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Relative Scarcity of the Major Italian Makes?

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Relative Scarcity of the Major Italian Makes?

Old 08-15-16, 10:27 AM
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armstrong101
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Relative Scarcity of the Major Italian Makes?

Hi folks

In terms of raw numbers of steel C&V bikes made, I think there is clearly more Bianchis than Pinarellos, and I'd venture to guess more Pinarellos than Colnagos, but what about the other brands? How does Ciocc compare to Tommasini? What about Rossins?

I'm thinking raw data is probably difficult to come by, or maybe simply doesn't exist. Though both "rare", personally I've seen fewer De Rosas for sale than Cinellis, but that said, there are other factors at play too. e.g. maybe De Rosa owners are less likely to sell their bikes, as opposed to Cinelli owners. So for me, the only means I have to personally "judge" scarcity is to compare how often I see certain makes for sale, which obviously is not the same thing as scarcity.

Any folks here have any thoughts? Unscientific anectodal "data" is welcome. For starters, here's the list of brands I'd want included in a ranking. Please feel free to add to it. Ranking in "tiers" also welcome.

Bianchi
Pinarello
Colnago
Ciocc
Tommasini
Masi
Cinelli
Merckx (not Italian)
Rossin
De Rosa
Gios
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Old 08-15-16, 10:33 AM
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I thought Olmo was one of Italy's largest manufacturers BITD.
Billato seems to build a lot for other marquees.


edit: are you looking for Italian built frames or bicycles sold by Italian companies?
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Old 08-15-16, 10:33 AM
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I don't have any evidence anecdotal or not on numbers of bikes sold for any of the marques you mention, with the exception of Bianchi (and possibly Merckx) they're all small builders (relatively)
Bianchi definitely is(was) not a small operation.
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Old 08-15-16, 10:34 AM
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at some point Italian becomes vague with Bianchi made in Mexico and later Taiwan.

Both scarcity and value come from small hand-brazing shops, especially if it was likely The Actual Guy with his hands on it.
DeRosa, CIOCC, etc.

Marketing and importing also affect apparent scarcity. There are a lot of Mosers in Europe, but relatively few here, since there has been only one US importer.
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Old 08-15-16, 10:40 AM
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A couple of more names for your list might include Torpado and Atala. And for some reason Bottecchia shows up although I'm not too familiar with the brand. Atala, however, may well be above Colnago on your list.

I wonder if part of the issue is not the number of bikes, but how effectively they've imported and marketed them in the USA.

Bianchi tops your list, but in part because Bianchi USA rebranded Chinese bikes with the Bianchi name. Plus they made a wider variety of quality levels than Colnago and a few other brands. The number of top of the line Italian fabrication Bianchis would be much more limited.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:04 AM
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For the tiny shop brands it depends on where you live.

Mondonico had a special relationship with a few PNW shops. During the late 80s-90s I would have considered them a major high end brand for my town.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Bianchi tops your list, but in part because Bianchi USA rebranded Chinese bikes with the Bianchi name. Plus they made a wider variety of quality levels than Colnago and a few other brands. The number of top of the line Italian fabrication Bianchis would be much more limited.
Yeah, Bianchi is/was a large company like Trek with a full line from utility bikes to fancy racing bikes. Most of the other well known Italian racing bike marques were basically boutique brands that only made racing bikes. Some made only one model, the best, while others (Olmo for example) offered a couple less expensive junior level models as well.

I'm sure it probably depended where you were if you're talking about the US market, but I recall Colnago, Guerciotti, Gios Torino being pretty popular circa 3 decades back. The first two were almost preponderant. The rest on the OP's list were around in good numbers, yeah. Masi California was pretty popular too, though of course they aren't technically Italian. Cinellis weren't that common by the 80s. Seems they were too expensive maybe, and seen as doctor/lawyer bikes?

FYI the Japanese and Taiwanese sourced Bianchis were not quite "rebranded Chinese bikes". They were designed at Bianchi USA and then manufactured in those countries to spec.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:16 AM
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You forgot Bottecchia on the list. Many collectors snub their lower level bikes but, their top level was as good as anything else made back then.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
I thought Olmo was one of Italy's largest manufacturers BITD.
I would be interested in reading more about Olmo's production numbers compared to some of the more prominent marquees such as Bianchi and Colnago. Olmo's company is large today and provides a number of bicycle styles to enthusiasts of all sorts, but in past decades (say the 1950s-70s) the production seems to have been limited to the small factory in Celle Ligure, as far as my understanding goes, and the focus was on road bikes and some specialty models like folding bicycles and condorinos.

