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Tale of Two Fiorellis

Old 12-14-14, 06:33 PM
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Tale of Two Fiorellis

Like many C&Vers, my bicycle buddy Bob has a passion for old Italian steel. He’s constantly trolling for anything old with a “i” or “o” suffix. Last summer he snagged a line on a Fiorelli from the early-60’s, patiently coaxing it from the grasp of the original owner. Minus the saddle. The reluctant seller was finally coming to grips with the fact that he was too old to ever ride the bike himself anymore, and he wanted it to go to someone who would appreciate it. He said he bought it in '63 or ’64 from a small shop called Earl’s Cycle & Repair in Hopkins, MN.



The story is that the (Authorized Schwinn) shop ordered a batch of six Fiorelli bicycles that year and this guy bought one, along with his brother and another friend. The friend had his bike stolen somewhere along the way, but this owner kept his squirreled away for 50 years.
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Old 12-14-14, 06:36 PM
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Fast forward a month or two, and somehow Bob’s Italian bike bobber went down again. Like the last time, an older gentleman had a Fiorelli that he might be persuaded to sell to the right person. Minus the saddle. While talking to the second guy about the Fiorelli he had purchased before, Bob realized this new seller was the previous guy’s brother. You may have guessed the rest of the story. Bob managed to buy two of the six Fiorelli’s imported by that small bicycle shop, 50 years after the fact.


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Old 12-14-14, 06:47 PM
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Nice bell!
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Old 12-14-14, 10:16 PM
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Fine looking machines, @Hudson308!
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Old 12-15-14, 07:33 AM
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I love the look and ride of Italian bikes of that era. Great story, too.
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Old 12-15-14, 07:39 AM
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Looks like Bob made two nice finds with these, probably pretty long odds on finding the brother's bicycles offered to the right person so close together I imagine. They both look pretty nicely preserved for the age they have reached. Thanks for sharing this with us, good to know that they aren't being junked or trashed, and will be appreciated.

Bill
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Old 12-15-14, 08:13 AM
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That is really, really cool.
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Old 12-15-14, 08:40 AM
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I have a Coppi by Fiorelli from the later 60's. while a "production" bike the amount of extra effort such as filling the seat binder ears with brass in the way the small Italian makers did is quite impressive. Mine also has a mix of components, Stronglight cranks, Gran Sport drive train, Nuovo Tipo hubs, Sheffield pedals.

Pretty classic Itlaian road race geometry. These bikes often get overlooked.
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Old 12-15-14, 08:43 AM
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Beautiful! Those are great bikes, and a great story. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-15-14, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
I have a Coppi by Fiorelli from the later 60's. while a "production" bike the amount of extra effort such as filling the seat binder ears with brass in the way the small Italian makers did is quite impressive. Mine also has a mix of components, Stronglight cranks, Gran Sport drive train, Nuovo Tipo hubs, Sheffield pedals.
In the research I did for my own Fiorelli project I discovered that Fiorelli made everything from soup to nuts, bicycle-wise. They made Children's bikes, grocery getters, roadsters, and some pretty nice road bikes. Their lower-tier road bikes often used a mixture of components such as you've described. By the late 60's it appears the Coppi line paralleled their Fiorelli road bike offerings, with similar model names and component packages. Thus you could get a Coppi (or Fiorelli) Milano-Sanremo with stamped dropouts and Simplex mechanicals at the lower end. Working your way up the ladder they made a Tour De France and Giro D'Italia model, with the top slot reserved for the Campionissimo Super Record. These top two models were made with forged dropouts from at least a couple of different manufacturers. The early 60's bikes I've seen rarely have any graphics calling out which model they were. I also haven't seen alot of Coppi or Fiorelli bikes that have tubesets called out with a label, although some of the lower-end ones in the 70's had labels specifying "Z50" tubing.
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Old 12-15-14, 12:57 PM
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Great story!
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Old 12-15-14, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
In the research I did for my own Fiorelli project I discovered that Fiorelli made everything from soup to nuts, bicycle-wise. They made Children's bikes, grocery getters, roadsters, and some pretty nice road bikes. Their lower-tier road bikes often used a mixture of components such as you've described. By the late 60's it appears the Coppi line paralleled their Fiorelli road bike offerings, with similar model names and component packages. Thus you could get a Coppi (or Fiorelli) Milano-Sanremo with stamped dropouts and Simplex mechanicals at the lower end. Working your way up the ladder they made a Tour De France and Giro D'Italia model, with the top slot reserved for the Campionissimo Super Record. These top two models were made with forged dropouts from at least a couple of different manufacturers. The early 60's bikes I've seen rarely have any graphics calling out which model they were. I also haven't seen alot of Coppi or Fiorelli bikes that have tubesets called out with a label, although some of the lower-end ones in the 70's had labels specifying "Z50" tubing.
The frame on mine is nicely appointed, Columbus throughout, Campagnolo ends, headset and seat post, just strategic lesser grade as mentioned.
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Old 12-15-14, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The frame on mine is nicely appointed, Columbus throughout, Campagnolo ends, headset and seat post, just strategic lesser grade as mentioned.
Yes, this is likely how my '69 (Giro D'Italia?) frameset was outfitted. I should mention that even the "lower end" Fiorelli road bikes seem to get universal praise for the way they ride.

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Old 12-15-14, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hudson308 View Post
Yes, this is likely how my '69 (Giro D'Italia?) frameset was outfitted. I should mention that even the "lower end" Fiorelli road bikes seem to get universal praise for the way they ride.
I have had two...both rode fantastically...even though one was too small for me. The other had a very rusty bottom bracket shell...
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