Cycling holds a very significant place in the heart of Italian culture and design. From the annual Giro d'Italia race (that sends a rushing stream of neon spandex and carbon fiber through the countryside) to "Bicycle Thieves" (aka "The Bicycle Thief," the iconic novel and film of the same name that defined post-World War II Italy) bikes are a core aspect of Italian identity. At this year's Milan Design Week we came across a group of frame-builders who are injecting some of the classic, handmade Italian aesthetic into the local bike culture with a touch of forward-thinking innovation. Milan-based Scatto Italiano builds custom frames and sources the finest components for their utility-focused urban machines—complete with handmade, pure American walnut handlebars.
Since each of the frames are custom, users have the opportunity to create the bike that is aesthetically and functionally optimal for their personal needs and desires. Frames can be specified down to the slightest measurement and the utmost attention is paid to every detail. It's this commitment to craftsmanship and building a bike that's meant to last that inspired the team behind Scatto Italiano to set out on their mission. Aside from the beautiful track-inspired frames, components are sourced carefully from the finest producers around the world. London's Brick Lane Bikes provides simple, polished brake levers, while specialist wheel-maker H Plus Son lends their highly regarded performance rims to give the bikes a sturdy yet nimble feel.
What stands out most to the discerning cyclist is Scatto Italiano's optional wood handlebar. Handmade in the Milan workshop from the finest American Walnut, the handlebar's material weathers and develops a patina in the same way leather does. The design team at Scatto Italiano tells CH the wooden bars contribute to a smooth and tactile ride.
Italian quality doesn't come cheap, but few custom options offer the quality, style and timelessness of Scatto Italiano. Frames start at €1,126, while complete rides—outfitted with premium components—are around €2,168. Meanwhile, a set of wooden handlebars runs €110 for a flat-bar and €150 for the curved, café-racer style. Keep an eye on the brand's upcoming offering of leather bike bags and accessories in the coming months.
Images courtesy of Scatto Italiano