Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wood Rims on My Mind, Again

I've promised myself, "One more bike 'project' and I am finished with projects!" The frameset in question is a Jamie Swan and I keeping thinking about how nice some beautiful Italian wood rims would look.

That idea led me to a discussion with Ric Hjertberg of Wheel Fanatyk who specializes in building wheels with Ghisallo wood rims. Ric has given me permission to use some of the information from his site as follows:

Ghisallo Wood Rims boasts more than 60 years experience begun in the legendary Milan workshop of D'Alessandro. Following the retirement of D'Allesandro himself, his partner, Antonio Cermenati, transported the tooling to Magreglio; high above Lake Como in the Italian Alps. The Cermenati family has, for three generations, preserved the passion for this gem of creative craftsmanship, the only living example of its kind. The rims are constructed in a workshop only a few hundred meters from the Chapel of the Madonna del Ghisallo, famous to all the World's cyclists, and the brand new cycling museum of Ghisallo.

Antonio's son, Giovanni, has mastered and continued this craft in Magreglio. It's with great pride that he is now turning the business over to his son, Antonio. The continuity within this artisan family guarantees the highest quality of workmanship.

"Our friend Giovanni has not only continued a beautiful tradition, but a cyclist who likes these rims now has a way to find them. On wood rims I three times won the Tour of Flanders", says Fiorenzo Magni the Lion of Flanders.

Ghisallo rims are made entirely of aged beech wood from Slovenia, laminated in multiple layers with special marine adhesives and varnish - carefully finished for a perfect appearance and function - hand made in the artisan tradition. The rims are very elastic and rugged. They are not easily deformed and absorb road and trail vibration providing comfort to the cyclist.

Even today wood rims are a viable alternative because they do not overheat like aluminum alloys. They are popular with amateur riders and used throughout the world in both tubular and clincher models.

Here, in three parts, show how the father and son make a rim...very interesting:

Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 in fullsize.

Now I have to first find some beautiful, shiny, hubs.

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  1. Angelo- Shiny hubs that give you all of the modern technology, yet are highly polished and look Old World? White Industries!

  2. @MM: Thank you, those would be perfect.