Since it was founded in 1892, Gazelle has become the largest bicycle brand in the Netherlands and has an annual production of 350,000 bikes. Today they manufacture a wide range of high quality city bicycles and leisure bicycles.
Cicli Pinarello S. p. A. is one of the most recognisable names in the history of cycling. Founded in 1952 by Giovanni ‘Nani’ Pinarello in Treviso, Italy, Pinarello is responsible for some of the most important and revolutionary frame technologies in cycling.
Before starting the Pinarello legend, Nani was a successful cyclist himself. Between 1946 to 1953, he won the Giro delle Dolomiti and Rome-Naples-Rome. However, he gained infamy for being the winner of the 1951 Giro d’Italia maglia nera, the black jersey, awarded to the final finisher.
The following year, his team expelled him from the Giro squad at the last moment, compensating him with 100,000 lire for his troubles. Using the very same money, Giovanni set up and opened a workshop to begin building his own bicycles. The Pinarello shop opened in 1953, achieving a few small successes as a team sponsor during the 60s.
It wasn’t until 1975 before the great history of Pinarello’s palmarès would begin, as Fausto Bertoglio won the Giro d’Italia. From here, the heroic stories would begin. Miguel Indurain’s hour record. Jan Ullrich’s Tour de France victory. Multiple successes and grand tours with Team Sky. Bradley Wiggins’ hour record. All achievements conquered aboard a Pinarello.
10 Tour de France victories have involved a Pinarello bicycle, and models such as the Monello SLX, the Paris and the Dogma are evidence that Nani’s legacy is one of the most successful stories in cycling.
Benotto was founded by Giacinto Benotto, in Torino, Italy, 1931. Like so many Italian bike manufacturers of the era, Benotto himself was a passionate racer and had first hand experience of the competitive world of racing. He knew of the need for high-quality designs.
Giacinto, together with his brother, researched extensively into the development of racing bikes for the future. However, early in 1948, the story of the brand took an unusual turn. Having read about the newly discovered oil in Venezuela, Benotto was keen to travel to South America in order to set up his classic bicycle brand and capitalise on this new found area of wealth.
The Benotto brothers reached port La Guaira in the summer of 1948, along with 200 newly designed Benotto bikes. As they went through customs, Giacinto explained his concept of introducing bikes to Latin America. Despite his best efforts, they weren't convinced. They maintained, 'here in Venezuela we don’t ride bicycles, we drive Cadillacs'. Despite this initial opposition, Giacinto became a successful bicycle pioneer. Benotto developed the first Venezuelan folding bike, the first tandem and a five person bicycle which became famous through television appearances.
Alongside the pioneering business vision of the Benotto brothers, their synonymous brand would also sponsor a series of successful professional cycling teams. 11 World Championship titles have been won by riders of Benotto bicycles, the most most notable winner being Franscesco Moser in San Cristobal, Venezuela, 1977. In addition, Ole Ritter set an hour record on a Benotto bicycle in 1968; 48.653 km in Mexico City.