History of Alan
ALAN is, at first sight, a bit of an odd name for an Italian framebuilder. When the founder of the company, Sig. Ludovic Falconi set the company up in 1972, he thought to use the first two letters of the christian names of each of his two children to form the company name ... so Alberto and his siter Anna contributed "Al" and "An".
Alberto has now largely taken over from his father, and Anna works with him in the company, so this is still very much a family affair, which has been in the business of building bicycle frames for a long time.
Unlike many producers, Alan do all of their own design and production in Europe, having accumulated great experience over the years - Ludovic established the company in 1972 by importing airframe bonding technology and airframe-grade aluminium alloys into the world of cycles with the then-futuristic looking Alan Record frames. These frames had polished, smooth lugs and anodised tubes, making them unlike any other frame on the market in both performance and looks.
In cyclo-cross and on the road, Alan frames won many important victories, especially at home in the mountains on the road, and in the rough world of cyclo-cross where the slightly more compliant ride of these early aluminium frames was appreciated by the riders, as was the light weight.
Not content to rest on this success, though, Ludovic launched the first commercially available carbon fibre frames on the world in 1976. Made using broadly similar processes to the alu frames, the Record Carbonio used Toray Carbon woven tubes, bonded with alloy lugs and a special process to prevent galvanic corrosion at the joint, which many producers even today omit, compromising the lifespan of their product.
20 World Cyclo Cross titles have been won on Alan frames, along with five World Track titles. Countless other races and titles have been won on bicycles and frames that incorporate parts made by the Alan factory for framebuilders the world over - Alan have unmatched experience, and many of the icons of cycle manufacture have, over the years, come to respect that experience and to call upon it.
As we go into 2007, Alan meets the new year with new designs, cutting- edge technology, and the assurance of quality that comes with "Made in Italy".
Chuck Schmidt South Pasadena, CA USA http://www.velo-retro.com (reprints, t-shirts & timelines)