September 29th: While I was living in Verona I was always on the lookout for bikes that were interesting. The "one that got away" was a 1951 Tour de France Bianchi. No matter how much I tried or what I tried the owner would not sell it. Sigh.
One day I stopped into a shop near Lake Garda and asked if they had anything interesting "in the back". The shop owner rolled out one beat up and uninteresting bicycle after another in response to my "No"s. After half an hour he finally rolled out a MALAGNINI. At the time that was a brand I had never heard of. It was, to me, your classic Italian steel bike with some nice touches: SLX Columbus tube set, engraved chromed lugs and fork, a collar-less seat lug, a machined DuraAce seatpost that functions similar to a quill stem, a nicely designed chain catcher, interesting paint., leather wrapped handlebars and a Regal saddle. The bike is equipped with 8 speed DuraAce, ceramic Mavic rims and is in new condition.
I took it out for a test ride and was very impressed how the bike handled and how smooth it was.
Back at the shop the owner and I agreed on a (ridiculous) price.
This is what I know of Malagnini: there are two sons that currently build frames both having begun under the wings of their father, Vittorio. I have seen one early Malagnini built by the father, the few others I have seen are by one of the sons. Mine was built by Lucio Malagnini, he uses the initials MLT which stand for Malagnini Lucio Tech. The Malagnini family is from the the lower plains of Verona province. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to ride for a visit. Lucio's address is:
Malagnini Lucio, Via S'eurosia, 5 Pontepossero 37060 Sorga' (VR)
Today, I finally got around to unpacking it from the move and took it for a spin. This is one of the bikes that is a joy to ride, great for long, long rides. You just want to keep on riding which was the case today. I wonder if it's the only one in the USA?
Photos: Malagini, head tube lug, fork crown, lower head tube lug, collar-less seat tube lug (with MLT on 3 sides), the modified DuraAce seatpost which drives the expander bolt at the bottom of the psot; chain catcher on chain stay; images from today's ride