Italian Dream Machines
Barco, Ciocc, Casati,
For the competitive and passionate cyclist, Ciocc is a mark that recalls the beginning of the great Italian tradition of hand crafted racing frames. It was in the early 50’s that Ciocc, working out professional ranks throughout the 80’s, picking up extraordinary success such as the 1977 World Championships and gold medals in the 1980 Moskow Olympic games.
Professional teams such as Santini Krups, Italbonifica Navigare and many others reached international notoriety and fame. In 1991, Ciocc founder Giovanni Pelazzoli retired and “handed down the torch” to his long-time apprentices, Stefano Bonati and Cesare Biondi, thus guaranteeing the brand the continuity of its original style and “philosophy” to the art of frame-building, going into a new era.
Whether we are talking steel, aluminum or carbon fiber, Ciocc maintains its traditions, characteristics and attention to detail, offering unique bicycles for quality, cutting-edge technology and performance.
“Own a piece of Italy for not a whole lot of money”
This is how a dealer had described the deBernardi line of frames back in the 90’s. These few words still apply today, even as the industry has gone through dramatic changes.
Guido Debernardi comes from the framebuilding old-school. All of his framesets are meant to last for years and deliver performance, reliability and a comfortable ride. The early stages of his career were spent at the Legnano factory, located between the cities of Turin and Milan in northern Italy. There he was in charge of the custom work and racing frames for Legnano’s professional teams. In the early 80’s, Guido Debernardi founded and has since managed his own exclusive workshop. He maintains the same traditional approach of his formative years...
Attention to detail is a must. Clean, classic designs and geometries, all have been tested and refined by professional riders spanning over decades, result in a true quality product: framesets that feature great handling, smoothness, and a comfortable riding position with tons of performance. Whether you are an enthusiast or a competitive rider, deBernardi delivers exciting value and performance.
Casati - Welcome to the Family
Casati may not be among the most recognized Italian brands, but they’ve been around for 93 years. Founded by Pietro Casati, winner of the 1913 Tour of Lombardy, the company has remained in the family throughout its existence, and is now run by Massimo and Luca, Pietro’s grandsons. 1991 and 1992 World Road Champion Gianni Bugno is among the more contemporary champions to have begun their careers in the saddle of a custom-built Casati.
Handmade is not just a trendy buzzword, but a way of life at Cicli Casati. Their current output is about 50% steel and 50% carbon frames. Casati’s carbon frames do not come out of an Asian mold, but are fully custom for size, geometry and colors, and are crafted in Casati’s Monza facility, just outside of Milan. Their steel frames run the gamut of production styles and tubesets, from chrome-lugged vintage to modern fillet-brazed Columbus XCR stainless steel. Every step of the fabrication process, from bike fitting to paint and finish, is done in-house in Monza.
One thing you won’t find among Casati’s offerings is an anachronistic blend of trends, styles or materials. “Our vintage frames are made exactly how they were in the 1970s or 1980s,” says Rudi Weber, Casati’s German/Italian Marketing Director. By contrast, the modern stainless steel and carbon offerings are suitably advanced and cutting-edge, with era-appropriate paint and graphics.
All families, like brands, must expand to survive, and Massimo and Luca have ensured that their father’s and grandfather’s innovation and craftsmanship have global relevance in today’s marketplace. According to Weber, about 10% of Casati’s market share is in the U.S., and markets like Asia and Australia are both growing rapidly. He cautions, however, that you won’t ever be buying a mass-produced Casati off the racks of your global bike superstore, just as mama can’t invite everyone over to the house for dinner.
“People who buy Casati are not going for mainstream,” says Weber. But if you think you’re ready to experience the Casati difference and join the family. -NAHBS
One of the cornerstones of the Italians' importance to the world of bicycle design and bicycle building is their unmatchable experience in the field. By 'in the field' we mean ON THE ROAD...riding. Italians have been there, done that. They have tried everything. When they stamp a frame, material, or design, with their approval...they do it after they have tried it and compared every finding to the wealth of experience they have.
Very few brands or names can claim the level of experience Guerciotti has with everything cycling related. Guerciotti’s compelling story started in 1964 when Italo, a noted and expert cyclocross rider, decided with his brother Paolo to open a small shop of 20 square meters (for selling and maintenance of bicycles, in Via Petrella 4, Milan). It was Italo who transmitted cycling passion to Paolo… in 1961 he began to ride, revealing his competitive and successful dedication to cyclocross, riding the world championships in Saccolongo, 1979. Paolo Guerciotti decided to open a shop in Buenos Aires. From there, the men were able to grow the company step by step with true passion for cycling leading the charge.
Now, in 2018, Guerciotti maintains a enviable position worldwide in the market of high performance road bicycles. At Smart Cycles, we are excited with the opportunity to offer these world-class bicycles to our customers!