The Wheels Are Turning

Now for something completely different.

To ponder design ideas for this week’s column, I went out cycling and immediately thought about the role that design plays in cycling. Granted this is not abode design, but my bike is a constant fixture in my home office, a sort of design sculpture for a cycling addict like myself.


The bike in question is a Cinelli Pro Estrada decked out with all the carbon bits & pieces and Shimano Dura Ace gruppo. Cinelli, a small Italian manufacturer based just outside of Milan, has the distinction of being included in the Dictionary of Italian Design (Rizzoli, 1999). The history of the company traces back to 1948 when professional racer Cino Cinelli decided to make use of his vast racing experience. The interesting thing about Cinelli is that they have been a huge contributor to the world of cycling design, developing the modern handlebar, the first saddle with a plastic frame and the first quick release pedals.

I chose my Cinelli because it was my ride when I used to race for a Toronto team and I’ve always admired the legacy surrounding the classic Italian names. I try to get out on my bike every weekend joining about 100 riders in a ride known as the Donut Run, riding a route out to Aurora, covering a distance of approximately 120 km. I’m a bit of a loner out there with only one other rider I know of that rides a Cinelli. By far, the most popular ride in the run is Cervelo, a great Canadian manufacturer that is now a world leader in cycling design and technology. They really have a reputation as being an innovative cycling manufacturer, spending countless hours wind-tunnel testing frame designs and now enjoy the distinction of having a team in the Tour De France.

If you’ve been thinking about riding, sit down and catch a stage of the Tour, then get down to a good bike shop and I’ll see you out on the donut run!

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