It's probably healthy for everyone to lust after a few unattainable things. For me, one of those things is the Cinelli SC. Some will argue that DeRosa, Masi or Colnago were also top builders, but for me Cinelli was "THE" Italian racing bike. The Cinellis were not show bikes with exquisite detailing. The finish on a Cinelli is okay-no better than is necessary to get the job done. The job, in this case, is to go as fast as possible on a human powered machine. I've heard the SC described as a weapon, an attack weapon. If it is a weapon, it isn't something crude like a gun or knife; it is more like a samurai sword honed to a razor edge. A simply wonderful machine. In 1978 Cino retired and sold the company to the Columbus tubing company. They still manufacture bicycles with the Cinelli name on them, but they aren't "real" Cinellis. They have become souless machines.
This particular bike hangs from the ceiling of Rydjor Bikes, my local bike shop. It was originally imported and built up by Spence Wolf at the legendary Cupertino Bike Shop. When new, this was somebody else's dream bike. It has all the bells and whistles. Not only does it have the Cinelli Unicantor seat and Cinelli fenders, it has the industries first clipless pedals, the M71 "death pedals"; so called because of the difficulty of disengaging one's feet from them in a panic situation. It also has Cinelli Bivalent hubs, a feature which allowed the front and rear wheels to be interchangeable. The rear derailleur remains attached to the frame when the rear wheel is removed. Yet another feature of this bicycle is a custom Pino Maroni titanium bottom bracket, made at a time when titanium was an extremely exotic material. All the bells and whistles, and obviously ridden a lot and well cared for. Somebody else loved this bike.
I fell in love with it years ago. It is a perfect fit and rides like a dream - of course I only had a chance to ride it around the block one time. Whenever I came into the shop I'd pause, look up at it and ask Dan when he was going to sell it to me - a kind of joke. He never sold one of his collection. Then one day he said, "I'll sell it to you, because I know you'll ride it instead of hanging it on the wall." He said that he wouldn't sell it to me until he had found a replacement Cinelli for it in the collection. A few months went by, and then he died suddenly. At the time a damned bicycle didn't seem very important. As time moved on, I was afraid the collection would be sold and I'd lose the Cinelli. It now seems the collection is more or less permanent. I won't ever own the Ulwelling Cinelli, but I can still stop by the shop anytime I need a Cinelli fix or to remember Dan.