On the Marinoni Steel Subcult Road to Excellence

Curtis' striking repainted 1988 Marinoni Special.
All photos courtesy by Curtis Coleman.

Today, I had another wonderful ride with my 1987 Marinoni and thought about the gratifying email I received last week. It's a type of email that makes one stop and realize that what you're doing is... worthwhile. Curtis Coleman, from Los Angeles, did that and sent me the results of his beautifully striking re-painted 1988 Marinoni Special.

He was inspired by my, I term it - the 'M' restoration experience. An experience, I thankfully decided to take on. At one point in time, I never knew if I would ride it again. You see, I stopped riding for a period of ten years - as I 'changed gears' and life took me on a different road. The bike wasn't even in the equation, in fact, the frame was a permanent fixture - unused, hanging in my closet. A shame. Fast forward to 2007 and my Marinoni returned to the roads and in 2011 my restoration project came to fruition.

About a year and a half ago, Dave Yee's Marinoni project was realized to me and eagerly posted here. This past January, Barry from Vancouver sent word to me that he received his repainted 1988 Marinoni back from Cycles Marinoni and happy to begin his restoration. I hope to ride with him and have photos of his 'M' experience for a future post.

Let's get back to Curtis and his Marinoni and this except from the email he sent me...


Thank you for inspiring me to contact Cycles Marinoni about getting my 1988 Marinoni Special repainted.  Attached are before and after pictures.  I don't have the "purebred" groupset you have on yours, mine is more of a mongrel.  But she still rides as sweet as the day I first built her up back in 1988 and looks brand new.

The blue/white/yellow was the original paint job, the red/white/blue was the repaint.  Great deal - $200 plus shipping. And they replaced a rusted top tube cable guide for $5 and respaced the rear dropouts to 130 mm and fixed a small dent in the top tube for free.

Great company making great bikes and providing great customer service.

I asked Curtis about his color choice...

I'm glad to have made your day!  I think I know exactly how you felt seeing your repainted frame, as I probably had the exact same reaction when I opened the box and tore off the bubble wrap.  It was like getting a brand new bicycle, but one that you knew would fit you and ride like a dream.  With regard to the colors, I used their road bike color design tool on the website to preview various colors.  I knew I wanted red this time and my experience with white paint around the bottom bracket led me to go with the red there rather than the white (it always gets dirty and its hard to clean down there) and the final decision was whether to go with black letters or blue letters.  Since I'm in the USA I decided to go with the blue.

Then, I mentioned about the ever present Marinoni steel subculture and that riders are bringing them back to it's rightful place. His reply...

I agree that Marinoni riders are like a steel frame subcult--we need to keep the light burning for well built steel frames and point out that they can last a lifetime (or more) if cared for.

Yet again, this is another shining example of the love and resurgence of Marinoni steel frames brought back to a new life from their owners. If I can help inspired more folks out there to do the same, I'm more than happy to support our ever increasing steel sub cult!

Thanks Curtis!

His original Marinoni