Saturday, February 26, 2011

Visit to Giovanni Pelizzoli

My thanks to Blake for sending in this story regarding the visit he just made to Giovanni Pelizzoli's workshop. You may wish to read this piece about Pelizzoli's career first. Blake writes:

"After perusing their website and finding some spare time I decided to make the journey to the Pelizzoli Factory in Curno, Bergamo. A staff member Alessandro, provided me with a map I was on my merry way. I took the train to Ponte san Pietro, which is a smallish town with one way streets and a nice river running through the centre.I decided to walk to the factory and after 45 minutes I found the area in which the factory should be located. The only notification of the factory's location are a couple of small signs on the gate. Unfortunately I was distracted by a tractor plowing a field and subsequently walked straight past. To be honest, the tractor was pretty interesting.

Inside the factory you are greeted with the ephemeral smell of paint fumes, steel and espresso. My tour guide Alessandro showed me around the various areas of the factory. The frame building area is strictly for Giovanni Pelizzoli. All the available space is taken up by bikes frames waiting to be painted or waiting for assembly. There were bike frames hanging from the wall in all directions. Creating a hanging timeline of different materials, paint schemes and styles.

Hiding at the back of the factory was an original Cinelli Laser Crono. Giovanni painted many of these frames back in the day and they are currently looking for a fork to complete the build.
Somehow I think they would have I have noticed if I stuffed a frame underneath my jumper so I took a pass (besides, my legs were tired)

Dotted around the workshop are frames that make you stop and take a second, third and forth look. Frames made from Gilco tubing are my favourite and there were a few gems covered in dust. Littering the walls are large photos of famous cycles and their bikes creating another timeline of bike frame design and styling.

Every operation is performed by hand. The fillets on the alluminium Leggenda track frame take forever to refine and the little detail on the dropouts of the Corsa GP road frame are crafted with a file. All the painting is done in house with aplomb and even the masks and decals are cut in house. Many bike companies come to Pelizzoli to get their top end frames painted by hand.

Giovanni is over eighty years old and is producing frames with same intensity and passion since he started. For me the amazing part is the he been producing frames for over 60 years and I am only 25 years old. Giovanni made a point that a bike frame has not changed in principle for many years, the only thing that has changed are the materials and construction methods. Yet he still loves sparking up the oxy torch and brazing a frame together.

I would like to thank the team at Pelizzoli for putting up with a giddy foreigner for a few hours and I look forward to purchasing a piece of history in the near future. I decided to walk to the factory and after 45 minutes I found the area in which the factory should be located. The only notification of the factory's location are a couple of small signs on the gate. Unfortunately I was distracted by a tractor plowing a field and subsequently walked straight past. To be honest, the tractor was pretty interesting.

Inside the factory you are greeted with the empheral smell of paint fumes, steel and espresso. My tour guide Alessandro showed me around the various areas of the factory. The frame building area is strictly for Giovanni Pelizzoli. All the available space is taken up by bikes frames waiting to be painted or waiting for assembly. There were bike frames hanging from the wall in all directions. Creating a hanging timeline of different materials, paint schemes and styles. Hiding at the back of the factory was an original Cinelli Laser Crono. Giovanni painted many of these frames back in the day and they are currently looking for a fork to complete the build. Somehow I think they would have I have noticed if I stuffed a frame underneath my jumper so I took a pass (Besides, my legs were tired) Dotted around the workshop are frames that make you stop and take a second, third and forth look. Frames made from Gilco tubing are my favourite and there were a few gems covered in dust. Littering the walls are large photos of famous cycles and their bikes creating another timeline of bike frame design and styling.

Every operation is performed by hand. The fillets on the alluminium Leggenda track frame take forever to refine and the little detail on the dropouts of the Corsa GP road frame are crafted with a file. All the painting is done in house with aplomb and even the masks and decals are cut in house. Many bike companies come to Pelizzoli to get their top end frames painted by hand.

Giovanni is over eighty years old and is producing frames with same intensity and passion since he started. For me the amazing part is the he been producing frames for over 60 years and I am only 25 years old. Giovanni made a point that a bike frame has not changed in principle for many years, the only thing that has changed are the materials and construction methods. Yet he still loves sparking up the oxy torch and brazing a frame together.

I would like to thank the team at Pelizzoli for putting up with a giddy foreigner for a few hours and I look forward to purchasing a piece of history in the near future."

The Pelizzoli webiste is www.pelizzoliworld.com, it contains a blog and some interesting photos.

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