Saturday, December 26, 2009

Oria Steel, Tubing for Frame Building











After writing about Columbus, Falck, and Castello Mario & Figlio of Torino, we move onto another name in steel tubing for bikes: Oria.

The detailed history about Oria in steel racing bikes is bit murky and begins (?) in the 1980s as the company wanted to rival Columbus in the marketplace . Here is what I've been able to piece together from different sources. As in the case of Castello Mario & Figlio more information about Oria is desired.

To some degree, and possibly in all instances, Oria used steel supplied by a steel manufacture and converted the steel into specific products. One of the steel manufacturers was certainly German firm Mannesmann. Some frames built with Oria tubes stated on the decals, as seen above, "Prodotto base Mannesmann" (base product Mannesmann).

It has been said that Mannesmann had a plant in Italy in Dalmine, east of Milan, that was producing large quantities of quality seamless butted bicycle tubing in the early post-WWII period. It is thought, perhaps, that the Mazzuccato family that owned Oria, eventually purchased it. The Mazzuccato family (Franco and Gianpaolo)  is thought to be from the Padova area, or in the Veneto.

Among the framebuilders that used Oria are Guerciotti, Tommasini, Montagner, Olmo, Dancelli, Daccordi, Ciocc and Pinarello (began to first use Oria tubing in 1993 according to Fausto Pinarello). And, some others I imagine.

Oria Tubesets (composed of head tube, seat tube, down tube, top tube, chain stays, seat stays, fork legs; and their weights in kg.) : HI Tension (2230), HI-Ten Oversize (2850), CroMoly (2190), Ml 25 (2080), ML 34 1880), RANF (1990), GM 00 (1940), Double butted (2000), KK (1880), CroMoly-Oversize (--), SGM 00 (2720), Top (2860), Oversize (2690), Over Double (2650), Butted Top (2690), CSS 52 (2230) , 7020 (aluminum).

Oria is known to have been involved with also providing aluminum tubesets and in 2005 Oria was still involved in framebuilding but with carbon as seen here:
The caption of this photo referred to the brothers Franco and Gianpaolo Mazzuccato and an association with Olmo in the construction of the Olmo "Zeffiro" carbon frame set. The caption also said, "The brothers Mazzuccato chose instead to remain in Italy. Oria today remains at the forefront: the metal has almost disappeared inside the factory and specialization is directed toward the production of composites."

Well, it's the start of an investigative process.....

update 2011: Oria Srl located at Via Sabbiona,31 30034 Mira (VE)

Photos: Oria decals; reader Grady sent a photo of his decaled Montagner using Oria TT 0.9.; the top photo is from reader Zlatko of his Oria Bianchi Osprey MTB

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome, contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,100 stories in this blog, the search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog.

9 comments:

  1. I have a Torelli bike built with Oria tubing and used to work at a shop which sold Montagner frames (as well as Torelli, Bianchi, Serotta and some others)I remember them as well-made and plenty strong as is the Torelli that I still own and ride. I like Torelli's current slogan, "Steel Made in Italy - Still Made in Italy" (disclaimer: Torelli is an official supplier to CycleItalia)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oria is named after the town of Oriago in Venice province (in the Veneto region), where the company is located. My Berma brand bike has an Oria GX2 monococque carbon fiber frame. I was told by the owners of Cicli Berma that the bikes of many well-known brands are built in that factory.

    Here's their site: http://www.oriagx2.com

    You can see a pic of my bike on my site: http://www.biciveneto.it/favorites.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cramerotti is another brand that used Oria. I have one of their framesets in "Cromoly".

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a c.1988 Basso that is also made with Oria tubing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nice one!

    I do remember Oria tubing (apart from my old Olympia MTB, made with Oria 7020 oval tubing) for the Moser Leader AX! I really fancied that bike back in the early 90's! :)

    Now I've become a Columbus man, 7 out of 7...!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've seen two Marnatis with Oria tubing and recently acquired a Montagner with it...nice stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I visited the Olmo factory in 2010 and purchased a Zeffiro KT frame which I was told was hand laid monocoque construction by Oria for Olmo.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a British Eagle 'Top Gear' circa 80's, that was built in Newtown, Powys, Wales.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Most Moser leader ax are built with Oria

    ReplyDelete