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The Beauty Of Italian Racing Bicycles - Carbon Fibre Artistry

Updated on May 20, 2012
CyclingFitness profile image

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer, he ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

Italian Carbon Bike Exotica at the Giro D'Italia

Climbing the Mountains of Italy in the Giro D'Italia aboard a beautiful Guerciotti racing bicycle.
Climbing the Mountains of Italy in the Giro D'Italia aboard a beautiful Guerciotti racing bicycle. | Source

The Italians are known for their style

What is it about Italians and style- they just ooze style. Whether its an Armani suit, a Gucci Handbag. Italian style is about beauty although effectively every Italian is a book that is judged by it's cover outside cover

Many cyclists pine for a beautiful Italian Bike and for good reason- their pure visual appearance.

This article looks at Carbon Bike Exotica and Bling from Italy's established manufacturers and a number that have gained recent attention thanks to their carbon fibre Italian artistry and flare.

Beauty, artistry and flare from the eyes of Giovanni Pinarello

Founded back in 1952 by former Italian bicycle racer Giovanni Pinarello as a result of a forced move away from cycle racing that paid his way for an entry into cycyle manufacturing. The Pinarello name is synonimous with Italian cycling and is a marque which almost every cyclist wants to own at least one frame from in their cycling lifetime.

The beauty in the current carbon fibre framset range from Pinarello are the flowing curves and bends which have been worked into carbon fibre- particularly the Onda foks and seat stays which have a marmite effect (you love it or simply hate it) amongst cyclists.

Pinarello Dogma road bicycle

The beautiful wavey lines of the Pinarello Dogma
The beautiful wavey lines of the Pinarello Dogma | Source

Team Sky and Pinarello

Showing that Italian bikes are as much style as they are substance. Pinarello sponsor Team Sky Procycling and their bikes are used at the highest level of the sport and the hardest conditions.

Pinarello provide Team Sky with road bikes such as their Kobh and Dogma and their amazing looking Graal Time Trial Frameset as riden by Bradley Wiggins below.

Pinarello Graal- Beauty in the form of a Time Trial Bike

Bradley Wiggins aboard a Pinarello Graal.
Bradley Wiggins aboard a Pinarello Graal. | Source

The Colnago C40- produced from 1994 onwards

An early example of Italian Carbon Bike Porn- the 1994 Colnago C40.
An early example of Italian Carbon Bike Porn- the 1994 Colnago C40. | Source

Colnago- Italian beauty in bike form

Colnago started experimenting with carbon fibre in the early 1980s although it took them into the 1990s to really produce commercially successful carbon fibre frames. Their flagship C-40 model in 1994 marked the company's 40th year. Colnago's initial efforts in carbon fibre used carbon main tubing while using a traditional 'lugged' framebuilding technique.

The Colnago C-35 pictured below was one of the first road frames sculpted from carbon fibre and it's flowing lines are an early example of carbon fibre bike bling yet with function in mind.

Despite much of the worlds carbon fibre frame production moving outwards to the Far East. Colnago's C59, EPQ and Master framesets are still produced in full in Italy.

A 1989 Colnago C35- Early Carbon Fibre Bike Genius

A retro Carbon Colnago C35
A retro Carbon Colnago C35 | Source

Colnago- Italian Carbon at it's best- Tricolore C59

A fantastic and rare Colnago C59 in Italian Tricolore colours and made in Italy
A fantastic and rare Colnago C59 in Italian Tricolore colours and made in Italy | Source

Kuota. Italian Design, Taiwanese Built

Taiwanese efficient production coupled with Italian Styling for consumer value
Taiwanese efficient production coupled with Italian Styling for consumer value | Source

Italian Styling with Taiwanese production- Kuota

If Italy has the style, right now Taiwan is the home of high quality mass production. While many people consider many Asian production sites to be simply sweat shops- nothing can be further from the truth when it comes to carbon fibre production. Using Taiwan as a production base allows for better value for money for the customer however many consider it takes away the true Italian soul of a bike.

One of the Itallian bike brands which utilises this approach is Kuota. A modern success story in carbon bike production

Kuota at the Giro D'Italia with Team AG2R La Mondiale

Team AG2R La Mondiale Riding Kuota bikes at the Giro D'Italia
Team AG2R La Mondiale Riding Kuota bikes at the Giro D'Italia | Source

Guerciotti Khayber HM

The late Noughties saw the emergence of the Integrated Seat Post (ISP) Frameset which negated the need for a separate seatpost
The late Noughties saw the emergence of the Integrated Seat Post (ISP) Frameset which negated the need for a separate seatpost | Source

Guerciotti Bikes- Italian carbon bike porn- especially for cyclo cross

"The Limit is The Sky"

is the brand statement for Guerciotti. A company started by brothers Paulo and Italo Guerciotti back in 1964. the Guerciotti name is synonymous with both road and cyclo cross bicycles.

Guerciotti has always made some fantastic carbon road bikes. However they have also stayed true to their cyclocross heritage and make some breathtaking carbon bike porn for cyclocross riders like their latest guise- the Lembeek (below)

Italian Cyclocross Bike Exotica- Guerciotti Lembeek Cross

The Guerciotti Lembeek Cross bike. Carbon mastery with mud, sweat and glory in mind.
The Guerciotti Lembeek Cross bike. Carbon mastery with mud, sweat and glory in mind. | Source

More Italian Carbon Fibre for purists- De Rosa

Ugo De Rosa's brand only started using carbon fibre back in 2000 however make some very sexy looking carbon frames with their King 3 RS being their top model.

De Rosa King 3 RS

More Italian bike porn- although this De Rosa King 3 RS resides in Japan
More Italian bike porn- although this De Rosa King 3 RS resides in Japan | Source

A little more Italian Carbon Bike bling to take your fancy

Below are a number of other Italian cycle manufacturers to look out for in the pro peloton or on your local chaingang.

Bianchi- another historic Italian racing bike manufacturer

Bianchi Carbon 928
Bianchi Carbon 928 | Source

And if the author had all the money in the world to spend on an Italian Carbon Fibre bike- an MCipollini RB1000

The beaitiful flowing lines of Mario Cipollini's MCipollini RB1000- Pure Italian Bike Artistry
The beaitiful flowing lines of Mario Cipollini's MCipollini RB1000- Pure Italian Bike Artistry | Source
Form meets function- imagine the force that these seatstays have the capacity to control. Pure italian carbon class. And true bike bling!
Form meets function- imagine the force that these seatstays have the capacity to control. Pure italian carbon class. And true bike bling! | Source

Please feel free to leave comments

Which Italian bike do you think is truly the most beautiful?

Happy cycling

CyclingFitness

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    • CyclingFitness profile imageAUTHOR

      Liam Hallam 

      6 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks Mazio- Orbea's are very visually appealing bikes- particularly their Orca model. Personally if money was no opject i'd have an MCipollini

    • MazioCreate profile image

      MazioCreate 

      6 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

      Ah, the pure beauty of these bikes! This walk through the bike park has been great. My heart lies with the Basque Orbeas but I can fully drool over any other bike that has the style of some you mention. Love those bikes!

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