Cinelli 66-44 Campione del Mondo handlebars

There are the bars that are currently on my Giant track bike.
Although these are not really dedicated for track events, they do the job. Right size, right shape. Besides the fact that you cannot call these bars real track bars, there are also grooves for brake / shift cables. And these 2 things make these bars a bit unsuitable for this Pista Vintage project. But when the grooves are filled up with dedicated rubber liners and the bars are wrapped with handlebar tape, it looks and feels like, no is a vintage Cinelli No. 66 handlebars.
I've used Cinelli 66-44 bars on my road bikes for years. Before "anatomical" handlebars came into fashion, these were my only option.
When I started cycling in the late 70's, there were just a few possibilities. You either rode with Cinelli or with 3ttt bars and stems. And only poor guys and hobby riders had cheap (Asian?) stuff with, for example, SR. I never liked the feel of my SR bars (my first Batavus road bike came with these), but I could live with 3ttt. Image wise and quality wise, Cinelli was number one. It looked better and you felt better with Cinelli.
Besides choice of brands and sizes, you could also choose a specific shape or bend. You either rode with "road" or "half road - half track". The first one was a Cinelli no. 66, the other one a Nr. 65. And of course, there were 3T equivalents. I've used the 65's for a while, but although I had blue/yellow spots on the inside of my lower arms, I preferred using the 66's.
In the years after, other brands like ITM were coming up, followed by Profile, Easton, Ritchey, Deda and all the branded and non-branded stuff.
One thing is for sure: a vintage Italian bike needs Cinelli stem and handlebars. I'm not sure if I will stick to this No. 66-44 or will look for a No. 65 or real track handlebars. Probably I will start with the stuff I already have and when there is a good opportunity, I will try another one as well.

No comments: