The Beauty Of Italian Racing Bicycles - Carbon Fibre Artistry
Italian Carbon Bike Exotica at the Giro D'Italia
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
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
The Colnago C40- produced from 1994 onwards
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
Colnago- Italian Carbon at it's best- Tricolore C59
Kuota. Italian Design, Taiwanese Built
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
Guerciotti Khayber HM
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
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
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
And if the author had all the money in the world to spend on an Italian Carbon Fibre bike- an MCipollini RB1000
Please feel free to leave comments
Which Italian bike do you think is truly the most beautiful?