If you wanted to find the American who made the most profound impact on the ride of steel road bikes in the last 30 years, it would be hard to find a person more influential than Mark DiNucci. As an engineer for Specialized Bicycle Components, he was instrumental in creating the steel Allez which went on to be one of the most coveted racing bikes in the 1980s and ’90s. He not only designed the bike itself, he was responsible for the tubing spec’d for that bike and the lugs. As a builder in the 1980s, even before he joined Specialized, he had been sourcing tubing and lugs from Japan while most of his contemporaries were still working with European product for the simple reason that the Japanese products were better made.
It was DiNucci’s quest for quality that led to the creation of Specialized’s famed S-Works division through which they designate the very best products they make. During his time there, he was responsible for everything from road bikes to tires to suspension designs. Bikes he designed have won everything from the Mountain Bike World Championships to stages of the Tour de France. At a time when most American brands struggled to gain recognition overseas, DiNucci’s work was recognized as exemplary.
Since his departure from Specialized, DiNucci has worked for the aluminum producer SAPA, and contracted his CAD skills out to a variety of clients.
A few years ago he set aside a summer to take what one industry source believes will be one of the final runs at a steel tube set that takes into account the best metallurgy, the best production practices and the best engineering available. It was 2014’s answer to the work he did to create the Allez back in the 1980s. Most of the bigger manufacturers of tubing were scaling back what they offered, if not eliminating it outright, as True Temper did, so DiNucci was swimming upstream.
The tubeset and matching lugs that emerged from his work were used to produce 74 framesets for Specialized, built by the legendary Japanese manufacturer Toyo. Since then, the only builder on the planet working with that tubeset is Mark DiNucci. In that DiNucci generated all the CAD files for the tube diameters, wall thicknesses, butt lengths, heat treating, as well as all the lugs and braze-ons, when he brazes those components together in a frame, it represents the most completely controlled vision of a steel frame any one builder has ever had the opportunity to create.
As a builder, these days, he is known for his deliberate output and uncompromising standards. And his skill set is so unparalleled he has won Best in Show at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, as well as an honorable mention for Best in Show, plus a host of awards for Best Lugged Construction.
To learn more about Mark DiNucci’s work, visit dinuccicycles.com