Cyclists know that some of the greatest achievements come from the toughest of times in the saddle. After the most grueling of hills comes the reward of beautiful views and thrilling descents — and in this way, the success story of Bianchi is no different, a triumph in the face of adversity.
In 1877, an Italian iron works employed an eight-year-old orphan boy called Edoardo Bianchi who, 13 years later, went on to produce his first bicycle after dabbling unsuccessfully in car and motorcycle production. Despite his challenging beginnings, Bianchi went on to become an artisan legend in the world of cycling; creator of the ultimate in bicycle substance and style to be forever branded with his name.
The Forefront of Technology for Over a Century
Bianchi is the world’s oldest bike maker. The bicycle brand was born in Milan in 1885 when Eduardo Bianchi, then just 21, became a pioneer in the world of two wheels, making the first equal-sized wheeled bicycle with pneumatic rubber tires and creating the front brake system. What’s more, Bianchi crafted the world’s very first women’s-specific bicycle for the Italian Queen; legend has it that he created the color to match her blue eyes.
With the turn of the century came a bolstered achievement for Bianchi, where innovation met great podium successes, as the bicycles became the machines of choice for winners the world over in the 1900s.
Putting Celeste on the Cycling Map
Fausto Coppi was an original rouleur; a master of many types of cycling from time-trials to hill climbs. In the mid-1900s Coppi became World Champion, winner of the Giro d’Italia and owner of the coveted yellow jersey at the Tour De France.
Coppi’s successes atop his Bianchi road bike, along with many more great Bianchi riders since, further secured Bianchi’s place on the map and ensured that the iconic Bianchi color, celeste, was synonymous with success.
Although the hue has changed over the years, Bianchi continues to produce many road bikes in its flagship color and there’s such a following for the iconic Bianchi shade of blue that to tap in #CelesteIsBest or #PassionCeleste on Twitter or Instagram will bring you a world of Bianchi bike love.
Yet the origins of the color are unclear, with reasons ranging from a tribute to the aforementioned Italian queen’s eyes to a surplus of World War I paint and a nod to the Milanese skies. This, of course, only serves to strengthen romanic mystique and Bianchi’s place in the market as the producer of the stylish, winning machines, steeped in cycling lore.
Today, the Italian manufacturer makes road bikes, mountain and city bikes ranging from entry-level prices to latest top-of-the range designs for the world’s finest. For those new to cycling, Bianchi can be a great road bike brand to choose because the Italian engineering ensures an all-round feel-good ride and it looks fantastic too; the Bianchi road bikes in the middle price bracket feel sturdy enough to learn on yet racy enough to thoroughly enjoy.
But what if you don’t like the signature celeste? Fear not. The frame colors range from all-out celeste, to black, white and a range of alternative colors. But if celeste is to your taste, you can top-to-toe from bidon to casquette (Or water bottle to cap!).
Put simply, 130 years on, Bianchi bikes are the full package when it comes to cycling; a feast for the eyes, high quality engineering and steeped in history. What more could you want from a road bike?
Have a look at our range of Bianchi bikes here or pop in for a chat to give one a try.
*Header Image By Maarten Visser on Flickr