The story behind the latest bike, or bikes — as it will be revealed — to leave the workshop of Italy’s Legor Cicli reads like a cinematic love story. Maybe La Doce Vita, with a little bit of Ladri di biciclette thrown in for a bit of drama.
Although Legor Cicli is now based in Barcelona, Mattia Paganotti is and always will be Italian. Unfortunately for Italy, and its exorbitant taxation and insurance charges, artisans such as Mattia are forced to move abroad to practice their craft.
We just see a small fraction of the bikes produced by Legor Cicli here on the pages of Cycle EXIF. Most are out the door or shipped off to customers before they have a chance to be photographed. Still, a quick browse through Mattia’s Tumblr feed will reveal a very prolific builder of very colourful frames.
This pair of commuter/tourers are quite understated in comparison to the usual from Legor Cicli, which tend to maximise the skills of his frame painter — colours that swirl like cooling lava, overlaid with masked matte angular shapes.
Mattia made these matching bikes for, appropriately, a married couple, and while they’ve been primarily designed for traversing the strade e vicoli, they could very easily be laden with a set of panniers for an easy tour in search of La Dolce Vita.
Details abound; there’d be plenty to admire while it’s leaning against the wall of a regional eatery, during a break on the vacanza. The bikes are virtually identical, from the Brooks saddles to the brass bells. Save for geometry, that is: ‘Chica’ is based around a 650b platform, for ‘Chico’ it’s 700c.
Checking the bikes in as luggage is a cinch with S&S couplers. Both feature custom racks, front and rear, with an elegantly poised Schmidt Edelux headlight positioned in the forecastle. Their lines are more decorative than linear, adding a touch of Italian flamboyance.
Chico e Chica both utilise Rohloff internally-geared rear hubs, ensuring thousands of kilometres of reliable shifting. Of course, Rohloff’s quirky cable configuration needs special consideration, which Mattia has dealt with in the most sophisticated way possible.
The two bikes are finished with a slew of Paul Components: seat post, brake levers and calipers, and cranks and chainring. The fork is turning on a Chris King headset, and there’s two Iris King Cages for each bike. Beaten fenders add a further trad touch.
Mattia constructed the frames from Columbus Spirit tubi, then made matching stems for each frame. The cabling for the dynamo lights is internally routed — the rear running all the way through to the integrated light on the fender.
And Ladri di biciclette? You can imagine that the time taken for the construction of these two bikes would have been considerable, so imagine Mattia’s shock when, three days before the bikes were to be delivered to their new owners, the man’s bike was stolen from the Legor Cicli shopfront.
Fortunately, a friend of Mattia encountered the thief up the road and apprehended him and was able to return it to its builder. Matching tracksuits might be cringeworthy, but a matching pair of bikes is a beauty to behold. Special thanks to Amparito Sebastia for the photos.
PS: Look up the #2Rando hashtag on Instagram for the full production process