The home of Wilier is in the provincial town of Bassano Del Grappa in Italy. Well, sort of. Wilier was originally an English brand. It was bought by Bassano Del Grappa (Italy) based craftsman and shopkeeper, Pietro Dal Molin in 1906. Pietro had become fascinated with bicycles , as they were the most popular way of getting around. In Bassano, owning a Wilier bike became the height of fashion.
Wilier continued producing bikes and building their business. They survived the war years by supplying Italian Army Riflemen with bikes in WW1. Badly affected by bombing in WW2, Wilier built a new factory following the end of the war and forged ahead in the period of peace. Soon new heroes would capture the imagination of Italy’s bike riders, in the form of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.
As cycle sport on the roads of Europe flourished, Wilier soon entered into the world of sponsorship. With riders such as Fiorenzo Magni riding for Wilier in all the big races, including the Tour of Italy, the brands future looked assured. However, in 1952 Wilier didn’t get paid for a large shipment of bikes sent to South America. This on top of other business knockbacks forced Wilier to diversify into assembling motorbikes. However this proved a futile attempt to keep the business afloat, and it was forced to close its factory gates.
The factory laid dormant for 17 years, untill two brothers, Wilier fans, bought the factory and bicycle production machinery contents. The Gastaldello brothers and bicycle salesman, Giovani Longon teamed up to re-open the factory, take on staff and get Wilier back on the road again. The early frames coming out of the reopened factory were manufactured in stainless steel, some were finished in the famous Wilier copper finish.
Sponsorship once again led to Wilier becoming a well known world wide brand. In 1997 sponsorship of the Mercatone Uno team led to climbing star Marco Pantani winning TDF stages Alp D’Huez and Morzine aboard his Wilier. The Lampre team also proved a valuable advertising platform for Wilier, with the likes of Alessandro Pettacchi ensuring they were never short of media coverage through untill 2010.
The future looks good for Wilier with Astana riding Wilier bikes from 2020 season.
Wilier produce a range of bikes from MTB to road and a wide selection of accessories. See our full range here;