- The tricked-out GrigioCarbonio folding carbon monocoque bike weighs 7.2 kilos (15.9 pounds). Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- When folded, the Essegi Compositi GrigioCarbonio folding bike doesn’t take up much space. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- To close the two carbon hinges on the GrigioCarbonio folding bike, you twist a big carbon handle to tighten the round, ribbed carbon securing plate. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Essegi Compositi builds every piece of the GrigioCarbonio folding bike in-house as a carbon monocoque. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- This rack holds the battery for the electric bike option of the GrigioCarbonio folding bike; a new one in the works will house the battery inside the seatpost. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Even the seatpost clamp pieces are carbon fiber on the GrigioCarbonio folding bike. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Darren Crisp with an integrated headset/BB30 titanium road bike he built that Dario Pegoretti painted in his inimitable style. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- This Crisp titanium bike was ridden by an Italian who became the first woman to complete the Iditarod Invitational bike race in Alaska on a singlespeed. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Tuscany-based framebuilder Darren Crisp with one of his titanium singlespeed creations. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- This Days Done frame by Dario Pegoretti was at Interbike but won’t be seen at any Italian bike shows. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Ratio carbon cyclocross brakes fit road pads and integrate a cable-tension barrel adjuster. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Ratio MC2 road frame’s top tube tapers to the seatstays for a gentler ride that is enhanced by also using a Ratio handlebar and seatpost. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- No need to tape that inflator to an XC race bike’s seatpost with this stretch sleeve holder. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Sarto frames are made “tube-to-tube” – the tubes are mitered like a metal frame and the joints are wrapped in carbon fibers. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Sarto will custom build any of its frames to fit; this Cima Coppi climbing model is one of six available models. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- This plastic seat tube insert contains a microchip with all of the production details of the Sarto frame it’s inserted into, including the lifetime warranty. The chip can also be encoded with the owner’s information—useful in the event of theft recovery. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Visitors to Sarto’s Padua booth couldn’t keep their hands off of the 700-gram Leggerissima RR2 frame. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Venezia Cicli offers some exquisite commuter bikes. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Alan cyclocross frames have won 20 world championships; the Race Pro weighs 1050 grams and has a tapered fork steerer and BB30 bottom bracket. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Basso’s new Diamante’s 880-gram frame is built around a BB86 bottom bracket, a tapered 1.5 X 1.125-inch steering tube, and internal cable routing. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Mario Moretti Polegato, the billionaire Italian shoe magnate who owns Geox, bought the struggling Diadora brand in 2009 and has incorporated Geox’s multi-layer breathable-sole philosophy into Diadora cycling shoes. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- The Gaerne G.Air road shoe is lightweight, highly ventilated, its 2D micro-adjustable buckle’s tab is easy to grab, its G LIGHT polyurethane straps are surrounded by Kevlar-coated polyester, it has a super-secure molded heel cup, and its ultra-thin carbon sole keeps the foot close to the pedal spindle. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
- Steam blown through the Diadora sole fogs the clear plastic sheet covering it, demonstrating the Geox-style breathability of the sole. Photo: Lennard Zinn © VeloNews
The show season is over, and there were a few things that never made it on these pages that I think deserve some mention.
Among the bikes winning design awards at the ExpoBici bike show in Padua, Italy, was one that demonstrated thinking way out of the box as well as an obvious fascination with and talent for making all kinds of widgets out of carbon: the foldable carbon monocoque GrigioCarbonio bike. Essegi Compositi, a composites subcontractor to Formula 1 teams and helicopter makers in Milan, held nothing back when building its super-trick folding bike.
Darren Crisp, a native Texan who has been building titanium bikes in Tuscany for seven years, has found success in Italy. Other than the fact that both of them build their bikes in Italy, he is somewhat the inverse of his good friend, Dario Pegoretti. Pegoretti is famous in the USA, his sales are primarily in the USA, and he is not well-known in Italy and doesn’t display at Italian shows. Crisp, on the other hand, is largely unknown in the USA and only displays at Italian bike shows, since that’s where he sells bikes. Crisp is unique in Italy for making titanium singlespeeds, fancy commuters with curved tubes, and even an extreme winter singlespeed that did the Alaska Iditabike. In the USA, there are quite a few framebuilders making titanium bikes along these lines, but Crisp is virtually alone in Italy in that regard, and plenty of Italians are drawn to his bikes. Both Crisp and Pegoretti seem to have stories that play better in the other’s native country than in their own.
Pancrazio Centola used to work for a number of component companies, including 3T, Cinelli, and Deda Elementi and is largely credited with the bike industry standard of 31.8mm clamp diameter for handlebars for both road and mountain bikes. His new company, Ratio, is committed to producing bikes and components of “rational design” and its products are being imported into the USA by Zar International.
“I make bikes for people who are not very fast but who want to enjoy the ride,” says Centola. “They’re not for winning races, but they climb well, are comfortable, and give a great sense of security when going downhill.”
Sarto is an Italian carbon frame maker now being imported into the USA who uses tube-to-tube construction (carbon tubes are mitered to fit each other and then the joint is wrapped and bonded with fibers, rather than the whole thing being molded in a single “monocoque” piece or into a few large subassemblies that are then bonded together). Sarto makes fully-custom carbon frames and is known to make custom frames for many of the big cycling stars in the world, because the company is able to make tube-to-tube frames that are shaped like the monocoque frames of iconic brands sponsoring teams.