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Going to Italy...Bring back a Frame???(18 posts)

Going to Italy...Bring back a Frame???Ride-Fly
Mar 27, 2002 3:35 PM
If you could bring back any frame from any of the top Italian buiders, what would you bring back with you?? I am going to Italy in May for vacation and I had this crazy notion of bringing back a frame. I probably won't be able to clear it with the BOSS but I can still daydream right?!?!? Anyways, I (and the Boss) will be at a resort called Il Poggio (not sure if this the same El Poggio de San Remo that the Nike shoe is named after) in a town called San Casciano dei Bagni which is halfway between Rome and Florence. Any suggestions on things to see in the Tuscany region?? We will have a rental car so I was thinking about visiting a factory or two during the drives through the countryside. Which factory do you think I might be able to visit?? If I am unable to visit any factories, I should still be able to visit a few shops and maybe pick up a deal on a dream frame. I checked out the Pinarello website and I am in Love with their Prince frameset in Yellow or Green!!! It maybe surpassing the Klein Quantum Pro Carbon framest as my ultimate machine to lust for!! Ride On my bruthas and sistas!!!!
re: Going to Italy...Bring back a Frame???Spirito di Finocchio
Mar 27, 2002 3:45 PM
if you can head to veneto you are in the heart of italian cycling manufacturers

check with your bank manager first.
FondriestPack Meat
Mar 27, 2002 4:00 PM
I hear the Fondriest plant is fairly impressive and the most technologically advanced bike around. I have no idea where the plant is. In the US the Carb Level frames will sell for about $3000-3500. I think you can get them for about $1800 in Italy, damn import taxes.
Mar 28, 2002 9:07 AM
Don't you mean US distributor middlemen?
Mar 28, 2002 9:15 AM
Not import taxes, greedy distributors. The import tax on a frame is only 3%.
Mar 28, 2002 4:46 PM
Checked out the Fondriest WS and I am very impressed! Do know what all the technical jargon means?? I haven't checked out any other Italian manufacturers WSs but wouldn't a Pinarello, a De Rosa, a Masi or a Bianchi have the same kinds of build/heat/finish process as the next guy?? Thanks.
I don't know if this is true..DINOSAUR
Mar 27, 2002 5:18 PM
I've heard that the majority of frames in Italy are imported to the U.S. and it's hard to get ahold of one. The most popular bikes in Europe are U.S. bikes. You might do some checking in advance.

But....there is a 4 month wait on Mondonco FOCOS, you could order one through a Mondonico dealer and pick it up from Antonio and his son Mauro, in Concorezzo, outside of Milan. The owner of my LBS has one, loves it, tried to talk me into one, but I didn't want to wait that long. Might have to pick up an unpainted frame though, most the Mondonicos are shipped unpainted, unless you want to settle for Italian paint.
Luv my EL-OS!manofsteel
Mar 27, 2002 9:51 PM
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd own a Mondonico. The day I almost "settled" for a brand new Bianchi, the owner of my LBS gave me a sweet last minute deal on a rare and immaculate 52cm "hand made" EL-OS steel frame that I couldn't pass up. I had it built full Ultegra and it rides like a dream. This is a rare frame built by Mondonico himself that definitely turns heads in the peloton. So if I were in Italy, one of the places I'd search for is the Mondonico home which is where the factory is located. Right in their backyard. I'd love to meet on of Italy's revered master builders.
Luv my Mondonico!!!cycleguy
Mar 28, 2002 6:47 AM
I have a Futura Leggero that is made of Nemo and painted in Italy. One of the most beautiful paint jobs I have seen.
Luv my Mondonico!!!DINOSAUR
Mar 28, 2002 7:47 AM
Beautiful paint. I did a lot of research on Mondonicos. I was all set to test the owners foco at our LBS (we ride the same size) and when I came into the shop is was raining. We did a lot of talking and I didn't want to wait four months for a frame. We decided that a 59 Colnago Master X-Light would fit me very nicely (he did a fitting) and he cut me a very sweet deal. This might be the last generation for Mondonicos. I read on the Mondonico web site that the Italian paint is easier to touch up and is more durable.
Still waiting for the mxl, but my Klein is serving me well in the meantime...
I'm skepticalZvierBoy
Mar 28, 2002 12:00 AM

I highly doubt this is true(but I have been wrong many a times before...). Recently I moved from Chicago to Torino (Turin in English :-)and boy do I see a lot of Pinarellos, DeRosas and other fine frames around here. There is also plenty of Pinarello Princes being used here. Having said that I must admitt I have seen Canondales here but not a single Trek yet.

Getting back to the original post:
If the Boss signs off the bring-back-a-frame waiver I hope you can find in a store exactly what you are looking for. I went to a LBS in Torino and asked about Pinarello, turns out if there is no frame in the store you have to wait 4 months for it!
Does the same holds true, give or take a couple of weeks, in the US?

I'm skepticalDINOSAUR
Mar 28, 2002 7:36 AM
You're probably correct. The info I received was from a post I read awhile ago regarding the very same topic.

Anyway~ my wife is third generation Italian on her mothers side. The family village is in northern Italy up in the mountains. One of my dreams is to visit Italy someday. Wonderful people...

Do itpmf1
Mar 28, 2002 7:41 AM
You should visit Italy.

