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The People, The Products, The Passion
by Guido P. Rubino
There are bicycles. And then there are Italian bicycles. As with high fashion or sports cars, when the world speaks of racing bicycles the conversation soon turns to Italy. Seasoned cyclists know that an Italian bicycle is more intimately yours, a more personal possession, than a bicycle of other origin. Italian bicycles are built to race with passion, and to win.
Italian Racing Bicycles traces the rich history of 40 landmark brands intimately connected with racing. Not surprisingly, the brands have deep roots, some tracing their lineage back more than 100 years to the early days of the velocipede. They also share a hunger for advanced technology, pushing engineering to new heights with exotic metal alloys, elaborate weaves of expensive carbon fiber, and aerodynamic studies that help their bikes and riders cheat the wind for greater speed.
Beyond these commonalities, though, the stories diverge. The restless inquisitiveness of Ernesto Colnago could not be more different from the methodical calm of Ugo De Rosa, for example, and yet these two iconic frame builders contributed immeasurably to the racing victories of the great Eddy Merckx. The passion for experimentation of Pinarello, the brazen creativity of Cinelli, the barrier-bursting hour machine of Moser - in search of racing victories, the volcanic inspiration of Italian artisans has repeatedly reshaped the dynamics of cycling.
Melding painstaking historical research with personal visits to each artist's workshop, author Guido P. Rubino has unearthed the stories, the methods, the dreams, and the personalities of these cycling firms, large and small, that have contributed so fundamentally to the glory of the sport.
40 Historic Brands
3TTT, Alan, Ambrosio, Atala, Bianchi, Bottecchia, Campagnolo, Casati, Cinelli, Colnago, Columbus, Daccordi, Dedacciai, De Rosa, Ganna, Gios, Gipiemme, Guerciotti, Legnano, Masi, Miche, Milani, Modolo, Moser, Olmo, Olympia, Passoni, Pegoretti, Pinarello, Rossin, Scapin, Selle Italia, Selle Royal, Fi'zi:k, Selle San Marco, Somec, Tommasini, Torpado, Universal, Viner, and Wilier Triestina