Masi, or Masi cicli, was founded by Faliero Masi in 1949. Faliero Masi had been a professional cyclist since the 1930s and throughout his competitive career he had accumulated an array of knowledge about steel bicycles and their properties as racing machines.
Faliero had his own way of fitting racing bikes to their riders, becoming known as 'the tailor'. He built bikes for both Jacques Anquetil and Fausto Coppi, but as the popularity of the Masi brand grew, many professional racers had already signed contracts with other companies. This, unfortunately, meant that Masi bicycles were not in as much demand as Faliero had initially hoped for.
Atala bicycles were founded in 1908 by Guido Gatti, only a year before the first ever Giro d'Italia. The brand were direct rivals with Bianchi, who wanted to begin an Italian equivalent to the Tour de France in collaboration with the newspaper Corriere dell Sera. Gatti, however, found out and brought the story to the pink pages of La Gazetta dello Sport who undercut Corriere dell Sera and begun the story of the Giro d'Italia themselves.
Atala, therefore, were a key part of Italian cycling history. Gatti and Rizzato's brand sponsored teams from as early as 1910 to the late 80s, winning 36 Giro d'Italia stages between 1948 and 1987 and taking a series of track World Championships with the Swiss rider, Urs Freuler.
A period of crisis followed the late 80s as labour costs in Italy rose. The brand was sold to the Rizzi family in 2002 to form a new Atala franchise, but before long they too had to sell the Atala name to the Accell group, who continue to produce leisure bicycles with the Atala logo to this day.
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.