The Recyclist’s bikey-nose sniffed out this beautiful steel Cinelli stem in a dusty Lambton garage – and on a tipoff.
Apparently Cinelli originally coloured their brass badges with fired glass enamelling ( cloisonne ), then later stem badges such as this ( and the head badges ) were painted, probably because of cost, again later finally moving to aluminium head badges, decals, simple engraving etc. in more modern times.
It is a miniature of the early Cinelli head badge “knight and shield” crest.
Current Cinelli products use the newer familiar graphic “winged C” motif.
This long reach stem was connected to some Cinelli steel drop bars ( possibly Giro d’Italia model ) though these aren’t in useable condition having rusted through in the drops area. I’m guessing 1950s to 1960s, but can’t be sure.
I think this is the 65 degree track stem – they also made a 73deg road stem and a drooping 58deg more extreme track version as well. Condition is not great and the stem bolt is somewhat rounded off – nevertheless, these are highly collectable items.
It now graces my ’56 Speedwell Popular, a somewhat mundane (but faithful) steed for such a regal stem. At least the vintage is about right !
I fitted a steel Kusuki ‘Win’ Randonneur bar, as its shape and finish are about the best match I have for this stem.
A set of curly rams-horn style steel drop bars would look great – if I can find some !
The laid back angles of this bike mean that the stem drop is not so pronounced, and the rando bars give back a little height.
In spite of ( or partly because of ) its worn paint condition and less than perfect chrome, it is still a thing of beauty to behold …