Italian City Bikes


I’m experimenting with posting through Flickr here, thus the rather ugly format. Some tinkering is still needed. While I’m at it I’ll just comment that though Flickr is popular, its interface totally sucks. I find it very annoying to use.

Anyhow, I just returned from a super two weeks of holiday in Sardinia with Kyoko and five month old Pascal. We toured much of the island, both on the coasts and also in the very quiet and rural inland. Its a beautiful place, with especially warm, friendly people, great food and an amazing history spanning thousands of years.

I took hundreds of photos but found just one notable bicycle in Sardinia. I spotted this simple city bike in Bosa. How its owner rides it is somewhat of a mystery considering that Bosa is built on the side of a mountain.

On the return trip I came across this very luxurious city bike displayed in a glass case at the airport gate. Though much fancier the basic format and components are the same:

  • rod brakes with the handles running through the handlebar
  • single-speed with freewheel
  • 35-622 tires
  • newspaper clip on the handlebar
  • hopelessly puny wheel lock etc
  • The bike in the display case is from a firm in Sicily called Montante. Their luxury city bikes seem to sell for about €3500, judging from what I could find on the Internet. At least that’s what the super fancy one with matching leather bags cost…

    I also know of Umberto Dei bicycles, very similar in style to these and also quite high-end. I’m sure there are at least a handful of others but these types of bikes don’t generally get exported.

    Below is a picture of a Dei. Note just how old-fashioned these bikes really are. Not only do they still sport rod brakes, but they also even have cottered cranks. I love old bikes, but I don’t miss cotters!

    umberto dei italian city bicycle

    One Response to “Italian City Bikes”

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