Castello Mario & Figlio of Torino
In the Tullio article I asked readers to contact me if they had more information. The Tullio article said, "After writing about Columbus, Falck, Oria, and Castello Mario & Figlio of Torino, we move onto one Italian tube set manufactuerer I had not previously heard of: "Tullio" from Padova. I don't have any details other than these photos which show a Tullio decal on a Maino and a page from an Atala catalog showing its use in the Corsa GS model. One source said, "Tullio tubing was an Italian straight-gauge, Hi Tensile tubing used on low to mid range Italian bikes made by Atala, Basso, etc.".
A reader did contact me with the following:
One more thing on Atala tubing: "CRP" stands for "Cesare Rizzato Padova". Cesare Rizzato founded CERIZ bicycles in 1921 (the abbreviation CRP can also be found on CERIZ bikes) and bought Atala in 1938 (Source: Moore R, Benson D. Bike! A tribute to the world's greatest cycling designers. London: Aurum; 2012.).
I have a hard time imagining that Atala made its own tubing. Somehow I think they simply rebadged Columbus Aelle, which was marketed as "Tubi speciali in acciaio al carbonio manganese". The CRP SM-08 sticker reads almost the same: "Tubi speciali in acciaio al carbonio microlegati". More than just coincidence, I think.
And finally, why was Atala’s house-label steel tubing named 'Tullio' and why was ‘Tullio’ later replaced by “CRP” (Cesare Rizzato Padova) tubing?
Cesare Rizzato and Tullio Campagnolo were well acquainted; an article in the May 1975 issue of Bicycling magazine offers a few details:
“Atala bicycles are made by C. Rizzato & Co. in Padova, Italy. Cesare Rizzato is now in his seventies but is still a very active man, riding a bicycle … 12 miles to and from work each day, and periodically travelling abroad – for example, recently to Guatemala and New York – to look after his company’s business affairs. He was a boyhood friend of Tullio Campagnolo, an association which no doubt has been an influential one during the half-century Rizzato has been making bicycles. (‘Tullio’ steel tubing is used in the frame of the Grand Prix II we tested, for instance.) Rizzato is the largest bicycle manufacturer in Italy, and the only one offering a complete line of bicycles …"
(Source: Clements W, Wallace M. Two Atalas: Grand Prix II and Corsa. Bicycling Magazine, May 1975, page 58-60. Available from: http://www.velo-pages.com/
‘Tullio’ steel tubing was replaced by ‘CRP’ in the very late 1980s. Perhaps the folks at Campagnolo had complained that Atala had ‘stolen’ their brand name, or Atala wanted to honor their (by now deceased?) chairman. At any rate, Tullio had died in 1983, and although I could not find any biographical dates for Cesare Rizzato, we know that he was born around 1901 (like Tullio Campagnolo), so by the time 'CRP' was introduced, he would've been almost 90. The most likely scenario is that both men were dead and that relations between Campagnolo and Atala had soured so Atala could not continue to use 'Tullio' as their house label.
Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at email@example.com.