Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thank You!


For all the contributors that provided so many fine stories in 2009: Thank You! You made the ICJ much more interesting.

Thanks to BIEMME for providing a pair of cycling shorts for the Giro d'Italia contest back in June. BIEMME, of Brogliano (Vicenza), has been making cycling clothing in Italy for the pros for over 30 years. They are now also making custom clothing for teams in the USA and throughout the world. More details, and contact information for their North America representative, here. The contest was won by ICJ reader Robbin Penney from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Thanks to Velo-Retro for providing the custom T-shirt for the story contest we had in September/October. The winner was ICJ reader Martin Appel from M√ľnchen, Germany.

Last, but not least, a big thank you to all the readers world-wide. I have enjoyed reading your comments and emails.

See you in 2010,

angelo senza la o

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Favorite Photos Month-by-Month 2009

Below are my favorite photos of 2009. What were yours? Let me know and I willl do a "Reader's Favorite Photos of 2009". Thank you!

January: the last switchbacks to the summit of the Stelvio


February: Italy remembered the passing of Marco Pantani five years ago


March: crash at UCI Women's Road World Cup in Cittiglio


April: an April ride on the Sella Ronda


May: Menchov almost lost the Giro d'Italia on the last stage


June: my Verona riding buddies in France


July: the TRANSALP challenge


August: Colnago's limited edition 55th anniversary Master


September: a very wet "Bike Day" on the Stelvio


October: vintage at the L'Eroica


November: cyclocross season begins


December: Inspiration!


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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ben Vivere 2009, Part IV

We continue now with Part IV of Buzz Yancich's story of "Ben Vivere 2009", a custom cycling tour in the Veneto which Eros Poli put together for his group this past September.

To watch the video in youtube in its full size click here.

The earlier parts of this story, and very worth reading:
Part I
Part II
Part III

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,200 stories in this blog; the search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog.

Tullio Campagnolo 80th Birthday Limited Edition Buckle Set





The Campagnolo "limited edition" items are interesting for Campagnolo fans. The latest was the 75th anniversary jersey of which only 75 were made. Another item not often seen as a complete set with its original box, and certificate, was a buckle set issued to celebrate Tullio Campagnolo's 80th birthday. A recently sold set was described like this:

"Most vintage bike collectors are aware of the Campagnolo 50th anniversary gruppo, of which there were 15,000 gruppi made. Many have also seen the 50th anniversary gruppo either in its fancy suitcase or on a bike. By comparison, the items that I am offering to the discerning Campagnolo collector is much less common. This is a set of three belt buckles that were produced in a limited number to celebrate Tullio Campagnolo's 80th birthday. I have been told that there were 1000 sets made and these were not openly sold. All the sets that I have seen were initially given out by Campagnolo to friends, business partners and top Campagnolo dealers. While the three buckles can obviously be used for their intended purpose of holding up your pants, they also make a perfect item for a desk or display case. The display box is indeed designed in such a way that blue insert that holds the buckles in place can be tilted up to better display them. This set comes with all the original packing material which includes the embossed blue leather display case, the certificate of authenticity, the cardboard sleeve that was designed to protect the leather display case and the outer box.

The three buckles depict the following: Tullio riding his bike over the Croce D'Aune pass at the time when he had his moment of illumination for the design of the hub quick release; the Campagnolo globe logo: and, the winged quick release logo. All of these scenes are iconic and historic Campagnolo. The belt buckles are made out of gold vermeil and silver. The set has the serial number 972."

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal are welcomed, 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.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

iCols for iPhone, Data on 1200 Climbs

iCols from hardfietsen.nl on Vimeo.



From the developer:

iCols is the first Iphone cycling application with all the information about your favorite climb or col. At the moment iCols has over 1200 cols and climbs in the database in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. New climbs are added every day.

Are you cycling in Ardennes, but you don’t know the exact location of the famous Redoute of Stockeu? iCols will help you find them. Where is that steep hill from the Amstel Gold Race, Tour de Flandres or Fleche Wallonne? Or how steep is the Col you see on television in the Tour de France, Giro D’Italia or Vuelta ? iCols will help you again.

iCols contains 4 main categories.
- The most popular hills and cols
- Search for cols and places
- Search for cols in your area
- Calendar

Every coll or hill in iCols contains the following information:
- Length
- Height difference
- Average gradient
- Starting village
- Region / Country
- Profile (including gradient per 100 m / 1 km)
- Gps position for google maps


The cols of the following races are in the database of iCols:

- Tour de France
- Giro d’Italia
- Vuelta
- Milan-Sanremo – La Primavera
- Ronde van Vlaanderen
- Ghent-Wevelgem
- Paris-Roubaix – La Reine or l'Enfer du Nord
- Amstel Gold Race
- La Fleche Wallonne
- Liege-Bastogne-Liege – La Doyenne
- Clasica de San Sebastian
- Zuri-Metzgete – Championship of Zurich
- Paris-Brussels
- Paris-Tours
- Giro di Lombardia

If any readers try this app please send a report in.

Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal are welcomed, 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.

SOMEC Revolution from Race Scene (U.K.)