Depending on how far back we're going, Torelli can also be included in the list.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:19 AM
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Legnano/Frejus: middle of pack

Casati: harder to find
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Old 08-15-16, 11:37 AM
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basing myself on the brands that were listed in the first post
Bianchi is a fully industrial company with an industrial production. It is presently owned by Tony Grimaldi in Sweden and is part of a larger group of companies and is the largest bicycle company outside of the US and China/Japan. It has long been the dominant bicycle company in Italy

Below Bianchi there have been a group of other industrial companies over the years: in no particular order: Olympia (second oldest bike company in Italy after Bianchi), Olmo, Legnano, Atala, Bottecchia, Chiorda... the production of all of these companies was historically measured in the 10's of thousands and at times even hundreds of thousands.

Below this are a small group of boutique brands that managed to make the jump to semi industrial status whose sales pass ten thousand units per year but will rarely if ever make it to 20 thousand. This includes:
Colnago (they were making close to 20K bikes per year in their prime in 80's) who has likely been supplanted recently by Pinarello. Back in the 80's when Colnago was flying at their highest, Pinarello was producing less than half as many bikes, so it is noteworthy that they have grown as much as they have, without really having too too much of their own production.

Below this you find the real boutique builders where a builder or a small team of builders are working to build bikes, with production rarely if ever passing 5000 units. This would be the case of: Ciocc (now owned by an industrial group), Tommasini, Cinelli(now part of an industrial group), Merckx, Rossin (now owned by an industrial group), De Rosa and Gios (Gios was at one time a full spectrum bike brand before the 70's when they started specializing on racing bikes)

Masi requires a separate mention as there are two Masi companies: the original Italian shop/company and the Canadian-owned international unit.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:39 AM
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It depends on the era and dealer network


Bianchi had a full catalog of bikes so they're probably one of the more plentiful to find.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:43 AM
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I do a lot of looking but considering age is a factor. And condition. I see a fair amount of late 70s/80s Colnago and Bianchi.

Then Merckx, Rossin, Tommasini and Gios. In that order.

After that, Pinarello, Masi, Ciocc (not the real old stuff) in no real order.

Finally DeRosa and Cinelli.

For the most part the order is supported by price with Pinarello and some Masi being the exception. I see some high price Gios but not sure they get as I don't have one on my list so I don't track sold or price drops.

In the Merckx group I would add Scapin after it or Rossin.

The older more coveted I see seem to be in this order of most to least; Bianchi, Colnago, Cinelli, DeRosa.

I search the US on occasion but primarily Az, S Cal (LA/SD) and NV. Odd but NV rarely produces nice bikes even though supposedly the Italians ran it. :-) I guess those guys didn't ride much .

I typically use CL, OfferUp and Letgo. No real data, just my experience. Probably left something out, don't shoot me.
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Old 08-15-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Ex Pres View Post
Legnano/Frejus: middle of pack

Casati: harder to find
It also depends on area. There is (was?) a Casati dealer near me, so I see more Casatis than anything on the OP's list (of course, I'm only talking steel).

I've owned more Guerciottis than I've seen "in the wild".
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Old 08-15-16, 12:36 PM
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Here's some entirely unscientific data for you. I went to searchcraigslist.org and searched for various brands. Some of these are off because they include both modern and vintage bikes. Some are inflated because people tend to include them as "keywords" for unrelated bikes. Cinelli is off because it includes components. Gios is off because it includes "Gio's". De Rosa is off for reasons that I don't entirely understand. Most them are probably missing some hits because of misspelling. I tried to narrow it down in a couple of cases.

Anyway, here's my "data".

Bianchi, 2300 (798 for "vintage Bianchi")
Cinelli, 690
Pinarello, 496 (187 for "vintage Pinarello")
Colnago, 446 (178 for "vintage Colnago")
Casati, 356
Frejus, 278
De Rosa, 2470 (787 for "De rosa bike", 216 for "De Rosa Columbus")
Torpado, 160
Merckx, 103
Olmo, 71
Bottecchia, 68
Ciocc, 51
Tommasini, 32
Rossin, 26
Gios, 1740 (21 for "Gios bike")
Legnano, 10
Billato, 3


The number for Bianchi seems a little low and Cinelli is probably mostly stems and handlebars. Otherwise it's probably a decent first approximation. Anecdotally, new Pinarellos are much more commonly available around here than vintage ones.


