Boutique Italian framemakers - Scapin, Casati etc
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  1. #1
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    Boutique Italian framemakers - Scapin, Casati etc

    I have taken an interest in the smaller quality frame makers in Italy that are not as famous as the bigger brands such as Colnago, pinarello, DeRosa etc. So far I have come across 2, Scapin and Casati. Would appretiate more info on these guys, a review or two of their modern bikes would be appretiate as would more info about other frame makers in the same niche.

  2. #2
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    check into Fondriest. the status carb is an oversized, shaped tig welded Deda EOM 16.5 steel frameset with carbon seatstays. I got lucky and found someone on the forum selling one last spring. It's absolutely magical. Smooth, lightweight, snappy, stiff, nimble but not twichy. Just perfect. Easily the best riding frameset I've ever ridden. Everytime I pull out of the neighborhood to go on a ride, I'm amazed.
    The steel framesets aren't impossible to find, just takes patience.
    Ciocc, F.Moser, Carrera and Viner are all smaller, "boutique" manufactueres that have fine steel framesets. They all use either deda, columbus and other makes of this high tensile, air hardened lightweight steel, possessing this magical ride, that doesn't exist in CF or aluminum in my opinion.
    You can also check out the Masi especiale from a year ago. Full carbon rear, but still have "it"
    Oh, yeah. The ultimate brand of italian steel. Tomassini. They're SICK!!! I'm dyin' for a tomi.
    good luck in your hunt for real steel. Post pics of your purchase.
    for some reviews, check 2003, 2002 etc road bikes, and the brands I've listed can give you a good snapshot of what you'll expect. Obviously, every frame is different. But you'll find a reoccurring theme. RAVE reviews!
    North American brands that render similar (steel frames) products, Waterford (Gunnar), Serotta (Fierte), Independent Fabrications, LeMond, Steelman. Many of them use Reynolds 853 tubing, which is superlight, pretty stiff, and have that "magical" feel that is all but lost in todays Carbon Fiber rich frameset market.

  3. #3
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    Actually I wasn't thinking of steel - already have 2 steel colnago's (although I am still tempted when I see a nice one such as the cream casati one). I am really trying to find the ones that are moving along with the times in their own way - I took Fondriest of the list as they have suspect quality and also they went belly up a couple of yrs ago and were taken over. Thanks for all the indo - better go and check out their sites.

  4. #4
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    Scapin makes some really superb bikes. They've been making bikes for 50 years - not as long as Colnago and Derosa, but close. I think Scapin's reputation has been built on its steel frames, but lately they've been making great steel/carbon combinations and, of course, full carbon frames. I have a Dyesys, which I got in 2005. It was their top steel/carbon frame at that time, made of custom Columbus Spirit steel tubing and carbon fiber in the seattube and chainstays. Its got that nice smooth, yet lively ride of steel, but is still reasonably light (my size small frame weighs just under 3 lbs). Lennard Zinn wrote about Scapin for Velonews in '05 and was impressed with their work and Stefano Scapin's obsession with frame alignment. Chris Boardman also reviewed the Dyesys for Procycling and liked it. Apparantly, the Brits really like Scapin as there are some great reviews of their bikes on RoadCyclingUK.com. The problem is, I'm not sure Scapin has a current US distributor. In 2005, KHS took over distribution from Matt Barkley, but really did nothing to promote Scapin. Now, KHS's website no longer mentions Scapin. It's really too bad. I was seriously considering getting one of Scapin's full carbon frames, like the Elke, but ended up getting a LOOK 585 (which I only just finished building up). Anyway, hope that helps.
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    Yes they have had some good reviews, how does the 585 compare to the scapin?

    I have since come across Billato too so another name to add to the list, they have been making bikes for a long time for other brands and have only recently started making their own brand. In actual fact they are making all Museeuw's frames including the Carbon/Flax frames.

  6. #6
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    Unfortunately, I haven't gotten to ride the Look that much since I finished building it. My first impression is that the 585 is a better climber because it's lighter and a bit stiffer. In terms of ride quality, the Look is certainly smooth, but it doesn't seem to absorb the bigger bumps quite as well as the Scapin. It also doesn't feel quite as lively. In terms of handling and descending, they seem about the same, but I'm not that surprised since they have very similar geometries (one of the reasons I chose the 585). I'll need to get more miles on the Look to see if these impressions hold up.

    There was a spread on Billato in the framebuilder guide that Procycling puts out and it looks like they make some good stuff. Do you know anyone who has ridden the carbon/flax frames?

    I also have an older 2002 Carrera Adone RC (titanium front and carbon rear) that has a really nice smooth ride, but it doesn't sprint or climb as well as the Scapin or Look. Carrera makes some nice bikes, but I think their lastest carbon model is a bit on the wild side.

  7. #7
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    I have 2 Looks, a 231 and a 241 as well as 2 colnago steel frames, an Altain and a Master Olympic so planning for my next bike and wondering which direction to go and 585 as well as 595s are of course prime candidates but quite interested in the Museeuw too. There is a good review on the Carbon/flax Museeuw here http://www.roadcyclinguk.com/news/ar...=&v=2&UAN=2102

  8. #8
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    Of course most everyone has poked around at Classic Rendezvous right?
    http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/Italy.html

    They have some info on the smaller brands too. Couple of which I've never seen before.

    brewster

  9. #9
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    That's a great site for classic & vintage bikes but not really relevant to current manufacturers and that's why you haven't heard of some of them - they went bust long time ago.

