Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Ciöcc Restoration Project, Part 1

There was always something unknown about Ciöcc bicycles back in Iowa in the '80s. There would always be a few on RAGBRAI. Beautiful bikes that nobody knew anything about, starting with how to pronounce the name. I mean, c'mon... and umlaut in an Italian word? And finishing with two 'C's'? I heard all types of pronunciations, just that NONE of them were right!

As to the meaning, even HE isn't too willing to give it up. Check online and you'll see explanations that it is local dialect for "poker-faced", "drunkard", "gambler" and other variations. There's even a story that Ciöcc bikes were birthed over a card game among Giovanni, Colnago (the clubs), De Rosa (the hearts) and Pinarello (the spades for some reason). I've even read that Giovanni is now dead and that his sons run the business (not true of course). Oh well, perhaps the imagination of the internet.

I was lucky enough to mention this to Gian Carlo, one of my ex team mechanics. GCB happens to be good friends with Ciöcc himself and made a call to him one day while we had lunch in Milan. An hour later and I was at his shop, drooling over an old frame from an ex amateur named Musone. It had to be mine. Sure, it was a bit rusty and needed refinishing, but the price was right and the old maestro was just as interested in seeing it brought back to life.

As for the man himself, much like Irio Tommasini - another maestro I've been lucky to get to know - Giovanni is immensely proud of the work he has done over the years. He took me to his desk and we spent an hour going through his old photos and designs. He explained to me all the innovations he made through the years, and the countless victories achieved on his frames, including that of my good friend Claudio Corti. Claudio won his 1977 U23 World Championship aboard a Ciöcc in San Cristobal, Venezuela. Those who remember seeing Ciöcc frames from the 80's will remember that the San Cristobal was the name on most of the imported models. Soon, I'll finally have my own Ciöcc... a 1973 model of a successful amateur racer from Milan... Musone! Now if I can just finish my search for the perfect Nuovo Record group...


  1. Nice! Looks like he uses a good American "Smith's" torch, too!

  2. Wow, this is so pure, beautiful. Makes me wanna travel to Italy and buy a bike! I wish you good luck with the restauration and am looking forward towards the result!

  3. This is great thanks for sharing. Guess I have been pronouncing the name of my bike wrong for the past 21 years...... Oh well...


  4. Nice video. Check out my restoration on my Concorde at

  5. rory, that is sweet. wow. :) thanks for sharing that.

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