When two Italian bicycle companies, Ciclomeccanica Dal Molin and Veloce Club Bassano merged together in 1945 in the Italian city Trieste (Triestina), a new force in the professional cycling scene was created. Wilier Triestina (W Italia Libera e Redenta ‘hooray for a free and redeemed Italy’). It is worth mentioning that when Wilier was founded, Trieste was not part of Italy and the name Wilier Triestina reflects a patriotic desire to see it reinstated.
Their bikes became famous partly due to riders like Fiorenzo Magni or Maurizio Fondriest. But what might have left an even deeper impression is their flamboyant paintwork. Bruno Villari the man in charge of the brand's aesthetics did not want common and overused colours for Wilier, but something different and special. He found the copper plating to be the most appealing and eye-catching. However, he found that the material would oxidise and turn green, to combat this a translucent paint was applied over the copper plating that would create a weather-proof coating that prevented air from attacking the copper, thus retaining the original shine.
The unmistakable copper reflection of its colour was immediately patented and would become the company's distinguishing feature for decades. Typically these were orange and called "Ramata" amongst enthusiasts. Ramata is feminine for Ramato which in Italian means copper plated.
Wilier Triestina Ramata bikes from the 1960’s onward were no longer made with real copper plating but instead, a chromed steel frame that was coated with a layer of copper-coloured translucent paint. A process that ends in a remarkable finish and is available in a range of different colours.
There may be more famous bicycle brands but it is fair to say that the Wilier Triestina produced some of the most beautiful racing bicycles ever manufactured.