Chesini was founded in 1925, when Gelmino Chesini - a former mechanic - built a bicycle named the Chesini Biciprecision in Nesente, a small village near Verona, Italy.
The Second World War would stunt the growth of Gelmino's brand, but the post-war years brought great optimism to Italy. Chesini felt this atmosphere too, and in 1947 acquired the Cicli Valetti factory in Verona, alongside the relocation of the headquarters to Via San Paolo in the city centre. This would begin the momentum that would bring Chesini bicycles great success.
The expansion of the factory and headquarters allowed Gelmino to pour resources into research and development in an attempt to find new, innovative solutions for Chesini bicycles. The fruits of his efforts would be harvested in 1963, as a Chesini bicycle would be ridden by Flaviano Vincentini to the Solo 100km World Amateur Championship. In the subsequent years, Chesini bicycles of the Italian national team won the 1964 and 1965 100km Team World Amateur Championships.
As Gelmino's son - Gabriele - took control of the company, he oversaw the expansion of the Chesini brand and sponsorship of a series of professional teams. Gabriele decided to halt collateral operations, such as a service centre for sewing machines, as focused on developing the highest quality bicycles.
Today, Chesini still operates from Via San Paolo in Verona and continues to follow a philosophy based upon 'quality and dynamism'.
Established in 1896, Emmo Ghelfi founded the Frejus brand in Torino, Italy, building a small workshop in the courtyard of the Piazza Statuto. He would be one of the first manufacturers of bicycles in the whole of Italy, naming his brand after the nearby Monte Frejus, on the border of Italy and France.
Emmo and his brother designed and hand-built every frame Frejus produced, focusing on sleek lines, simple lug-work and balanced handling. The Frejus name grew to acclaim during the 1930s, as the great Gino Bartali rode to victory during the 1935 Giro d’Italia upon a Frejus bicycle. Many successes would follow, from 6 world championship titles to Ferdie Kubler’s win of the Tour de France in 1950. Their world championship successes were immortalised on every bicycle, as for every victory came a new Campione del Mondo stamp on the head tube.
As the second half of the 20th Century turned, Frejus were looking to expand. Sales negotiations with Emilio Bozzi of Legnano began and the Turin workshop was moved to Milan, with the intention of co-producing bicycles with Bozzi. However, this partnership was shortlived following the unfortunate events surrounding Bozzi’s death. It wasn’t long before Bianchi bought the rights to the Frejus name; from then on, Frejus ceased to manufacture bicycles.