Last spring, I spent some time cycling in Italy. Surrounded by Pinarellos, Colnagos, DeRosas, etc., it occurred to me that "I just gotta get an Italian road bike." But there was really very little thought behind that decision. It was more about the lore, the look, the legend--the emotion--of Italian cycling.
Having checked out a bunch of Italian bike websites, I commonly read phrases like "classic italian ride."
But the truth is I have no idea what such a phrase means. Does it mean anything? Is it all (or partly) marketing smoke and mirrors? I asked a guy at a bike shop about the ride quality of Italian bikes, and he just kind of got quietly misty eyed, like he was thinking of his first high school girl friend.
So the question (ok, three questions) is, aside from history and bling, what makes Italian bikes special? Is there such a thing as a "classic Italian ride?" (I can hear the jokes about Sophia Loren already) Am I right to be concerned about the two-year frame warranty that most Italian frame companies seem to offer?