Italian Cycling Journal reader Stephen from the U.K. writes to follow-up on the previous SOMEC story:

"I am sending you photographs I have taken of my new bici - it is a true Italian beauty and I believe the first in the UK. It is Somec's newest bike - the "Revolution" with a revolutionary carbon honeycomb construction. It is very light and unbelievably stiff - they state that the frame is 900 grams - and when fully built I believe it weighs in at around 6400 grams. Even after only the few miles I have managed to get out on it, in the depths of a British winter - I can already tell it is going to be an amazing machine. I've never ridden a bike where the only limitation is your strength and will. The group set is Record 11, the bars and stem white Deda Zero, the bar tape is black leather Eleganza by Stella Azzurra, the saddle is a San Marco Aspide which sits upon the integrated seat post; the wheels are probably Taiwanese but have been finished exquisitely by Stella Azzurra.

The process by Somec is meticulous. I bought the bike through Race Scene in Barnsley. They are qualified fitters. I was fitted by an ex-elite level cyclist at the shop, Glyn Shirley - known to everyone as Freddie. So I travelled up there and had a four hour fitting - the measurements were discussed and sent to Somec along with my paint requirements which were followed to the letter. I opted for red and white because they were the colours of my first proper road bike, an old Basso "Coral", and slightly less lettering than is the modern norm. I think the results are stunning!

The process took 8 weeks during which time I received lots of correspondence from Freddie updating me as to the progress. Somec are renowned for their painting skills and you may not know that there are two logos on a Somec bike - the first is the famous Cavallino Rampante - but under that is the tulip - which represents the many colours you can have for your new Somec."

Photos: by Stephen

I took a look at the Race Scene website and the shop sells an impressive collection of Italian bikes: SOMEC, Casati, Gios, Ciocc and Kuota (Kuota is designed in Italy). Their bike display is amazing. Take a look at http://www.racescene.co.uk/ Bravi!

The SOMEC website is http://www.somec.com

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.

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.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Rare 1968/1969 Colnago









Pre-1970 Colnago bikes are very, very rare. Even rarer is one that appears to be completely original except for the wheels. If your are a Colnago fan make sure you take a close look at this bike which is currently on ebay by a well known French collector.

For a three part video of the life of Ernesto Colnago look here, and more about early Colnago bikes here.

Listing description: "Extremely rare early Colnago in lovely original condition. The bike is presented as found. I believe the parts to be all original except for the Weinmann rims and brakes that have been upgraded at some point in the bike's history.

50,5 cm c to c seat tube, top tube 52,5 cm c to c.

No date stamp on the rear derailleur.

The bike is post Mexico 1968 (check decals), it has all the features of a pre-1970 Colnago so I would say 1968 or 1969.

It would appear that this is one of the earliest Colnagos known, so it is an important addition to the handful of identified pre-1970 models, especially as it is so original : paint, decals and parts.

The bike is presented in unrestored, uncleaned, barn find authentic condition."

Photos: ebay listing

Updated January 2, 2010: final selling price on ebay: $7,101.00

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.

Merry Christmas! Cinelli Style


Chrome Cinelli circa 1969.

Photo: used by permission (click to enlarge)

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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Season's Greetings from Eros Poli


Eros sends his Season's Greetings to all the readers of the Italian Cycling Journal, he hopes to meet some of you next year at one of his tours.

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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Campagnolo Triple: Dying Due to Innovations


CICLISMO magazine suggests that the Campagnolo triple is becoming meaningless in the marketplace due to the advent of compact cranksets and will increasingly become so with the introduction of the new 12-29 cassette for 11 speed groups.

They report that number of triple users has declined significantly each year since the introduction of compact cranksets and that this trend is expected to continue. Each year, new improvements at Campagnolo have been making the triple less relevant: the introduction last year of an 11 rear sprocket for 11 speed, and this year the introduction of the 12-29.

CICLISMO makes the point that a classic configuration for a triple (53-42-30) with a 13-29 sprocket set is very close in "development" at the ends of the ranges to a 50-34 with a 12-29. They also cite the advantages of the Campagnolo 11 speed compact crankset configuration: reduced weight, fewer overlapping ratios, and better Q factor.

They conclude, "Thanks to 11 speed technology and the new 12-29 cassette it seems the triple era is near an end....."

Photo: a Campagnolo Record triple crankset

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.

A More Affordable Cinelli


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.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Museum: Spazio Pantani







A reader informed me of a new museum dedicated to Marco Pantani: "Spazio Pantani" (the Pantani Space) located in the town of his birthplace, Cesenatico.

The multi-media museum, located near the railway station, traces the career of Pantani through an exhibition of photos, memorabilia and audiovisual materials. The museum is divided into three halls, each of 100 sq. meters, named Mortirolo, Alpe d'Huez and Bocchetta. Each famous climbs which Pantani won stages on.

Inside the museum is a small shop where books, DVDs, clothing, and other items can be purchased.

Museum hours and other information:
From September 1 to May 31: daily 0930-1230 and 1500-1800
From June 1 to August 31: daily 0900-1230 and 1530-1900
Reservations for groups recommended; special openings available for large groups

Address:
Via Cecchini 2
47042 - Cesenatico
tel. 0547-672886 (during hours open)

Website: http://www.spaziopantani.it/ . Pantani fans can order from the online shop.

Photos: of the museum

My list of Cycling Museums in Italy will be updated.

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.