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Cinelli: The Art and Design of the Bicycle Hardcover – October 23, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847838676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847838677
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.3 x 11.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...not anything like your usual bicycle history but is truly another art book. It is superbly designed...a book which delivers.." ~Pez Cycling News

"Required reading for all biking enthusiasts tracing as it does the history of the art and craft of Cino Cinelli who began making frames and components in the 1940s. The book’s sub-title proclaims that it is all about “the art and design of the bicycle” and that it surely is." ~travel-watch.com

About the Author

Lodovico Pignatti Morano is a writer and consultant based in Milan. Antonio Colombo has been the president and owner of Cinelli and Columbus since 1973, and is the director of a contemporary art gallery in Milan. Felice Gimondi is one of only five cyclists in history to win all three Grand Tours: the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, and the Vuelta a España. Benny Gold is a graphic designer and artist living in San Francisco. Barry McGee is a painter and graffiti artist from the Bay Area whose work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide. Sir Paul Smith is an icon of international style and fashion, and a passionate cycling enthusiast.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Great history on Cinelli.
Sam Henry
The material that is in the book is beautifully presented and the book has a wonderful presence.
M. Furman
I've already read the book and keep picking it up to look at it.
Bruno M Matricciano

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Vernon Forbes on November 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a history of Cinelli bicycles after it was sold to Columbus tubing in 1979. Unfortunately, Cinelli products before 1979 are hardly mentioned. I briefly edited Human Power put out by the International Human Powered Vehicle Assoc. and was hoping more for a technical history of the Cinelli products that made the company great. Instead the book describes the bicycle as an artistic expression of engineering. As a cyclist, I was disappointed. I was also disappointed that a number of the photographs were blurred.

The book opens with a chatty exchange between Paul Smith, an English fashion designer and Antonio Colombo, son of the founder of Columbus tubing who now heads the company and who owns an art gallery. They both talk about how much they enjoy riding bicycles and designing things. Their discussion is about the process to include the beauty of function in what they design. Antonio had wanted to be an architect but decided to design Cinelli bicycles after Columbus tubing bought it in 1979. The first thing he did after taking over the company was to commission a re-design of the company logo. The first chapter is all about updating the graphic design and colors. The book is a history of Cinelli after Columbus bought it from Cino Cinelli. Design is based on the assumption that the whole product is greater than the sum of its parts. There is no discussion of metallurgy, engineering and no graphs or tables. Despite his omission Cino Cinelli was an interesting person.

The book does not mention a number of things I wanted to read about. Cino Cinelli was a professional bicycle racer from 1937-1944 and a champion who raced under the fascists during WWII and founded the Italian Professional Cycling Association.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By milbike on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was so very excited to acquire this book and then upon arrival was even more jacked once I saw its size, heft, and design.
Alas, upon opening it I was disappointed with its scope and emphasis. Truly, it should be titled: "Antonio Colombo's Cinelli".
While there is no question that the current company is a major player in the bicycle world and continues on with an admirable sense of design and style, I personally am more interested in the genius of the company founder, Cino Cinelli. While it contains a small amount of early history, basically it is a focus on the Cinelli since it was sold to the Colombo family. As of yet I have not read the entire text (thus far, not very well written - appears to be mostly a translation) but have perused and thumbed through and it appears (there is no text index) to have some rather glaring omissions. How can a work on Cinelli not give a report on the Bivalent Hubs and Clipless Pedal?

Anyhoo, I shall keep this book in my library as it is beautifully produced and is a fine study of contemporary Italian design. A loving tribute to that culture's blend of utility, purpose, style, and beauty.

I shall continue to hope for and anticipate a book on the complete history of the maestro, CINO CINELLI.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Reissner on December 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One does not really expect a book about one of the most storied names in Italian cycling, famous for quill stems and cork handlebar tape, to begin with a discussion featuring a British fashion designer but when that designer is bike-mad Paul Smith and he is chatting with Antonio Colombo of the famous tubing dynasty you know that the way ahead will be eccentric, to say the least. "Cinelli" is an impressive and expensive book but just be prepared for a wild ride.

Published by Rizzoli, famous for its beautiful art books, "Cinelli" is not anything like your usual bicycle history but is truly another art book. It is superbly designed, of course, like many bike books are but the content much more addresses aesthetic issues rather than technical ones. There is a mix of history, usually respectful, with matters of texture and quality, perhaps a big dose of fashion-world pretense but also some genuine humour. There is a generous selection of excellent photos, marvellously sharp and evocative, no matter which era represented.

The book opens with aforementioned kind-of-interview between the Clothing Man and the person who turns out not to be Mr. SLX Tubing but rather the Mr. Bicycle of the Art World. Antonio Colombo's family business, Columbus Tubing, goes back to 1919 and he also serves as President of Cinelli, acquired by the family in 1978. The book is split into chapters that do not go in chronology but rather each highlight a different aspect of the company's surprisingly diverse product line. It is telling that one of the first things done by the Colombos was a redesign of the archaic Cinelli logo in 1979. The "winged C" is a superb example of a successful redesign and this look and feel began to breathe new life into Cino Cinelli's atelier.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Prada on December 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Well my opinion is that the subtitle sentence "The Art and Design of the Bicycle" touches three capital arguments that we can't deny found a plenty identification in Cinelli since 1979 till nowadays. Emotions and research are values owned both by the pro-cycling competitive scene as well as by the art-world, and they're at the base of every single existence. That's the interpretation key of the whole publication. Rizzoli New York, the editor, surly gave great value to the iconic and innovative Cinelli products that wrote the history of pro-cycling (the very first clipless pedals, quill-stems, road and track handlebars, Spinaci, Ram, everythig's inside!) but the focus point is about the incredible ability of Cinelli and Antonio Colombo to understand the changing and elusive spirit of each contemporary cycling era they went trough. From the very firsts Rampichino mountain-bikes to the urban fixed-gear messenger world trough the 30 Gold Olympic Medals winner Cinelli Laser bike painted by Haring, till the most recent successful collaboration with masters of contemporary art like Mike Giant and Barry McGee. Cinelli always been able to reinvent even the most classic and iconic products, from the tape to the Supercorsa, as well as to give birth to high-tech components able to incorporate and express "the idea" behind it. One last note, my compliments to the author Lodovico Pignatti for the engaign and classy narration that takes the reader trough Cinelli backstages and true-stories of the history of the brand! Grab this book, take a seat, and enjoy reading!
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