[CR]Chesini Interview Report, January 2006

Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 14:38:29 +0100
From: Angel Garcia <veronaman@gmail.com>
To: CLASSIC RENDEZVOUS <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Chesini Interview Report, January 2006

On January 12, 2006, I met with two of the three owning partners, Barbara and Paolo, of Chesini to interview them and collect whatever information I could. Barbara is related to the Chesini family through marriage. There wer e very accommodating and patient. The shop today sells everything from high end bikes and components to mountain bikes and city bikes. They also sell all sorts of Chesini branded cycling clothing and accessories. Their websit e is: http://www.chesini.it.

Chesini is located in the historic center of Verona (at Via San Paolo 8/10) near Ponte Navi. The focus of the interview was on the pre-1983 period to conform with the interests of the CR list.

Chesini was founded in 1925 by Gelmino Chesini who was a bicycle mechanic before he began building bicycles; he began the business on his own. The first business location was in Nesente on the outskirts of Verona, later moving to Verona. He developed what became a well known slogan in Verona, "O Chesini o cammini". The son, Gabriele Chesini, continued the business; Gabriele was apparently also involved to some degree with the Grandis famil y in establishing the Grandis cycling business (also in Verona).

Chesini built bikes only for their own brand and were not a sub-contractor for another brand at any time; they performed their own pantographing. Photos of their manufacturing facilities show a very impressive capability.

Large numbers of Chesini's were sold in Europe, particularly in Austria, Germany, and other European countries through representatives. A much smaller number were sold to the USA (note: I did find an ad for AVANTI CYCLES of "Ashland and Mechanicsville" saying "CHESINI Coming Soon").

Original decals are not available for restoration projects.

Four world championships have been won on Chesini bikes: Juniors, 1963 100KM race, 1964 100KM race, 1965 Juniors (or Under 23?), 1990 They are still involved in racing as I gather they support a team involved in Italian National Championship racing.

Unfortunately, they don't have many old brochures available, and I could tell they were a bit uncomfortable with the notion of my removing what they did have from the store to scan. In general all models were available as completely built-up bikes or just as frame and forks. So, I took notes as best I could. Note the brochures didn't have any dates so I'm not certain exactly when they were from:

X Uno model, top of the line,- SL-SP-ALR (note: sometimes appeared as AIR, sometimes as ALR)

Precision 83 model, SL-SP-ALR

Arena model, SL-SP

Olimpiade model, Columbus ALR

Criterium model, "mm 0.9 tubeset" (also another reference to ORIA and another catalog specified Columbus GARA)

Grand Premio Lusso model, "mm 1.0" (reference to ORIA in other catalog)

Grand Premio model, "steel"

Strada/Corsa Eco model, "steel" ---------------------------------------------- Pista SL model, SL (track bike)

Pista Lega Normale model, "mm 0.9" (track bike)

Recordman model, ALR-SL-SP, (time trail "funny bike"); also another version in ORIA.

As an example, you could buy an X Uno as a frame and fork, or they sold complete bikes with the model names X Uno Super Record and X Uno Croce D' Aune.

I saw several versions of brochures and it appeared the model names remaine d the same, and in the same order.

I took photographs of: the store today, close-up photographs of the brochures, especially those showing framebuilding, and a photo of a photo o f the world championship winner of 1963. These I will email to Dale for use a s he sees fit.

This was fun. Ciao,

Angel Garcia
Verona, Italy