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italian bicycle manufacturers
By Christopher Pepe
(return to sports)

Today, Italians still craft some of the best bicycles in the world. If you ask bicycle experts they will tell you that there is only one place in the world where there is a happy meeting of resident professional racing classes, frame builders, raw material suppliers and component manufacturers. Trade sources indicate that there are approximately 30 Italian bicycle producers, and more than 60 bicycle component and accessories producers. Now that you're familiar with the evolution of the bicycle, here's brief listing of some of the most reputable and sought after Italian Bicycle manufacturers, including a brief history, a sample of their product, and contact information. Happy riding!

via Due Palazzi 39
35100 Padova - Italy
+39 (049) 617810 tel
+39 (049) 617810 fax
[email protected]
Ablocco makes high quality, made to measure triathlon/track/road frames in Padova. While Albocco primarily uses steele (18MCDV6) in the construction of their frames, they have also begun to use a cold drawn, zinc, magnesium aluminium (7003-T6). Ablocco bikes are fairly light, achieved through what they refer to as "an improved butt geometry (A.B.T. Advanced Butt Technology)," allowing for a reduction in the thickness of the tubes, and subsequently, a reduction in weight in the lower stress area. Ablocco has also made ergonomic advancements through their patented Measurement System which is based on the study of compression and the extension angles of lower and upper limbs under stress. Allowing for a final product that does not over stress the knees, hips and back.

via Ca' Alta, 54
36030 Cresole (VI) - Italy
+39 (0444) 985346 tel
+39 (0444) 985250 fax
[email protected]
Basso creates hand made road bikes that are custom made to your specifications. While the majority of their offerings are produced with aluminum frames, Basso also offers carbon and steel-framed bikes. Their best features include dual pivot brakes and a strengthened frame (around the drop outs and bottom bracket).

+39 (0733) 775090 fax
[email protected]
Creators of aluminum and steel road bikes.

via delle Battaglie 5
24047 Treviglio (BG) - Italy
+39 (039) 03633161 tel
+39 (039) 036341203 fax
[email protected]
Bianchi is the famous maker of the celeste-colored racing bicycles, and owns 10-15% of the Italian bicycle market. It is important to note that Bianchi is a legendary name, and has been at the forefront of the development of the bicycle since the late 1800's. As Bianchi tells it, one hundred years ago, the young sport and industry of cycling were growing rapidly, and one of the leading architects of the boom was a visionary man named Edoardo Bianchi. After founding his company in Milan in 1885, Bianchi engineered several breakthroughs in modern bicycle design, such as equal-size wheels with pneumatic rubber tires. Edoardo Bianchi knew that racing was his company's most valuable asset for research and development as well as publicity. As a testament to Bianchi's vision, more stage races, classics and World Championships have been won on Bianchi bicycles than any other brand. As Bianchi himself touts, "[t]he history of cycling is the history of Bianchi-every significant twist and turn in the development of the bicycle can be found in our 115-year-old archives. If we didn't invent something, we adapted it for the right reasons, then discarded it when we discovered a technology or technique that works better." Bianchi recently became part of a large Swedish conglomerate, Monark Stiga AB, and is mass-produced along with 1,500,000 other Cycleurope AB bicycles (including Pugeot). To this day, Bianchi still delivers reliable high-quality road and mountain bicycles, sculpted from Aluminum, Carbon or Titanium.

via della Chimica, 4
36100 Vicenza - Italy
+39 (0444) 225500 tel
+39 (0444) 225400 fax
[email protected]
While Campagnolo does not sell full framed bicycles, they are an integral part of any Italian bicycle purchase as they are the leading manufacturer of bicycle components. Campagnolo components date back to 1933, where they were first created in a small workshop in Vicenza by Campagnolo's founder, ex-racer Tullio Campagnolo. Among the many accomplishments of Campagnolo are the creation of a quick release mechanism for bicycle wheels and the early advent of the front and rear derailleur. Campagnolo parts are so highly regarded that Campagnolo's proprietary dimensions have, in several cases, become adopted as de facto international standards. When purchasing a bicycle, it is wise to check for Campagnolo components, primarily the drivetrain (i.e. crank, derailer, etc.) and rims.

via di Vittorio, 21
20090 Caleppio di Settala (MI) - Italy
+39 (02) 9589034 tel
+39 (02) 95898038 fax
[email protected]
Cino Cinelli, a professional rider, is credited with developing the first plastic saddle, the first leather toestraps, and the first quick release pedal. While Cinelli's production is 80% bicycle parts, they do have a strong focus on competition bicycles. Cinelli primarily manufactures a small line of high-end aluminum frames, and credits themselves with "inventing" the mountain bike in Italy.

via Dell' Artigiano 2
24040 Canonica d'Adda (BG) - Italy
+39 (02) 90988094 tel
Manufacturer of frames for racing bikes in carbon fiber or stainless steel.

