's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Which steel Italian bike?(31 posts)

Which steel Italian bike?MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 8:05 AM
I need a bike with short top tube and I've narrowed it down to a Cinelli Super Corsa, Torelli Corsa Strada, Gios Compact, and Colnago Classic. I'm leaning toward the Cinelli...any other thoughts out there?
re: Which steel Italian bike?gtx
Oct 29, 2002 8:37 AM
Well, I don't want to start another round of the "effective" top tube discussion, so... I've heard the Cinelli Super Corsa isn't the bike it used to be, but who knows. Personally, I'd get a Tommasini, but that's not on your list. Otherwise, I like Gios blue, but the 74 degree STA doesn't work for me. The Viner from GVH is probably worth looking at, too. Probably hard to go wrong, and if you already like the fit of your Colnago, well then...
Super Corsa not what it used to be?MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 8:55 AM
Any details? I like the retro look of the super corsa.
Super Corsa not what it used to be?gtx
Oct 29, 2002 9:02 AM
Well, I remember this is the bike a lot of people lusted after in the late 70s/ealy 80s. But I think the new ones are farmed out or something and aren't the same quality--or something to that effect. All rumor, mind you, but it might be worth investigating. Someone on the retro board might know. They are very cool looking bikes. Does GVH sell them? If so, he might be able to tell you more.
$0.02c from a non-expert ....Spirito
Oct 29, 2002 11:26 AM
Cinelli was bought out and has been owned by Columbus from about the early 80's.

the original Cinelli (?) made Super Coprsa's are jewel's in the eyes of collectors who are quick to snub out later super corsa's as not being the real deal. used value's also reflect this.

however, i would rather a new frame made of columbus neuron to ride any day over a used "glory days" item. the decals and some details may differ but i would find it hard to beleive that the old would be better than the new other than for posterity and a retrogrouchy ego.

Having considered a "nuovo" super corsa and checking over a frameset for a half day in a LBS i thought it very well made and certainly worth the price that most are offered at.

either the Gios or Cinelli would make a great frameset and in particular are good examples of their styles that are still available new - buy now, ride and if/when it comes to sell time im sure they will still garner interest and $'s from lovers of italian steel frames.

as for being "farmed out" i feel this is the same as hiring a few people in house to make production frames only on a larger scale. this doesn't mean they are made any lesser. more importantly, they both just look plain sexy as well as classic. patina will come of its own to add to its beauty. the cinelli in silver or Ti as its called is particularly cool if you ask me.

there is good reason why Richard Sachs has two mint restored Masi's from the early 70's that have NEVER been ridden - recent frames made by his own hands using more modern tubesets are simply better to ride (they ain't lacking in mojo either).

Super Corsa not what it used to be? The Real Story...CarbonTi
Oct 29, 2002 11:59 AM
I have both a late 70's Cinelli SC and a 2001 SC. Still ride the 70's Cinelli although not for serious mileage as wear and tear on Super Record parts (chainrings, headsets)is costly. Got the new SC from GVH.

They ride the same. Geometry is the same for both except for the effective chainstay length which is a little shorter on the '01 having a vertical rear dropout instead of the 1010B's of yore.

I agree that quality can be typically Italian but anyone who has looked at older frames would see the same inconsistencies. None of these were built to the finishing standards of USA-built frames but still nicely finished for a $795 Italian frame.

Cinelli SC's still ride fantastic and it still has most of the look from the classic era of SC's. Unlike a new Al Taiwanese Masi Gran Criterium, it doesn't embarrass the tradition of its namesake.
re: Which steel Italian bike?ColnagoFE
Oct 29, 2002 8:38 AM have some different bikes on your short list. I ride a Colnago MXL and don't think there is a better steel bike for me personally, but of the list you have I might go for the Torelli. Nice mid-level steel frame. Not sure how the Colnago Classic compares, but Torelli is a pretty good bang for the buck. Cinelli is more known for AL bikes as far as I know. Gios is nice as well but I'm not a fan of compact bikes in general. Is this a compact (ie. sloping top tube) frame? There are other Gios' I've seen that seem pretty traditional. Maybe this is one of them. Gios would be a good choice as well in this price range. Anyway my 2c.
All goodmass_biker
Oct 29, 2002 8:56 AM
But for short top tube and good, high quality build (not to mention - pleasure of riding, responsiveness, durability etc.), the MasterXLight gets my vote. As I ride one, I second FE's opinion that I "don't think there is a better steel bike for me personally".

The Coppi steel bikes are also quite nice. DeBernardi makes a fine series too, at quite affordable prices.

