With news of a newly built 325,000 sq ft. Bianchi factory coming to Italy sometime next year, we thought it might be time to re-visit the exclusive inside look we got back in 2008.
INSIDE THE BIANCHI FACTORY
It was a gray and rainy day when the RBA caravan pulled into the parking lot of the Bianchi factory. Luckily, fresh memories of a fine dinner the night before in the upper (old) town of Bergamo with RBA’s resident gourmand, Tim Maloney, prevented the glum weather from getting me down. Besides, we were at the gates of the fabled Bianchi factory – a brand so steeped in cycling history that tifosi the world over know it for one thing – the company color Celeste. As our factory guide (Product Manager) Lars Svalin told, the color was originally derived from the eye color of Queen Margherita of Savoy whom Mr. Bianchi once delivered a bike to.
Founded over 120 years ago in 1885 by Edoardo Bianchi himself and the later day home of such racing icons as Fausto Coppi, Felice Gimondi, and Marco Pantani to name but a few. Bike building at the current factory was begun in 1960. Although the landscape of large buildings looks all but under used these days, inside one large building there is a whole lotta bicycle building going on. In fact, the main building is split between all the bikes that are assembled from Asian made frames and all the bikes that are hand built from scratch. Within the latter you’ll also find their QC center, a custom fit room and of course the famous Reparto Corse race shop. In a separate wing there’s a small gallery of historical artifacts and a variety of business offices. But, on to a virtual factory tour of Bianchi Bicycles….