Before introducing Olmo vintage bicycles it is interesting to find out about how this brand was founded and how it became so successful. Giuseppe Olmo was one of Italy's most famous cyclists in the 1930s. With a Italian amateur team called Azzurri he achieved second place in the World Cup in Denmark in 1931. At the Los Angeles Olympics in the following year he was awarded a gold medal in the team time races. He became then a professional cyclist, signed with Bianchi and this partnership was very successful. Between 1932 and 1938 Olmo won the Milan-Sanremo twice and many stages in the Giro d'Italia and the Italian National Road Race Championships. Olmo additionally beat the world one hour record in 1935.
When Olmo retired in 1938 he went back to his hometown of Celle Ligure, which is where he founded the classic bicycle brand Olmo Biciclette.These high quality steel bicycles can be compared to the well-known classic bikes of Colnago. Olmo used his experience as an athlete in the development of new bicycles. Olmo's vintage bicycles became very popular and the brand grew to produce not only racing bicycles, but also city bikes and mountain bikes. The production of Olmo bicycles is still located in Italy. The brand remains a very popular choice today, for both the range of vintage bicycles built in the 70s and 80s and the range of new designs which are being developed for the future.
Faggin bicycles are synonymous with traditional craftsmanship and high-quality products. This is due to the work of it’s founder - Marcello Faggin – who, in Udine, Italy, began hand-building custom racing bicycles from steel in 1945. Like many of the great frame builders of his era, Marcello was a former racing cyclist, who had a keen eye for what made a high-quality racing machine.
After two years of operating in Udine, Faggin moved to Padua, where it is still located. However, the post-War years were difficult for the company and it wasn’t until 1970 that Marcello began to focus on supplying professional teams with exquisitely crafted, custom bicycles. As his focus shifted towards racing, he passed management of the brand on to his four daughters, who would continue to design and weld bicycles in their Padua workshop whilst managing what was becoming a global business from home.
As the 1980s progressed, thousands of Faggin bicycles were exported around the world. Enthusiasts of Italian steel were compelled by Faggin’s quality and prestige. Events like the 1984 Olympics – where the Italian pursuit squad rode custom-built Faggin bicycles – only increased the brand’s popularity.
The Faggin story continues to this day, where the finest examples of their catalogue are made by hand in the very same workshop in Padua. Each bicycle is made to measure and the high quality designs outweigh their considerable value.
Click here to visit the official Faggin website
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.