I've been there a few times and it seems that Colnago is the Trek of Italy. You see them everywhere. I saw very few American bikes. You also see a lot of names you'd never recognize. All kinds of small, local frame builders there. I'm sure they would drool over a Trek carbon just because of Lance though. I did a tour and rode my LS Ultimate. No one, except some German tourists, looked at it twice.
no doubt ... tommasinitarwheel
Mar 28, 2002 5:28 AM
I would visit the Tommasini plant. Their frames are incredible, in many different models and color combinations. For some reason, coloradocyclist only imports one model, in one color. Check out their website for more details ....
re: Going to Italy...Bring back a Frame???pmf1
Mar 28, 2002 6:29 AM
I went on a Hampsten tour in the fall of 2000 and did this. My wife and I bought 2001 C-40 frames from the shop sponsering the tour. They were around $2500 shipped which is over $1000 cheaper than in the U.S. We ordered them and had to wait about 4 months for them to be shipped to us. Wouldn't you know it, it snowed the day they arrived.

Your typical bike shop in Italy does not have much floor stock. Most people buying a bike there will order it and wait to get it. There is no charge for custom frames, but you have to wait. Nothing in Italy is on a very strict time schedule either.

Europe has a value added tax (VAT) of around 19% that non-EEC residents don't have to pay. If you buy something there, you have to get paperwork and then get your refund at the airport. This is a hassle and many Italian merchants either don't know how to deal with it, or won't bother with it. Here is a shop in Rome that you could deal with on-line. I've been there and they speak good English and are trustworthy. Their shop is not typical -- its large with lots of bikes on the floor. Prices seem good.

Italy is a beautiful country. You should catch the train to Florence and/or Rome and see the sights. Linger and enjoy one place rather than run around trying to see 12 cities in 14 days like a typical American tourist. In my opinion, anyone who is surrounded by all the art and history found in Italy, and elects to spend their limited time watching guys weld metal tubes together ought to have his head examined.
I've done this twice,king or norway
Mar 28, 2002 1:38 PM
I was due for a new bike and last year went on a Tour De France 10 day tour with Graham Baxter cycles out of England. On my trip I spoke with a guy about visiting several factories as I was going to Italy for ten days. Apparently great deals cold be had from the factories. Having had a Gios-Torino for the last 18 years I definitely wanted to pay a visit to Alfredo Gios in Torino. My interest was also piqued at the thought of getting a Pinarello Prince and a very good price (which I ultimately did).

Last July I visited about 3-4 factories and it was great fun. All (with the exception) of Gios stated that it would be a 3-4 month wait for a custom or stock frame. They don't keep dead stock on hand. Two weeks ago I went over to Italy and picked up my new bike Since it was going to be about the same cost for shipping, customs,ans insurance as a ticket over to Italy, I opted for the vacation. I went all over the bike area of Italy; to Milano and the Veneto and visited the MAsi (Milan) De Rosa (milan), Pinarello(Treviso) and Bernardi (near Treviso)Stores/factories. I blew off Campy in Vicenza as people told me there's nothing to see and they don't sell direct.
There are definitely great deals to be had on frames in Italy but you will have to wait 4 to 5 months. Since I was fitted and ordered the bike in Italy I didn't run afoul of any distributor agreements that these companies have with US distributors. I don't think you would be able to send a cold call e-amil to place an order from the states. If you can do it from Italy they'll gladly accept it. the whole experince for me was excellant with no real hassles. Customs and taxes are an issue you must look into. I visited the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan and Madonna del Ghisallo church that is the patron saint of biking and has famous bikes from Coppi, Moser, Merckx, Casartelli, etc.on lake Como near Bellagio. I was able to ride my new bike up to Ghisallo, in the Dolomites and into Austria. All in all a great experience and cheaper than buying in the States. Keep in mind that Tuscany is approx. and 6-8 hour trip to Treviso, I know because the Pinarello bug up my ass hit me just outside Sienna. That's when I commited driving for 6-7 hours to visit the factory and order a bike. I don't think there are any factories in the Tuscany region. Most are aroung Milan (masi, Mondonici, De Rosa, Colnago)and the Veneto (Pinarello, Viner?, Bernardi, etc.)
Also, two weeks ago the bikes I saw in Italy were alot of Coppi's, Colnagos, and Pinarello's for Italain makes. BUT I did see an almost equal number of Cannondale's and Specialized. I think Cippo's endorsement of Cannondale
s a few years back raised the exotic quotient of Cannondale's in Europe. Mant europeans, (or non americans) I spoke with really like and lusted for a Cannondale. Hope this helps
Thanks Muchos!!!Ride-Fly
Mar 28, 2002 4:41 PM
Very informative! I didn't realize that the factories were that far away from Tuscany. We will most likely make it to Venice (the Wife HAS to see Venice) and Veneto doesn't look too far away from Venice so maybe I can visit just one factory- the Pinarello!! BTW, what was the cost of the Prince frame??? Thanks.
Thanks Muchos!!!king or norway
Mar 29, 2002 9:16 AM
The Pinarello factory in Treviso is about 25 kms north of Venice. They did not offer tours or the ability to purchase frames at the factory as they have done in the past. I guess they're getting too big and busy. Having said that it's still worth going to and checking out all the nude frames and old time membrobilia(jerseys & photos). Pinarello has a store in Treviso about 5-10 minutes from the factory that opens to about 7-7:30 p.m. The mechanic shop in back is wherre i got fitted and its here that I ordered my bike. I ordered a whole bike minus wheels, and I got a good deal on the Lira exchange. When I ordered the price of the frame, including fork and carbon seatpost was $1250. I was told that insurance, shipping and packaging to to states was about$250. If you need more info on directions, contacts, etc. you can e-mail me at