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1991 Cinelli Argento Vivo mountain bike

12053 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  uphiller
Kinda odd attempt at Cinelli to cash in on the popularity of mountain bikes. These were built by Fisher and used a couple of Cinello logo parts such as the seat, bars and stem. Interesting circuit board seat tube graphics.

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My first shop job was at a place that was a Fisher dealer and sold a bunch of the Cinelli branded mtb's. The owner had a Cinelli "The Machine", all flat black, full Campy OR Record. Nice bike.
Like this.

Around 1992 when the Fisher company fell on the hard times that eventually led to the gentle embrace of Trek, a lot of stuff was moving out the back door for cash while the liquidators were coming in the front. Among those items was this Cinelli MTB which now lives in a friend's garage a few blocks from my house.


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It's good that Cinelli had the wisdom to leave the design and manufacturing of something that was well beyond their scope to experts.

In the early eighties, I was among the believers who waited for the likes of Campagnolo, Cinelli, De Rosa, and Pinarello to bring some of their imagination and style to the mountain bike table, with the only memorable results being a few show bikes and some Record OR components that were clearly designed by people that were too proud to accept the assistance of the Americans who had offered it because they just wanted to be able to put Campagnolo parts on high-end mountain bikes. For the whole story of their Campagnolo pilgrimage, ask Jim Merz or Mike Sinyard.
If Campy had come out with Record OR first and then developed it from there, it could have had viable parts. When they started with Euclid, it was a long journey to get to a competitive level!
I've got a customer with one of those flat black, columbus tubed Next Machines. Quite a stunning bike, repleat with the full Record OR gruppo. I've posted pictures of it in the past.
I own an Argento Vivo and ride it at least once a week. I think I prefer it to my mb1, but it's a very close thing.

There was also a red one, I think called an Ottomillia, which was the same frame as the argento vivo but a step up in component spec, positioned between the av and the next machine. I actually thought (and still do) that the next machine was kind of ugly; love the flat black and the campy spec, hate the e-stay. I bought the av as the extra $ for the otto wasn't happening for me at the time.

I've broken the frame twice. It was sent to Trek for repair under lifetime warranty, an obligation they graciously accepted having bought Fisher. After the last repair it came back repainted silver with Fisher stickers and a glue-on Trek headbadge.

I think I've broken and replaced every part on it except the brake arms (dia-compe 986, still, in mho, the best cantis ever made and just as good as v-brakes when properly set up) and seat post clamp (which says "Cinelli" on it, the only evidence of the bike's origin).
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My older brother had an Argento Vivo which he got used and replaced in 1994 when he got a Clark-Kent F14. We eventually took the Cinelli, hung some newer parts on it (V-Brakes) and gave it to my dad. The 140mm or so stem was too much, there's now a Kalloy 100mm. It's a no-fuss bike with a smooth-riding rear triangle, but the 1.25" fork up front is a little stiff. The frame is kind of interesting, partly lugged and partly welded. The way the dropouts hook into the frame looks cheapish, just a slot cut into the stays that dropouts got pushed into and welded to.
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