Today’s Tommasini catalog is still predominantly steel, more so than most Italian contemporaries, with no less than seven models compared to three carbon, three aluminium and one titanium. It’s no wonder, as Irio Tommasini formed his reputation by building superb steel racing frames that were eye-catching as much for their construction as their flamboyant paint work.
Like many Italian marques, Tommasini was founded by a racer who turned his hand to the torch. Irio was a dedicated mechanic who was inflamed with excitement for cycling after watching Coppi race the 1946 edition of Milan-San Remo. He trained with his uncles in their bike shop and found himself working alongside, and mentored by, Faliero Masi as mechanic for the Nivea-Fuchs team.
Cino Cinelli also offered tuition but it was Giuseppe Pelà, frame builder for stars like for Merckx, Anquetil, Van Looy and others during the late 60s, who was the real guiding light and taught Irio how to wield the torch. Irio became renowned throughout Italy for his own finely crafted frames and capitalised on the early American fascination with dazzling Italian race bikes.
Dayne Fuge’s Diamante is an esempio tipico of Italian glamour. Columbus’ Multi Shape tube set was a vivacious but short-lived offering with every tube a different shape. The non-driveside chain stay is triangular with an ovalized driveside stay, while the down tube is an aero profile with a lemon-shaped top tube. A Cinelli stem and bar and Campagnolo’s C-Record gruppo are suitable jewels in the crown.
Special thanks to Dayne for the photography.
PS: Have you ordered your copy of the 2014 Cycle EXIF Custom Bicycle Calendar yet?