
I was always too lazy to file the name off the bottom bracket shell. You can't see it from a normal angle.

I probably wouldn't have used any of their parts that had a visible logo, that doesn't make sense to me at all. I've seen lots of non-Cinellis with the brake bridge, the fork crown seems a lot less common.

Last edited by unterhausen; 02-10-09 at 01:30 AM.
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Old 02-10-09, 06:03 AM   #12
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So the first eBay bike is claiming Cinelli made bikes for Lotus.

"...As you may notice,bike has the LOTUS logo engrave don the seatstay caps,but these doesnt mean that this is not a genuine Cinelli,(check the cinelli logo on the brake bridge and the Cienlli BB shell.Also,if you are lucky enough, to own one,you may find it on some cinelli catalog.I believe this to be an early 90s model,and judgin on the style of the graphics,im almost positive about the time frame placement.Frame is built with COlumbus CROMOR tubing,and unfortunately,im not able to tell you where it falls,quality wise.I ve been told (and after few researches) that CInelli built some bikes for LOTUS for a while,but ,my details ,sorry to say,dont go any further than that.I f you are a Cinelli collector,and you are the kind of collector that wants to cover the full production spectrum,you dont want to let this one go....."
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Old 02-10-09, 06:20 AM   #13
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Perhaps Cinelli had a falling out with Lotus and was left holding significant number of their semi-finished frames. Cinelli repainted and sold them as their own locally in Italy? Pure speculation on my part, but a plausible answer.

As far as Cinelli putting their name on the frame building parts, I have no problem with the BB shell, I know that when I see that I know it's a quality shell and likely a quality bike. The rest of the more visible locations are a bit more questionable as it does start to throw off the visual identity of the bike. But if you were Cinelli and you needed to get your name out there as a company building a vast range of frame building parts, makes sense to stamp it your own. If the frame builder really doesn't want your logo visible on the frame he can select a model without the logo, or fill it in during the building process.
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Old 02-10-09, 06:22 AM   #14
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Lotus was a 'brand' conceived by some East coast importer, in NJ IIRC. They ordered bikes OEMed to their specs and slapped the Lotus badging on them and distributed them. They were quite prevalent in the NYC area. Most of the ones I saw were Japanese and very well made. So it wouldn't be improbable that the Lotinelli was made in Italy and had the Lotus stickers installed.
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Old 02-10-09, 08:54 AM   #15
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Just to make it better for the researchers, this bike is a 1991 or close thereabouts:

http://www.firstflightbikes.com/1991..._Ottomilla.htm
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Old 02-10-09, 08:55 AM   #16
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There are tons of bikes out there with Cinelli bottom brackets, and you can still buy those lugs.
My guess is it's a decent frame built with the lugs and bb, outfitted with Campy stuff, and sold as is. It's got a nice group on it, a nice Columbus frame, and I think it's worth the $330. Maybe not the $510, though.....
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Old 02-10-09, 09:29 AM   #17
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This one is the better example to match the graphics of the Ebay frame in question. Same year, 1991:

http://www.firstflightbikes.com/CinelliATB.html

Last edited by dannyg1; 02-10-09 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-10-09, 10:11 AM   #18
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Lotus was a 'brand' conceived by some East coast importer, in NJ IIRC. They ordered bikes OEMed to their specs and slapped the Lotus badging on them and distributed them. They were quite prevalent in the NYC area. Most of the ones I saw were Japanese and very well made. So it wouldn't be improbable that the Lotinelli was made in Italy and had the Lotus stickers installed.
Ah, that makes sense: another "Importer's brand" to add to the list of (help me here)
Nishiki
Centurion
Univega
Italvega
Bertoni
DiamondBack
Apollo
Campania
Azuki
I'm sure there's more, and I'm purposefully leaving out the "house brands" and "captive imports"
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Old 02-10-09, 10:50 AM   #19
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Nashbar
Performance
Frejus
Titan
Lemond (sometimes. Thinking Team Z)
Specialized (Thinking early Allez's)


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Ah, that makes sense: another "Importer's brand" to add to the list of (help me here)
Nishiki
Centurion
Univega
Italvega
Bertoni
DiamondBack
Apollo
Campania
Azuki
I'm sure there's more, and I'm purposefully leaving out the "house brands" and "captive imports"
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Old 02-10-09, 10:51 AM   #20
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I've got a question in about the frames country of origin. It'll be pretty interesting if it's made in Italy.
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Old 02-10-09, 10:55 AM   #21
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Nashbar
Performance
Frejus
Titan
Lemond (sometimes. Thinking Team Z)
Specialized (Thinking early Allez's)
Frejus? Any examples? Only Italian, both before and after the consolidation with Legnano in the early '70s, AFAIK.
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Old 02-10-09, 02:15 PM   #22
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tommasini reminded me of Tomaso wasn't that a LA-based importer for Mondonico-made frames? Anyway, I shouldn't have hi-jacked the thread without apologizing first
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Old 02-10-09, 02:52 PM   #23
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Frejus? Any examples? Only Italian, both before and after the consolidation with Legnano in the early '70s, AFAIK.
The lore I'm referencing is the difference between Frejus pre and post 1973 (I think that was the year). If I get the chance, I'll study up and confirm with details later tonight.
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Old 02-10-09, 03:27 PM   #24
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unworthy1, here are pics of the seatstay cap and the headtube decal
Attached Images
File Type: jpg front logo decal.JPG (52.7 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg seat stay.JPG (51.9 KB, 16 views)
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Old 02-10-09, 03:41 PM   #25
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i screwed up-tommaso was ten speed drive's brand-tommasini's the real deal
torelli is prolly who you're thinking of regarding mondonico
yep. that's it, too many 't' names to keep track of.
and that shot of the stay caps seems to say that somebody in Italy was building them for Lotus complete with panto'd caps...but was it Cinelli or some other contractor? The Cinelli logos don't confirm a Cinelli-built frame, just the source of the parts.
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