And can I just fume about the "keyword" list in this ad for a Schwinn Varsity:

mavic, zipp, vuka, easton, enve, fulcrum, shimano, sram, red, dura ace, ultegra, 105, force, corima, reynolds, spinnergy, spinergy, cycling, road bike, time trial, triathlon, speedplay, look, keo, x1, x2, pinarello, dogma, prince, paris, fp1, trek, giant, campagnolo, record, super record, chorus, 11 speed, 10 speed, 9 speed, bars, stem, seat post, fizik, selle italia, selle san marco, slr, chain, carbon fiber, carbon, carbon fibre, bottle cage, santa cruz, shimano, DT swiss, MAD Fiber, Chris King, Industry, HED, Stan's, Vittoria, Michellin, Continental, veloflex, vredestein, hubs, Kuota, Colnago, Parlee, Stevens, Giant, Bianchi, Masi, KHS, Specialized, Cervelo, Lightweight ,tri cycle, Tito, Mountain bike, bicycle, full suspention, down tiko hill DH free ride Foes, disc pro Pivot, Titus, Ellsworth, stumpjumper stump jumper Spot, Sycip, Salsa, Intense,BMX Santa Cruz, Superlight, Blur, Butcher, Rocky MounMountain bike, bicycle, full suspention, down hill DH free ride Foes, Pivot, Titus, Ellsworth, Spot, Sycip, Salsa, Intense, Santa Cruz, Superlight, Blur, Butcher, Rocky Moun Mountain bike, bicycle, full suspention, down tiko hill DH free ride Foes, Pivot, Titus, Ellsworth, Spot, Sycip, Salsa, Intense, Santa Cruz, Superlight, Yeti, Blur, Butcher, Rocky Mountain, campagnolo, stingray, ranger, huffman, colson, monark, colomia, columbia, firestone, murray, triumph, ALAN | Allegro | Atala | Austro-Daimler | Bates | Benotto | Bianchi | Bottechia | Bridgestone | Claud Butler | Geoffrey Butler | Campagnolo | Cannondale | Casati | Celo Europa | Centurion | Chiorda | Cinelli | Ciocc | Colnago | Condor | Confente | Ron Cooper | Crescent | Cuevas | Dawes | De Rosa | Eddy Merckx | Ephgraves | torelli tipo uno Exxon Graftek | Falcon | Fiorelli | Frejus | Flying Scot | Follis | Fuji | Raphael Geminiani | Gianni Motta | Gios Torino | Gitane | Exxon Graftek | Grandis | Guerciotti | Hetchins | Holdsworth | W.B. Hurlow | ItalVega | Bob Jackson | Ron Kitching | Knight | Lambert | Legnano | LeJeune | Libertas | Lygie | Maserati | Masi | Mercian | Merckx | Monark Crescent | Mondia | Motobecane | Olmo | Palletti | Paramount | Paris Sport | Peugeot | Picchio | Pinarello | Pogliaghi | Puch VINTAGE OLD CLASSIC | Raleigh | Rena Herse | De Rosa | Rossin | Routan | Schwinn Paramount | Alex Singer | Stella | Jack Taylor | Teledyne Titan | Tomi | Tommasini | Torpado | Trek | Univega | Urago | Viner | Viscount | Vitus | Windsor | Witcomb | Zeus torell hybrid cruiser comfort 29er 29 650b 27.5 700x23, Columbus, BMX, Dirt Jumper, OCBG, OC Bike Garage,
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Old 08-15-16, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde View Post
<snip>This would be the case of: Ciocc (now owned by an industrial group), Tommasini, Cinelli(now part of an industrial group), Merckx <snip>
Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
Then Merckx, Rossin, Tommasini and Gios. In that order.

Merckx is a Belgian company, or am I going crazy?

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 08-15-16 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-15-16, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Some good points are brought up (e.g. the issue of marketing/distributing in North America, since I am North-America centric in my understanding of bikes), as well as the tiered reply above, discussing the "thousands" of bikes made per manufacturer.

So to clarify, searchcraigslist.org is all of craigslist? Is that worldwide or USA or ?

Bianchi >>> Pinarello > Colnago. Which would jive with my experience in Canada. Casati is way way more represented than I would've guessed. Did you spell Billato correctly?


Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Here's some entirely unscientific data for you. I went to searchcraigslist.org
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Old 08-15-16, 01:00 PM
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On my local Craigslist, if you look for bikes of all the brands mentioned here, Bianchi will account for half of them.
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Old 08-15-16, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988 View Post
Merckx is a Belgian company, or am I going crazy?
Merckx was most likely on the list as early ones were thought to be built by DeRosa and the tie there.

Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post

So to clarify, searchcraigslist.org is all of craigslist? Is that worldwide or USA or ?
I think it's USA. I have searched some European independently but not much in results for me.

I use Zoomthelist if national but someone mentioned it does not pick up everytjing local but I find stuff.

For my areas within reach due to work I go directly to those three states.

Someone mentioned and I believe Guerciotti is a good add to this list as well. One that is rarely mentioned is Gianni Motta even though he had Merckx association. The 2001r with the sock lugs for the fork and dropouts with the curved seatstays is pretty cool. For some reason did not catch on but the 85' catalog out there has some sick bikes in it.
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Old 08-15-16, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
Merckx was most likely on the list as early ones were thought to be built by DeRosa and the tie there.
Eddy Merckx had a number of his personal competition bikes built by De Rosa, and he was very influential in Merckx's move to begin producing bicycles under his name in a Belgian factory. From what I've read, there were many comings and goings between the two places, with Merckx spending time at De Rosa's factory studying the art of frame building, and De Rosa or his senior builders visiting the new factory on Belgium until things were up and running. But production Eddy Merckx bicycles were never built in Italy or by anyone other than Merckx employees, as far as I know.
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Old 08-15-16, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
So to clarify, searchcraigslist.org is all of craigslist? Is that worldwide or USA or ?
My understanding is that it's a custom search feature using Google's engine that searches all craigslist sites, but I believe that it's US only.


Originally Posted by armstrong101 View Post
Bianchi >>> Pinarello > Colnago. Which would jive with my experience in Canada. Casati is way way more represented than I would've guessed. Did you spell Billato correctly?
I spelled Billato the way you have it there. I was also surprised by Casati. It seems to be skewed by people using it as a keyword. If I search for "casati bike" (using both words, not the quotes), I still get 273 results. If I exclude results that also include "bianchi" it takes it down to 49.
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Old 08-15-16, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Citoyen du Monde View Post
...snip...
It is presently owned by Tony Grimaldi in Sweden... snip...
Tony is CEO. Salvatore is still the man.
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Old 08-15-16, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Here's some entirely unscientific data for you. I went to searchcraigslist.org and searched for various brands. Some of these are off because they include both modern and vintage bikes. Some are inflated because people tend to include them as "keywords" for unrelated bikes. Cinelli is off because it includes components. Gios is off because it includes "Gio's". De Rosa is off for reasons that I don't entirely understand. Most them are probably missing some hits because of misspelling. I tried to narrow it down in a couple of cases.

Anyway, here's my "data".

Bianchi, 2300 (798 for "vintage Bianchi")
Cinelli, 690
Pinarello, 496 (187 for "vintage Pinarello")
Colnago, 446 (178 for "vintage Colnago")
Casati, 356
Frejus, 278
De Rosa, 2470 (787 for "De rosa bike", 216 for "De Rosa Columbus")
Torpado, 160
Merckx, 103
Olmo, 71
Bottecchia, 68
Ciocc, 51
Tommasini, 32
Rossin, 26
Gios, 1740 (21 for "Gios bike")
Legnano, 10
Billato, 3


The number for Bianchi seems a little low and Cinelli is probably mostly stems and handlebars. Otherwise it's probably a decent first approximation. Anecdotally, new Pinarellos are much more commonly available around here than vintage ones.

It's actual data and you understand the flaws inherent in it, I wouldn't call it "unscientific" nearly so much as relying on personal experiences with the different brands.
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Old 08-21-16, 09:08 PM
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For searches, you may want to try this fairly comprehensive tool: SearchTempest: Search all of Craigslist nationwide & more

I used it to search for a motorcycle. It wasn't around when I was searching for various bicycles.

In regards to Bianchi, I think the two separate production units should be acknowledged. There were the big volume production bikes made in Japan and Taiwan. Then there are the Reparto Corse bikes, the racing division, handbuilt in Milan (I have a mid 90s CX of very light tubing).

I've seen a few Atalas in Atlanta. I know a local guy with a pink lugged steel Pinarello (Giro leader jersey) outfitted with Campy 50th Anniversary groupo that is sweet indeed!

Cheers,
Bill in Roswell, GA
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