Battaglin Marks 65 Years With 65 Custom Bikes
Famous Italian racer and bike builder Giovanni Battaglin celebrates turning 65 with a 65-piece only Colezzione Speciale – fully custom, hand-built, steel lugged frames using Columbus newest steel tubes, brilliantly polished and crafted by people who love building steel racing bicycles.
Discover the rarest steel frame ever made by the winner of the Giro-Vuelta double in 1981.
On July 22, 2016, Giovanni Battaglin turned 65. He has spent nearly all of his life with steel bicycles. Riding, designing and building them. Since 1981, when he won the Giro-Vuelta double and launched his eponymous bikes, thousands of cyclists all over the world have pedaled on Battaglins made from Columbus tubing. What better way to celebrate his 65th birthday than an exclusive series of steel frames? Officina Battaglin, the brand which stands for Giovanni’s return to handcrafting steel in Italy, unveils the Collezione Speciale.
Like all the Officina Battaglin products, the Collezione Speciale framesets will come with the “One Million Miles Warranty”. It’s
the transferable guarantee covering manufacturing defects for a nearly unlimited mileage, no matter how many owners the frame will have. Orders will be available through the Collezione Speciale Exclusive Package, which can be claimed on the Officina Battaglin website. After an in-depth discussion to figure out the proper size, the expected delivery time will be 30 days. There won’t be other frames in addition to the 65 planned.
It’s a limited edition of 65 classic lugged framesets with unique and laborious finishes that will get cycling connoisseurs gathering around for a closer look. Ownership is about predilection towards 100% pure Italian beauty. It’s the privilege of showing off the highlight of the Battaglin craftsmanship in your private collection. Each frame has an engraved plaque brazed to the top tube certifying the authenticity and carrying the sequential number. The first one will be built in size 54, the measurement that Giovanni Battaglin required for his bikes in his racing career.
BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE COLLEZIONE SPECIALE
1. Columbus SL
Did you use to a ride a road bicycle between the 70’s and the 80’s? If yes, then you will appreciate for sure the Columbus SL decal on the seat tube. While the name of the tube set has remained unchanged for thirty years, with Columbus’ new steel alloys it’s now possible to draw lighter and thinner-walled tubing.
2. Tube cutting and milling
In the workshop, we cut and mill the tubes on CNC machinery, which makes all the difference in ensuring strong joints. Some of the equipment we dusted off when we went back to steel two years ago include brilliant pieces of cycling engineering, designed and produced exclusively for Battaglin back in the 80s. These machines allow us to set the angle of the cut, so perfect miters come out of the rotating chunk. Why is accuracy so important in this phase of the process?
Too much gap between two tubes mating inside the lug affects how the joint withstands stresses, making the frame more prone to fail. Unfortunately, when the frameset features lugs, it’s impossible to spot if the frame builder has managed to shape water-
tight miters, but on the other side no hand work can compare to our machines’ precision. Cutting and milling the tubing lay the groundwork for a durable build. Even if these operations aren’t as fascinating as melting a rod inside the lugs, the work of preparation before brazing the frameset is as important as brazing proficiently.
The hand-painted pantographing will provide you with a snapshot of how a real Italian-made classic frame should look. By etching the Officina Battaglin logo on the head tube, the pantographer accents the Collezione Speciale frames with the level of detail expected by every devotee of rare steel.
Brazing is the heart of the frame building process. For classic lugged frames like the Collezione Speciale, this means filling the gap between the lug and the tube with melted brass. The joints are the parts of the frame where stresses intensify when pedaling. The purpose of using cast lugs is to reinforce the area where two tubes meet, so the bike will damp vibrations better, providing a smoother ride. Italian craftsmen were the masters of lugged construction, and if you have a soft spot for classic Italian bicycles, there’s a good chance you love lugs for their appeal as we do. Thanks to a low-temperature brazing process, we avoid heating up the joints excessively and decreasing steel’s strength. That’s why we are so convinced of the durability of the frame to back it up with our “One Million Miles Warranty”.
Polishing is an essential step to getting the reflective surface under the red paint that makes the Collezione Speciale so different from all the other Battaglin steel frames that have gone before it. With cloth buffing wheels and abrasive pastes, the polisher buffs every frame part to a mirror finish. The more it gleams, the better it will show after chrome-plating.
Not only is chrome-plating a gorgeous touch that naturally draws admiring looks, but it’s also a treatment to protect steel from rust and scratches for years of use. The process of the chrome-plating shop we rely on consists of dipping the frame by hand in 19 different tanks to apply a layer of chromium on the whole surface, both internally and externally.
It’s the same shop that used to take care of the Battaglin frames back in the 80s, with expertise passed from father to son. Both
have rejected automation and have managed to preserve a manual process. The reason for this is that while performing the immersions manually might be time-consuming, it results in a thicker coating than industrial plating, making for the long-lasting beauty of the Collezione Speciale frames.
7. Technical Features
• Lugged construction
• Columbus SL tubeset
• Full chrome-plated finish
• Traditional head tube 1”
• Internally routed rear brake cable
• English bottom bracket
• See more info and order one for yourself at OfficinaBattaglin.com