What is it about Italian bikes that makes them so special? Are they just built with more passion? Perhaps it’s the stylish Italian flair. Or maybe it’s the fact that Italian bikes have dominated bike racing for decades (I count 21 Tour de France wins in the last 35 years). Whatever it is, I love Italian bikes, and you should too!
I figured it’s about time to honor “Bel Paese,” a.k.a. the beautiful country, and put together a saucy dream quiver made up entirely of beautiful Italian bikes. Here’s what I came up with.
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Road bike: Colnago C64 - $6,799.99
I’ve dreamed of riding a lugged carbon Colnago ever since I was a bambino. They combine the classic lugged aesthetic with the light weight and stiffness of carbon fiber tubes. Sure, it isn’t the latest and greatest when it comes to frame construction, but it just looks SO GOOD. The C64 is Colnago’s top-of-the-line lugged frame. It’s completely handmade in Italy. Compared to the older C60, it uses larger diameter carbon tubes that are lighter and stronger. Maybe it isn't the most aerodynamic bike, but the ride quality is incomparable and everyone at the cafe will cheer “bellissimo!” as you ride by.
Aero bike: 3T Strada Due Team - $5,249.99
Life isn’t all about cafe rides. In some situations, you need a dedicated race machine to stick with la maglia rosa. For a turn of speed, I’ve picked the aero-optimized 3T Strada. Not only is it more slippery than a bowl of panna cotta, but it’s also one of the most comfortable aero bikes around. The frame is designed to fit larger tires, and it uses ultra-skinny seat stays that keep the rear end plush so you can hammer in the saddle for hours. The Strada comes with either a 1x or 2x drivetrain and I’m going with the 2x (Due) version for this Dream Quiver so the 2x tifosi don’t roast me alive.
Gravel bike: Colnago G3-X - $4,999.99
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If you’ve watched Strade Bianche, then you know that Italy has some beautiful gravel roads. To explore all the idyllic white gravel, I’m picking another Colnago. (Yeah, I’m a Colnago Stan, sue me.) This time though, I’ve gone for something a bit more modern: the G3-X. The G3-X combines the off-road capabilities of Colnago’s world championship-winning Prestige cyclocross bike with the aero tubing used on the Tour de France-winning V3RS. The result is the ultimate gravel race bike. It has already proven itself by taking major wins at Unbound Gravel 200 and SBT GRVL.
E-bike: Pinarello Dyodo Disk - $4,999.99
My retirement plan involves moving to a rural Tuscan villa where I can sip Chianti and explore the Italian countryside by bike. By the time I have the money saved though, I’ll be well past my prime cycling years. To help me get around, I’ll need a Pinarello Dyodo Disk in the quiver. This slick e-bike uses a small and lightweight hub-mounted ebikemotion X35 motor, which lets the Dyodo blend in with “regular” bikes. It’ll give me enough of a boost to stick with faster riders and enough range (~60 miles) to go vineyard hopping. Best of all, it weighs only 26.5 pounds, making it one of the lightest e-bikes on the market.
Total cost: $22,049.96
For the price of this dream quiver, I could purchase 35 flights to Rome, 1,000 plates of fancy pasta, or keep an Alfa Romeo running for a week or two. All are great options. In reality, I’d be happy to have just one of these beautiful Italian bikes in my quiver. If I have to pick, it’s got to be the Colnago G3-X. Even though my heart wants the C64, a fast and versatile gravel bike is better suited to my riding needs.
Unfortunately, there’s no mountain bike in this quiver. Italian mountain bikes exist, but they're often hard to find, especially here in the U.S. I was holding out hope that a Bianchi Methanol CV FS would appear in our inventory, but alas, it looks like I’m going to have to wait. As the Italians say, “La pazienza è la virtù dei forti.”