Velo City: Bicycle Culture and City Life

Rise Of The Green Phoenix: Ciclico’s Faggin Tourer

It’ll seem strange to cycle-tourists in the UK or USA but in Italy, up until only recently, there was a distinct lack of touring bicycles, given the country’s disposition towards racing. Look hard enough, though, and you might spot a rare bird — like this Faggin.

Like a phoenix, this rare bird had to rise from the ashes, but it took someone who knew what they were looking at to realize its potential. That someone was Leonardo Ragusa de Vargas Macciucca, of Italy’s Ciclico.

Leo specializes in both creating totally new bikes from old and restoring the occasional specimen to showroom quality. One recent project featured on Cycle EXIF was a spellbinding Cromovelato Wilier Triestina.

When he decided to track down a touring bike for himself, he realised that Italy didn’t have the traditional culture prevalent in France, the UK, Germany, or the US. Frames with clearances for fenders and racks were only designed as city bikes in a 55cm size.  

Luckily, he had a friend in Massimo Faggin who, back in 1992, built this frame for a baker who wanted a racing frame with clearances for bigger tires and mudguards. When the baker’s daughter brought it back to Massimo to sell, he contacted Leo right away.

After the frame was stripped, Massimo modified it to accept cantilevers, added rack, and extra bottle bosses before sending it off to be chromed and painted in this striking green scheme with yellow highlights.

Leo built it up with a sympathetic and functional 9-speed Dura-Ace groupset, bar end shifters, and Randonneur handlebars. Quite a glorious and optimistic touring companion for a hilly Italy, wouldn’t you agree?

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