Example: Framebuilders:Doug Fattic

From: themaaslands@comcast.net
To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org (Classic Rendezvous)
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 06:25:55 +0000
Subject: [CR]FB

I have spoken to quite a few Italian bicycle industry insiders from the 1950's and 1960's. This is what would appear to be the backgound:

Prewar, the brothers Brivio had a family machine shop in Lombardy. The shop grew steadily until it became a thriving industrial concern with multiple sites. After the war, this also included an assembly plant in France.

The French plant was in the first town where the train arriving from Italy stopped at in France. Nanni Pinarello tells me that the brothers were quite 'thrifty' and that they used to brag to him that they had outwitted the railroads. Apparently the Italian railroads charged by the kilometer for merchandise deliveries, whereas the French calculated based upon département to département rates. The delivery of parts from Italy was therefore charged at Italian km rate and from the French assembly plant to the customers was based on the département/département rate. Another thing mentioned was that the then smaller Campagnolo was the one that followed FB to France and not the other way around. Tullio and the brothers had made their reputations in thebike business by means of the symbiotic relationship that they had with one another. Nanni has also said that he is strongly convinced that Campagnolo was late to adopt full alloy hub shells because of the close relationship between Tullio and the brothers. Apparently, Campagnolo already had prototype hubs with alloy one-piece body in the late 1940's.

FB's main area of concern was originally bicycles but post-war very quickly switched over to the booming motorcycle, scooter and moped industry. They probably hit their peak in the 50's when the Italian motorcycle industry hit its peak. They employed more than a couple hundred employees. When the car industry superceded the motorcycle industry, they were not prepared for the suddenness of the decline in the motorcycle business. They were not able to switch their production capacity to the new market and vanished from the scene.

Andrea Cinelli has confirmed to me that FB were the original supplier of the hub shells, as well as many of the other parts for the bivalent hubs. Andrea has also stated that the bivalent hubs were only used on one occasion among the pros that he is aware of: during the prologue of the Giro (he suggested it was most likely in 1965). The FB-shelled hubs were used by the Salvarani team (Adorni and Gimondi ... etc) Apparently Cino was able to convince Tullio to allow their use on this one occasion as a test. They never were used again because of the financial implications and Cino's inability (or lack of conviction) to fund the venture.

Steven Maasland
Moorestown, NJ