Already have the MXL...need a good 2nd bike.MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 8:57 AM
The Gios is not a compact frame. The name comes, I believe from the shorter top tube. In fact all these frames have top tubes on the short side, like the 56x55 MXL.
some thoughts ...tarwheel
Oct 29, 2002 10:43 AM
I have a Gios Compact Pro, size 57, which is actually 56 c-c w/ 55 top tube. I have ridden the bike 8000 miles over the past 18 months and it still looks like new. The quality of the paint and chrome on these frames is excellent, with lots of nice details you just don't see on many bikes nowadays. I don't think the ride is as nice as a frame with a longer wheelbase, slacker angles, but it is surprisingly smooth. My main complaint with the frame is the steep seat and head tube angles, which can make it difficult finding saddles with rails long enough to position my knee over the pedal correctly. After much experimentation, I finally settled on a Koobi Enduro saddle that is very comfortable and has plenty of rail adjustability. The frame has some cool features, like adjustable/replaceable rear dropouts that allow you to change the chainstay length about 1 cm. I have mine fully extended for comfort. The Gios blue is something you have to see in person to appreciate; the color just doesn't pick up in web photos. It is a very intense ultramarine blue that really stands out. There's a 57 Gios (56x55) for sale on eBay right now, and it looks to be in very good condition.

Of your other options, the Cinelli Supercorsa is a very nice frame and has slacker angles. The frames I have seen certainly didn't look like they have suffered from any lack of quality. I have talked with a guy who owns both a Gios Compact Pro and a Cinelli Super Corsa, and he says the Cinelli is smoother riding -- the nicest riding frame he has owned. For $795 at, it's a good value.

As others mentioned, you might want to check out the Tomassini Sintesi, which coloradocyclist has on sale right now (if they have your size) for $800-900. Tomassinis, in my view, are some of the nicest looking "classic" bikes available right now. Their top tubes are a little longer than the Gios or Cinelli, but not much, with slacker seat tube angles (73). Only available with threadless forks/stems, if that matters (as is the Gios).

If you can find one, another nice steel Italian frame for the money is the Moser Pro Evolution. High Caliper Bikes has these frames on sale right now for $695 F&F, which is a very good price, in two color schemes. Similar geometry to the Cinelli and Tomassini. Chrome fork, lugs and stays.

If you don't care about lugs and chrome, the Pegoretti Pasolanto is on sale at several places right now for $900-1000. Although tig welded, Pegs supposedly have some of the finest craftsmanship available. This is a more modern frame design, with oversized tubing and very light (advertised at 3.4 lbs for a 56 cm frame). I am not wild about the paint jobs, but that's a matter of taste. Who knows, in person they might look fantastic.
Why doesn't your MXL work? In other words...ColnagoFE
Oct 29, 2002 11:02 AM
Why do you need a lesser bike for touring? Is it just because you want to spare the MXL or is there some functionality you are looking for that the MXL doesn't have (ie ability to load racks...etc.). I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish with the new bike. If I was getting another bike I'd go for AL or CF or something totally different than what I have now. Can't imagine riding a MXL and being happy with a Classic. I just ride the MXL pretty much all the time even though I've got a steel Bianchi which is is good shape. I use it for loaded touring since it takes racks, wider wheels and has a triple.
It works great! It's just too pretty to run on a trainer or...MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 2:27 PM
commute in the rain...I need a good bike that I can use as a quasi-beater. I agree with trying another frame material but a) I love steel, b) there is nothing cheaper, c) I don't want to spend a lot on this bike.
re: Which steel Italian bike?Heron Todd
Oct 29, 2002 8:39 AM
How did you arrive at those four? What are looking for from this bike? How will you use it?

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
Glad you responded.MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 8:50 AM
I am looking for a midlevel 2nd bike for training and credit card touring. The problem with your road bikes is that the top tubes are too long for me. I need a 56 C-T or 54c-c frame size, and these Italian bikes have 54.5 - 55 cm top tubes, while the Heron is 56.5... too long for me.
Glad you responded.gtx
Oct 29, 2002 8:59 AM
here's a thought for a great second bike that you could travel with--how about a Teesdale built to your spec with those S & S couplings? Maybe with fender eyelets and set to run those medium reach Shimano brakes? Kind of like a poor man's IF Club Racer? Anyway, that's what I'm thinking for my next bike.
Good thoughts, thanks nmMXL02
Oct 29, 2002 9:06 AM
and did you see the new Ritcheys?gtx
Oct 29, 2002 9:13 AM
Super cool. His 54 might fit you...
Glad you responded.Heron Todd
Oct 29, 2002 1:24 PM
If you are looking for a bike for credit card touring, you should consider the handling you are looking for (you probably don't want a crit bike), tire clearance (if you would want larger tires), and the ability to add a rack (maybe not now, but down the road?).

