Because Italy is more than a geographic expression..

Alessi S.P.A. US

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Made In Canada By Italian Hands And Parts

When I was a young teenager, I bought my first serious bike. It was a black and Peugeot with gold trimmings back when they were still made in France.

(The elegant Gardin left)

A few years later in 1990, I took the money I saved up $1,200 making thermal windows and upgraded to a Gardin road bike. Gardin was a Canadian bike manufacturer in Ontario (I believe) founded by an Italian immigrant. It's no longer in operation.

Some elements and parts included: Vittoria tires, Mavic rims, Columbus frame, gear system Shimano 105. A Canadian-Italian bike with Italian, Japanese, German and French parts.

Needs a nice cleaning since I haven't used it in a couple of years but still a fine bicycle.

In between, I got my hands on a Specialized mountain bike for $500. A friend of mine knew a guy liquidating them and mine had an original price tag of $1000. Lucky deal.

This year, after a couple of years of talking about getting a new bike, I went out and got another Canadian bike manufactured this time in my hometown by another Italian owner. Marinoni bikes are known for its high, tailored quality.

Seeing I no longer have the time (or energy) to ride like I used to I had to keep my purchase modest. One can easily get swayed by that Italian made bike with a starting price of $3000. A friend of mine did just that and ended up with a $5000 road bike.

At first, I wasn't sure what type of bike I wanted. I was leaning towards a "touring bike" since I didn't think I was going to be racing. Right there, a steel framed bike was in the cards over an aluminum or  carbon one.

I settled on the Sportivo touring model at a reasonable price. All told about $2000.

Marinoni Sportivo parts include: Campagnolo (ultegra) gears, Columbus steel frame, Deda elementi handles, Selle Italia seat, Cadence tires, Khamsin (Campagnolo) rims.

This baby is essentially an Italian-Canadian bike with predominantly Italian and American parts.

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