  10. #10
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    I love my Scapin, but its old and steel. Probably not what you are looking for, but still a fantastic bike though.

    I'd heard that the Scapin Avus (the all carbon model) was the same as the Schwinn/Scattante/La Pierre made-in-Taiwan that everyone else sells. Not sure if the rumor is true, but they sure as hell all look exactly the same to me. But then again, I'm old, so everything is starting to look the same to me.
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  11. #11
    The Wanderer
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    Can't get anymore "boutique" in Italy than Passoni...Get ready to dish out about $4,500 for a framehttp://www.passoni.com/en/collezione-nero.html#

    A couple more...
    http://www.wrcompositi.it/home.html
    http://www.bassobikes.com/en/product...php?PHPSESSID=
    http://www.carrera-podium.it/english/home.html#
    http://www.c4carbon.com/eng/bikes/default.htm
    http://www.ciocc.it/english/home-page-eng.html
    http://www.fondriestbici.com/collezione_08.htm
    http://www.frwbike.it/
    http://www.guerciotti.it/inglese/biciclette.htm
    http://www.kuota.it/english.html
    http://mrgud.it/eng/index2.htm
    http://www.parkpre.it/2008/it/bici.php
    http://www.sab.sm/ Made in San Marino. Landlocked by Italy and the people who live there speak Italian but it's not Italy (like Vatican City). You could not tell them apart from any other Italian (except they don't have to pay taxes to Rome so many are wealthy). The MONTECRISTO bike is bad hiney.
    http://www.somec.com/catalogo_eng.ph...zione=1&lan=en
    http://www.switchbikes.com/
    http://www.tommasini.com/frames.html
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    Last edited by kyler2001; 12-03-2007 at 09:33 AM.

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  13. #13
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    I don't know if they are still around, but I had a few Daccordis that I got from Euro Asia Imports. They were beautiful frames and always were pretty wild (aero tubing, chrome, lace paint jobs). I would love to hear if they are still around and making carbon frames. I would buy one in a heart beat.

    BTW, I had one with the wild Columbus tubing that was all different shapes with a full black Cambio Rino groupo. Cool stuff.


    Man, how cool were these? I couldn't find any current websites, so I am assuming they are out of business. If someone knows more, I would love to get another.

    Last edited by spinwax; 12-02-2007 at 08:25 PM.

  14. #14
    The Wanderer
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinwax
    I don't know if they are still around, but I had a few Daccordis that I got from Euro Asia Imports. I couldn't find any current websites, so I am assuming they are out of business. If someone knows more, I would love to get another.
    Still kicking...http://www.daccordi-cicli.com/eng/pr..._carbonio.html

    I don't think they have a distributor in the US anymore, so you would probably have to get one from the UK or somewhere else in Europe. How's your French?http://www.cycles-thomas.com/default...l/page-13.html

  15. #15

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    Smile

    Museeuw Bikes will be available in the US for the 2008 season through selected bike shops. They just won a prestigious European award for the new 2008 line of carbon/flax hybrid composite bikes - see www.roadcyclinguk.com. If you can read Dutch, check them out at http://www.museeuwbikes.be/item.php?lang=NL.

  16. #16
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    Thanks kyle for the impressive list, admitedly I am kind of stuck on the Passoni and so far have been unable to tear my eyes away. As for the Price, a bargain compared to Museeuw's top of the range MF1 which retails for 4350 euro in Belgium!
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  17. #17
    merckxman
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    Casati

    I saw this one at Milan, nice. I think it would be good for carrying a newspaper back from the coffee shop also.
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  18. #18

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    Bump to this thread. I like Battaglin!
    http://www.battaglin.it/

  19. #19
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    I'm somewhat amazed that this thread actually trailed off to Belgian and French bikes before someone mentioned Cinelli. They make more than just cockpit parts see: www.cinelli-usa.com

  20. #20
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    Montagner

    I have a Montagner time trial bike, these seem to be quite rare have only seen a couple of road frames on eBay. They are mainly manufactured from Oria tubing.

    MONTAGNER Frame & Forks:- Handmade in Italy by Luigi Montagner (Mon-Tan-yair) Raced by the Czechoslavakian and Polish National Teams.



    Montagner's feature a decal:-
    cicli MONTAGNER - Passarella (VE)
    Colorado Spring 1986
    Primato Mondiale Squadre 4km
    tempo: 4,15,18 - media: 57,806 km/h



    Old advert from Winning Magazine.

    Last edited by steelisreal2; 07-05-2008 at 05:49 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by foggypeake
    I love my Scapin, but its old and steel. Probably not what you are looking for, but still a fantastic bike though.
    +1(000).

    hey, that's my bike! never seen another one until now...
    it's been through a million incarnations of parts, currently undergoing a resto back to complete italian thoroughbred bling...c-record, chrome ELOS fork, etc. even got some cussi cages in a matching green (*that* was a find!).


  22. #22
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  23. #23
    I've got to get in shape.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dookie
    +1(000).

    hey, that's my bike! never seen another one until now...
    it's been through a million incarnations of parts, currently undergoing a resto back to complete italian thoroughbred bling...c-record, chrome ELOS fork, etc. even got some cussi cages in a matching green (*that* was a find!).


    Your link to your picture doesn't work, but I'd love to see your bike. Just out of curiousity, where did you buy it? I bought mine at Performance about 14 years ago.

  24. #24
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    i'm seeing it now...i think the server might have had some issues over the weekend.

    i got mine at performance as well...on clearance in ~1994. remember what you paid for yours? mind sharing (PM is fine)?

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