Regarding Heron, I hope that you didn't take my post as an attempt to sway you from the bikes you listed as they are all fine bikes. I've sold Torelli in our shop, and they are especially well-made. If you are looking for a comfortable race-oriented frame, these are a good choice.

Regarding top tube length, our frames have a slightly lower bottom bracket and a slightly higher head tube. So, the bars will be higher relative to the seat compared to most road bikes. This effectively reduces the reach to the bars. I find that I usually have to add at least one cm to a rider's normal top tube + stem length to get a proper fit on a Heron.

Since fit seems to be quite critical to you, you may want to work closely with a shop that has an expertise in this area. Sometimes finding a good shop is more important than finding the right brand.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL 815-223-1776
here's another option ...bianchi boy
Oct 29, 2002 8:06 PM
I have been considering ordering a custom frame from Jeff Lyon of Grants Pass, Oregon, after seeing some of his frames at Lyon can build you his Sportster or Touring model for $750 with a Ritchey fork. This is for a frame made of Reynolds 725 or Deda Zero Uno and weighing less than 4 lbs. For $800, he'll build the frame with one of his custom forks or carbon. For $900, he'll build it out of Reynolds 853. He can custom build the frame to your specs with all sorts of braze-ons for touring -- rack eyelets, extended headtube, etc. His turnaround time is 4-6 weeks. The only think that kept me from ordering a frame is that I found a used Merckx close to what I was looking for and the price was right. I still might order a Lyon frame down the road. His web address is
I'm going to pitch a bitch.gregario
Oct 29, 2002 9:08 AM
Why is it that so many (American) builders jump on the long top tube bandwagon? Is it Greg Lemond's fault? Why are the Italians typically the only ones making what are now called "short" top tube frames?
For a "T-Rex" type like me, its a good d#$n question!MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 9:18 AM
T-rex-all legs, no arms.
I'm going to pitch a bitch.gtx
Oct 29, 2002 9:25 AM
I think were only talking about a range of about 1 cm between most builders, "effectively," once you factor in seat tube angle--keep in mind that Lemond uses slightly more relaxed seat tube angles, while many Italian builders have steeper seat tube angles. Also, part of the reason for the longer top tubes is that people are chosing to ride smaller bikes these days.
I'm going to pitch a bitch.MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 9:36 AM
Yes, but there are a suprising number of modern frame builders who keep fairly steep STA's (73Deg. or >)
i and
long TT lengths. I actually own one bike which has a 74.5 degree STA and a 56 cm TT length on a 56 Ct sized bike. I have to use an 8cm stem in order to get my saddle back where I like it.
Case in point- The new Ritchey's you referred to.MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 9:44 AM
Here are the specs on the Ritchey Road Logic:

54cm c-c seat tube.
56cm top tube.
73.5 head/seat angles
1" headtube 1 1/8' clamp frt derailler.
English thread bb
wheelbase is 99.5cm.
weight- 3.6 lbs(frame only)
Case in point- The new Ritchey's you referred to.gtx
Oct 29, 2002 9:51 AM
Jeez, I used to sell those. Maybe he's changed the numbers. I though the 54 was c-t and had a 55 tt.
Case in point- The new Ritchey's you referred to.gtx
Oct 29, 2002 9:56 AM
ok, found a geometry chart backing up my numbers, but I realize your point still stands...

I have too much time on my hands this morning. Can you tell I'm home from work?
The new Ritchey...Holy Cow, long TT and Steep! Weird.NMSpunout
Oct 29, 2002 9:58 AM
How about mine?Sintesi
Oct 29, 2002 8:49 AM
Tommasini Sintesi on sale at CC for $1500 full Ultegra. I think the frame goes fo $900. A steel steal.
Yes Tommasini geometry will, work and so..MXL02
Oct 29, 2002 8:51 AM
it is definitely in the running.
how about the Pegoretti Palosanto adv'd on the RBR homebill
Oct 29, 2002 9:08 AM
page for $900 with carbon fork? Pegoretti makes frames with, as far as I know, classic geometry -- neither long or short top tubes, but, y'know, you can make anything fit within about 2 cm with no real compromises. I have a Marcelo -- it's a great bike. The Palosanto is supposed to be a little heavier and maybe a tad less stiff.
Italian steel?Tig
Oct 29, 2002 3:37 PM
For touring, I'd go with the Tommasini. For something more sporty, I'd personally go with the Fondriest Status Carb (pictured).

However, there are so many wonderful steel frame builders in the US I'd have a tough time passing them up, and an even tougher time choosing who to go with.

A doctor riding buddy just received his custom Waterford with S&S couplings, and I am truly impressed. He had them paint the frame silver on the front side of the couplings, and blue on the back half. His wife's new Waterford has the same colors, but opposite ends of the bike. Very classy! The cases he bought are just within the size limit for luggage, so no more bike fees from the airlines!