Umberto Scapin founded his eponymous brand in 1957, following a highly respectable career as a professional cyclist. From the very beginning, it was his intention to make incredibly unique bicycles, made by hand and finished with a fastidious attention to detail.
Early models from Umberto’s workshop are rare and unusual. Cromovelato paintwork was occasionally used, lugs were highly refined and some models included superb pantographs. Not one, however, was the same. Some were even gold plated, and as far as bicycles are concerned, Scapin created the most precious frames in history.
In a cotemporary context, Scapin is regarded as potentially the most prestigious and flamboyant brand in the Italian bike industry. Both in production and design, Scapin bikes are the choice of only the most obsessive connoisseurs. Nothing has been lost from Umberto’s philosophy; quality, detail and individuality are the cornerstones of modern Scapin bicycles. Craftsmanship, despite modern production methods, remains at the forefront of Scapin products, which are still made in Italy to this day.
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.