In Italy bicycles are a real institution: bicycle brands are historical, companies were in fact founded many years ago and have followed the evolution of tastes and technological innovations. Light, innovative, colorful, ready to tackle any road: these are the Made in Italy two wheels, produced in the historic companies of the Peninsula.
The passion for cycling in Italy has a long history that began with the first cycling races in 1869 and was established in 1885 with the birth of Bianchi in Milan, still one of the most famous Italian manufacturers in the world. It goes without saying that the epic deeds of characters like Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali on the roads of the Giro d’Italia have contributed greatly to the birth of a real bike industry that still sees Italy as a protagonist.
In addition to the aforementioned Bianchi, Legnano, Cinelli, Colnago, Pinarello, Olmo and De Rosa are some of the great Italian producers who have become famous all over the world since the end of the twentieth century for their quality craftsmanship made of design, attention to detail and innovation. The bikes built in those years are still very popular vintage pieces, but the brands that have come down to the present day, as always with mixed fortunes when it comes to the business world, still represent the best of mechanical technology.
Here are the most famous Italian bicycle brands in the world.
Founded in Saccolongo, in the province of Padua, in 1972 by Lodovico Falconi, Ivaldo Friso and Antonio Boscolo, Alan is one of the Italian bike companies that deals with the construction of frames for racing bicycles. The company was born to take advantage of the original project by Eng. Falconi on the use of aluminum alloy for the construction of bicycle frames. In 1976 Alan made the world’s first carbon fiber frame. Over time, its bicycles have won 31 world titles, in cyclocross, on the road, and on the track, won by professional and amateur athletes.
A historic company of customized bikes, founded in Turin (Mirafiori area) in 1910 by Lorenzo Boeris. After the end of World War II, the company patented several innovative cycling components including the “chain derailment gearbox for bicycles” and the “self-centering flash lock”; in 1959 the production of racing bicycles began. Today Boeris produces frames for mountain bikes and racing cycles and is active in the production of customized bicycles, based on the structural and physical needs of the user.
This Italian company from Piove di Sacco, in the province of Padua, specializes in the design, construction, and sale of bicycles. The brand was founded in Milan in 1893 by Carlo Borghi, while in the late 1930s Olympia formed a cycling team that was successful in the 1940 Giro d’Italia. In the early 1960s, the family Fontana acquired the business, who moved its production to Veneto. The symbolic bicycle of the production is the Graziella, a small and very famous folding bicycle.
Among the brands of racing bikes, this Italian company stands out, founded by Ernesto Colnago in 1954, starting from a small artisan workshop first repairing bikes and then manufacturing frames. Colnago bicycles have distinguished themselves in national and international competitions. After having launched the Colnago Master frames in 1983, in 1986 it started a collaboration with Ferrari, which in 1987 allowed the presentation of the Concept frames: tubes and joints in carbon fiber, hydraulic brakes, three-spoke wheels designed by Enzo Ferrari himself, and gearbox incorporated in the crown.
Bicycles have been produced in the company founded in San Miniato by Giuseppe Daccordi and Armido Simoncini since 1937. In 1979, Giuseppe’s son Luigi Daccordi takes over and revolutionizes the company by creating the Daccordi brand and starting to supply racing bikes to various professional teams. In 1991 Daccordi patented the Multidimensional movement, which involves welding the vertical tube to ensure greater rigidity and release.
In 2018, a commemorative frame for the company called “80 + 1” was presented, a new product designed for those traveling by their own racing bike: the Flexus model, a carbon bike that can unscrew and fit in a small box.
Manufacturer of mopeds, bicycles, tricycles, and folding scooters, suitable to be transported on cars, boats, and aircraft as auxiliary vehicles. The company was founded in Vizzini in the 1970s by Rosario Di Blasi da Francofonte, a former pilot of the Italian Air Force. Since the 2000s, the company has been producing folding tricycles for adults, both pedal and electric, intended for people with small mobility problems.
F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi
F.I.V. is the acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Velocipedi, known simply as Bianchi. The oldest still existing bicycle factory in the world was founded in Milan in 1885 by Edoardo Bianchi. Today, only part of the design and final production remains in the Italian factory in Treviglio: that relating to professional frames, called Reparto Corse. There is also a showroom and a workshop specializing in the maintenance and restoration of old Bianchi bicycles. The brand is recognized all over the world for the historic production of Italian racing bikes, which were used by great champions of the past, starting with Giovanni Gerbi, Giuseppe Olmo, Costante Girardengo, Fausto Coppi, Gianni Bugno, Ivan Gotti, Stefano Garzelli and Marco Pantani. Today they produce bicycles for walking and racing, but also for mountain bikes, BMX, and e-bikes (pedal-assisted).
An Italian company specializing in the production of bicycles, founded by the racer Giuseppe Olmo in 1939 in Celle Ligure (in the province of Savona). Today the Olmo Group brings together some companies in the flexible polyurethane foam sector. Each Italian bicycle signed by Olmo is synonymous with great quality.
An Italian bicycle manufacturer founded in 1906 in Bassano del Grappa by Pietro Dal Molin. The name Wilier is the acronym for “W free and redeemed Italy”. Later the adjective Triestina was added to the name. After a serious crisis in the 1970s, the house-made a comeback in professional cycling as well, establishing itself as one of the best Italian bicycle brands. The coppery color taken up thanks to a particular chrome plating process has become the symbol of this company. The company produces monocoque carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel frames, with the Superleggera model inspired by the classic bicycles of the past.
Mario Schiano founded this company in Frattaminore (near Naples) in 1923. After three generations, the love for two wheels has remained unchanged: they continue to think, design, and manufacture bicycles in the name of quality. Vintage collections, but also innovative with carbon fiber racing bikes, light and snappy. The children’s line is particularly popular.
Treviso-based company founded in 1952 that supplies racing bikes to many of the most important teams and teams in the world. Pinarello was born from the intuition of a man and his irreducible passion for running. Known as a cyclist for having won the Maglia Nera at the Giro d ‘Italia, the fame of his frames transcends the limits of the athlete Giovanni Pinarello, making his name synonymous with victory, an antonomastic example of Maglia Rosa and Maglia Gialla. Pinarello racing bicycles are suitable for both beginners and experts, given the simplicity and professionalism that characterizes the different models. Durable bikes equipped with excellent tires, brakes, and gears.
In 1907, the Wolsit Officine Legnanesi Automobili factory was born in Legnano, initially producing cars and spare parts for motor vehicles. In 1915, also due to the world conflict, the company began to undergo the first moments of crisis but it was saved by Emilio Bozzi, an entrepreneur with a passion for bicycles, who decided to buy the factory allowing it to survive various dark moments in Italian history (and beyond). The Legnano brand specializes in the production of light and resistant racing bicycles obviously accompanied by gearboxes and other latest-generation mechanical parts, which allow cyclists to find all the different fundamental aspects of this bicycle brand.
This bicycle brand has an important history behind it, since it was born in 1907 and two years later became famous thanks to the victory of the First Giro d’Italia, which took place in 1909. Thanks to this fact the Atala brand, thanks also to the merger with the Ceriz brand produced by Cesare Rizzato, it became better known throughout Italy and the first exports of bicycles outside the national territory also began. The company has been operating in the city of Monza since 2011, being part of the Accelli Group, which deals with making accessories for bicycles always based on the quality of the different pieces and making sure that they are able to distinguish themselves by being of the highest quality. For over a century, the brand has always paid attention to the quality of the materials that made up the various bicycles, thus making sure that their lightness and strength settle at the highest levels.