In our special Italia Bici section, presents the finest Italy has to offer in bicycles and cycling apparel. Each feature presents a leading Italian manufacturer and its 2007 product lines, with special insights into the design and manufacture of their products, including the input provided by some of the world's leading professional cyclists.

In these pages, we also meet the designers and driving forces behind some of cycling's greatest names, and look at the history of companies that have shaped the sport in the world's number one cycling nation.


Perhaps the most crucial point of contact between the rider and their bicycle comes at the saddle, a highly personal choice for each and every rider that depends on their riding style and body type. One saddle that has been a favorite for many riders in recent history is Selle Italia's Flite model, introduced in 1994 to great appreciation as the ground breaking Flite had light weight and a unique shape that gained many admirers in the peloton and on favorite roads worldwide, and then became loyal devotees once they had a chance to actually ride Selle Italia's Flite.

There's a saying that "don't fix it if it ain't broke" but after many years of success for Selle Italia's Flite, the Rossano Veneto, Italy saddle maker decided to completely revamp and redesign their Flite for 2007, with an innovative design and new technical features.


Like a master tailor, Ugo De Rosa crafts each and every one of his racing bicycles in a unique manner, with subtle differences in each one. But each De Rosa is made with the clear focus and quest for perfection that has made a De Rosa one of the most sought-after racing bicycles anywhere. Born on January 27, 1934, Italia Bici caught up with Ugo De Rosa a few weeks after his 74th birthday at his fabbrica di bicilcette speciale in an industrial area of Milano suburb called Cusano Milanino.

Located on a dead-end streat next to a bocciodromo (bocce courts), Cicli De Rosa looks like an unnassuming factory from the outside, but within the factory beats the artisan heart of the world famous high-end Italian bicycle manufacturer run by Signor Ugo and his three sons Danilo, Cristiano and Doriano. After a modest pranzo di lavoro (workingman's lunch) at the bocciodromo, we sat down with the soft-spoken Ugo De Rosa a rare interview with the modest Milanese man who has become famous for his beautiful bici di corsa the world over.


CyTech's Italian design and development Elastic Interface Technology offers both comfort and performance for cycling short pads. Based in northeast Italy, CyTech is regarded as the worldwide leader in designing and developing insert pads for cycling shorts. Of the three points of contact with the bicycle, the padding in the cycling shorts has been perhaps the most neglected, that is until CyTech created its Elastic Interface Technology seven years ago.

Since then, many top producers of cycling clothing like Assos, Gore Bike Wear, De Marchi and CapoForma have adopted Elastic Interface Technology short pad inserts for maximum comfort and performance. ItaliaBici recently sat down with CyTech's biomechanical consultant Dr. Antonio Paoli, MD of the Department of Anatomy & Physiology's Physiology Section, from the world reknowned University of Padova medical school to discuss his recent paper: The Importance of the Athlete-Bicycle Interface.

De Marchi

"When I realized that our company has been in business for sixty years, I really wanted to do something special, something my grandfather Emilio De Marchi would be proud of," declared Mauro Coccia, President of De Marchi Sport in his interview for Italia Bici 2007. "That got us started on creating our limited edition Contour Racing bib shorts, a product we designed to break the rules for cycling shorts."

Three dates, three eras, three generations are part of the De Marchi legacy; 1906, when founder Emilio De Marchi was born, 1946 when he started the company and 2006, the sixtieth anniversary of De Marchi Sport.

"My grandfather Emilio De Marchi loved cycling in particular," said Coccia. "Just after end of World War 2, he started a maglificio sportivo to make wool jerseys for local teams here in the Veneto region and today, sixty years later, De Marchi Sport, we are probably the oldest cycling clothing company still around.