France vs Italy

K0Power
K0Power Posts: 30
edited November 2012 in Road general
I have been cycling for a while, but I have only just become interested in the history of the sport. I am curious why is there such a romance and nostalgia for italian cycling and italian bikes, but not french bikes?

I have started reading the blog 'the italian cycling journal', but I was curious why there are no blogs dedicated to french cycling or french bikes? Anyone have any idea about this? or am I just missing something when it comes to italian bikes?

Comments

  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,383
    because they re purty...

    AS the Dutch say (in their very Dutch way), when you buy Italian you just pay more for the emotion...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • I think the french are not good at cashing on their expertise...

    Besides, when Look (french) outsourced their steel bike production in the 90s, they went for italian craftsmanship... so that tells you something
    left the forum March 2023
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    There are very few artisan builders in France whereas there are still a few left in Italy. The centre of the French bike building industry was St Etienne and a bit like going on a trip to Nottingham or Coventry, it's not quite the romantic notion of a craftsman in a small workshop somewhere in the Italian Lakes. Apart from Cyfac (and they're not small) I can't think of any boutique French builders.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Us Brit's make great machines as well. But as usual as a nation we don't look beyond our own noses when it comes to buying our own stuff. However the northern Italians on style are just streets ahead Milan vs East End for clothes. Italian fish and seafood cooking vs pickled whelks and battered fish. Shall i go on ........ Bianchi v Ribble!

    The Italians combine industrial finesse, design and passion into one. Trouble is you pay for all those elements. Take Porsche, brilliant cars but with all of the style and design bred from Lada. Ferrari on the other hand has it all. France like us mostly fail to combine these all together to create brand legend, so despite their history it is still the Italians who win the day hands down.
  • Us Brit's make great machines as well. But as usual as a nation we don't look beyond our own noses when it comes to buying our own stuff. However the northern Italians on style are just streets ahead Milan vs East End for clothes. Italian fish and seafood cooking vs pickled whelks and battered fish. Shall i go on ........ Bianchi v Ribble!

    The Italians combine industrial finesse, design and passion into one. Trouble is you pay for all those elements. Take Porsche, brilliant cars but with all of the style and design bred from Lada. Ferrari on the other hand has it all. France like us mostly fail to combine these all together to create brand legend, so despite their history it is still the Italians who win the day hands down.

    Music for my ears... 8)
    left the forum March 2023
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    Its the same with motor bikes and has been for years.italian stuff like ducatti are expensive but crap where as jap stuff is frowned upon,although much better made etc.One has soul,one doesn,t.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • I guess there is no logic to it, for most its probably just about the italian passion and emotion. But i'm surprised there is not more prestige for French brands. I would love to have a Time or a Cyfac. Anyone know any shops that deal only in boutique brands? I want to avoid the normal specialized/giant/ trek.
  • K0Power wrote:
    I guess there is no logic to it, for most its probably just about the italian passion and emotion. But i'm surprised there is not more prestige for French brands. I would love to have a Time or a Cyfac. Anyone know any shops that deal only in boutique brands? I want to avoid the normal specialized/giant/ trek.

    I don't like carbon, but rode a TIME through the Pyrenean raid a couple of years back... Very good frame, light, yet forgiving... Very good descender, which is the way I judge a frame... If it rides well at 45 mph and you can corner at over 35 feeling safe, it is a good frame
    left the forum March 2023
  • LegendLust
    LegendLust Posts: 1,022
    K0Power wrote:
    I guess there is no logic to it, for most its probably just about the italian passion and emotion. But i'm surprised there is not more prestige for French brands. I would love to have a Time or a Cyfac. Anyone know any shops that deal only in boutique brands? I want to avoid the normal specialized/giant/ trek.

    Depends where you live. Le Beau Velo in London deals with boutique brands.
  • hipshot
    hipshot Posts: 371
    Old Gitanes and Peugeots are often beautiful bikes, but they were usually mass produced and came with Simplex rather than Campagnolo so were at a disadvantage straight away. They also had their own esoteric threading and diameters. You can pick up vintage French stuff for pennies, because the prestige just isn't there. Yet.
  • What transfer looks nicer at the cafe stop...?

    Motobecane or De Rosa

    No contest...
    I'm not getting old... I'm just using lower gears......
    Sirius - Steel Reynolds 631
    Cove Handjob - Steel Columbus Nivacrom
    Trek Madone - Carbon
  • What transfer looks nicer at the cafe stop...?

    Motobecane or De Rosa

    No contest...

    Old De Rosa had an allure, modern De Rosa are overpriced version of the same stuff from taiwan... I think us Italians still live off the glory of the steel days, when all the champions wanted to ride an Italian frame... when there wasa reason to ride an Italian frame... the name is still there but the product is not cutting edge any longer and riders now ride what they are told to ride by a sponsor, they can no longer choose like Merckx did... I can't even remember the last time a race of any importance was won on a De Rosa frame... there are still some niche artisans in Italy, like Pegoretti and a handful of others... but Pinarello, De Rosa, Colnago... it's all mass produced stuff... just the same as Look and the other french brands
    left the forum March 2023