As the Giro D’Italia gets to the pointy end of the race (and with two Lancashire riders in the top five after stage 11), what better time to consider the volume and variety of bikes and associated products heralding from Italy. Aside from some outsourcing of manufacture, these companies are 100% Italian and the cornerstone of road racing around the world. Forza Italia!
The northern industrial heartlands of Italy are home to an amazing amount of Cycling produce. The map below shows Campagnolo, Vittoria, Wilier, Castelli, 3T and Sidi, all within a 230km slice of Italy.
Campagnolo (Vicenza, Italy)
Perhaps the brand with the broadest history in bike racing, Campagnolo, came up with several innovations which we take for granted today including quick release for wheels and rear derailleurs. More recently, Campagnolo were the first to go to 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 speed in its groupsets and, while comparatively slow to move into the gravel market, their Ekar gravel groupset has outstanding reviews. They used to also make magnesium sports car and motorcycle wheels for the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. They still make THE most exquisite cork screw. Campagnolo produce their own wheels as well as their own Fulcrum brand.
Check out our range of Campagnolo products here.
Vittoria (Brembate, Italy)
Vittoria has is headquarters in Brembate, Italy, as well as offices and manufacturing plants in the US, Thailand, Taiwan. Producing tyres for all types of bike riding and tyre fit types, Vittoria have brought advanced materials, such as the recent introduction of Graphene technology and the ability to produce 4 different compounds within the same tyre . The production of wheels started around 6 years ago broadening out of Vittoria’s product range, this also allowed Vittoria to produce wheels which work seamlessly with their tyres.
Check out our range of Vittoria products here
Wilier (Bassano Del Grappa, Italy)
Wilier produce bikes in all genres and an amazingly wide range of accessories from rotors to socks. The Wilier brand started back in 1906 producing mass transportation bikes. Wilier’s sponsorship of professional teams has seen iconic riders through the ages riding Wilier, including Fiorenzo Magni and Marco Pantani. In 2021 they provide bikes for Astana and Team Total Direct Energie. Wilier was well known for its ‘ramata’ copper plated finish back in the early days which has been resurrected in recent years.
Check out our range of Wilier products here.
Castelli (Fonzaso, Italy)
Clothing company Castelli have been at the forefront of cycling since the very beginnings of cycle sport. Vittori Gianni founded the business in 1876. He clothed Italian star rider Alfredo Binda from the 1910s. Throughout the years, the greatest names in cycling have ridden in Castelli clothing, with a continuous design and development partnership with some of the most successful cycling teams in the pro peloton. Innovation has featured throughout Castelli’s history; the first lycra shorts in 1977, the first sublimation print jersey, the first windproof jersey, the first thermal clothing and more recently the Gabba all weather jersey and the speed suit.
Check out our range of Castelli clothing here.
3T (Presezzo, Italy)
Component manufacturer 3T started back in 1961 in Bergamo. The name 3T (originally 3TTT) came from Turin Tube Technology. 3T manufactured bars and stems in aluminium through the 80’s and started to work with carbon fibre in the 1990’s. 3T’s beautiful range of handlebars, stems and seat posts were joined by the most iconic road bike released in recent years, the 3T Strada. The 3T Strada led the way for aero bikes, the original 1X Strada was joined by the equally striking Exploro gravel bike and the 2X version of the Strada, the Strada Due.
Check out our range of 3T products here.
Sidi (Maser, Italy)
In 1960 Dino Signori used his initials to name one of the most iconic cycling brands. Sidi initially produced mountain sports footwear and moved into motorcycling boots and cycling shoes during the 1970’s. Since the 1970’s Sidi has been at the forefront of bike racing, with the world’s best riders choosing Sidi shoes. Innovation through the years saw the first velcro closure in 1983, first ratchet closure, first semi carbon sole and the first wire closure system. Sidi produce footwear for all cyclists, including MTB and gravel bike riders.
See our full range of Sidi products here.
Forza Italia Part 2 next week…