Viale Brianza 9
20040 Cambiago (MI) - Italy
+39 (02) 95308082 tel
+39 (02) 95067379 fax
[email protected]
Ernesto Colnago, an amatuer ciclyst, began crafting frames in Cambiago in 1954. More recently, Colnago has enjoyed great succes as the technical sponsor of the Mapei cycling team. He produces frames of Columbus steel and carbon. Colnago argues that their bicycles have two special aspects: first, Colnago has one production line only, and therefore, the bicycles of top professionals and normal users are produced together, by the same personnel with identical criteria; second by sponsoring leading professional teams every year, Colnago subjects itself to public scrutiny at a competitive level.

via Bellini, 24
20095 Cusano Milanino (MI) - Italy
+39 (02) 6195171 tel
+39 (02) 6195188 fax
[email protected]
In the early fifties, an amateur cyclist named Ugo De Rosa opened his first bicycle shop and dedicated himself to the manufacture of racing bicycles. By the sixties, the De Rosa bike became a fixture in the professional peleton with the powerful Faema squad becoming the first team to ride De Rosas to the forefront. But not until 1973 when De Rosa became the official frame builder and mechanic for the Molteni team did true acclaim result. And in 1974 a great racer by the name of Francesco Moser wanted De Rosa bicycles for his Filotex team, and De Rosa complied. After expansion to Cusano Milanino in the eighties, Ugo De Rosa embarked on a new project to build bicycle frames from titanium tubes which would stand up to the rigors of professional use. Today, De Rosa introduces the "De Rosa Carbo System" rear drop out, a system made from carbon, stratified with aluminium and welded to the frame.

v.le Monza 122
20100 Milano (MI) - Italy
+39 (02) 2816188 tel
+39 (02) 2682954 fax
In 1954, former racing brothers, Paulo & Italo Guerciotti established a small workshop outside Milan. Under the guidance of Cino Cinelli, the Guerciotti brothers escalated quickly through the world of frame building. In 1980, another notable bicycle artisan Alberto Mondonico, became a partner & production manager. Guerciotti continues to produce high-end frames from Columbus steel.

via Delle Industrie 6/8
20060 Basiano (MI) - Italy
+39 (02) 950831 tel
+39 (02) 95083300 fax
[email protected]
The maker of Coppi, F.lli Masciaghi Bicycles, was started in 1967 in a garage. Some thirty years later, Maschiaghi has grown into a state-of-the-art facility outside Milan. As recently as 1997, they sold in excess of $45 million worth of bicycles. In 1990, Masciaghi teamed up with Giovanni Pellizzoli to develop the Fausto Coppi line of frames. They worked closely with the makers of Columbus bike tubing to develop both Steel and Aluminum tubes for their high performance bicycles.

Moser Cicli
via della Rupe, 26
38017 Mezzolombardo (TN) - Italy
+39 (0461) 604149 tel
+39 (0461) 603019 fax
Francesco Moser, a great Italian bicycle champion, began making bicycles in his small workshop in Trento. While Moser does not "craft" the bicycles himself, he oversees his craftsmen as they produce between two and three thousand frames a year. Moser's frames are known for fillet braze construction using silver solder. (Silver is low temperature brazing and the tubing never weakens because of heat). After brazing ,the frame is hand filed to smooth perfection. The frame is carefully aligned on a digital alignment table several times during production, ensuring a straight frame. The frame's smooth lines are complimented by a unicrown fork and Moser's unique integrated seatpost. The seatpost is attached by an expander bolt similiar to the stem, thus eliminating the need for a clamp and external bolt, creating a much cleaner overall look.

Olmo Biciclette
via Aurelia, 22
17015 Celle Ligure (SV) - Italy
+39 (019) 990157/8/9 tel
+39 (019) 990335 fax
[email protected]
Olmo was founded by Giuseppe Olmo, a great road racer in the 1930s. After his racing career, Giuseppe embarked on building the bicycle business that bears his name. To this day Olmo and his family build several thousand frames a year with quality and efficiency.

Pinarello Cicli
viale della Repubblica, 12
31050 Villorba (TV) - Italy
+39 (0422) 420877 tel
+39 (04220 421816 fax
[email protected]
High-end (mostly) racing bicycles.

Scapin Bike
via Asiago, 1
31030 Castello di Godego (TV) - Italy
+39 (0423) 760169 tel
+39 (0423) 760164 fax
[email protected]
For the past 42 years, Scapin has built bicycles by hand. They pride themsleves in their engineering software, CICLOCAD, enabling them to best optimize the sections, the diameters and the reinforcements of their tubes - achieved in strict collaboration with COLUMBUS steel. Each one of their frames is accompanied along its production cycle by two schemes produced from their information system; one defining the geometry, the other indicating the quotes for setting up the machines during the manufacturing. The soldering is done by hand and manually refinished. All of their frames are internally varnished, observing strict criteria in the safeguard of the environment. The first in the world to introduce a special anti-corrosion treatment called A.W.P., a protective treatment whose aim is to make the stainless steel frames resistant with time to corrosion and to rust, externally and internally. A.W.P. (All Weather Proof) is in reality a triple process composed of zinc-nickel plating, phosphoric treatment and finally of a "black electrophoresis".

via San Martino 1/A
48020 Sant'Agata sul Santerno (RA) - Italy
+39 (0545) 45162 tel
[email protected]
In the 60's, Oliviero Gallegati worked as a mechanic for the Giro d'Italia. Seeing a need to establish standards for Giro mechanics, he established the "Mechanic's Society"--(SOcieta' MEChanica), thus creating the acronym for SOMEC frames. A rarity in Italy, as he did not name his frames after himself as most other Italian framebuilders do, but after his society. Today, every SOMEC frame is made in Lugo, and is crafted from steel or aluminum. SOMEC still makes less frames in a year than a mass producer makes in an hour. (note: When you see the SOMEC logo, do not be confused with Ferrari. As the story goes, back in ancient history when Oliviero and Enzo Ferrari both wanted to show the Cavallino on their product, they came to an agreement as fellow "Romagnesi": Ferrari would put the tail up, SOMEC the tail down. They have never argued from that day).

via Gora e Barbatole 276
51100 Pistoia (PT) - Italy
+39 (0573) 477222
+39 (0573) 477111
[email protected]
Viner makes road bike and mountain bike frames, primarily out of Columbus Steel. They are a solid, less pricey alternative to some of the better-known Italian brands.


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