The Casati bicycle brand was founded in 1920 by Pietro Casati. His son Gian Luigi would later inherit the company and continue the tradition of manufacturing fine steel bicycle frames. Information about the history of Casati bicycles is thin and far between on the internet, but the following facts were published in an advertising supplement to VeloNews in 1996.
Gian Luigi, or Gianni, started working in his father Pietros shop at the tender age of ten. This would have been around 1943. In the early days Casati was not able to sponsor any major pro teams, but did famously provide sponsorship to local amateur rider Gianni Bugno, out of a “strong sense of municipal pride”.
By 1996 the company was producing something like 1250 frames per year, of which the overwhelming majority were made-to-measure. In 1997 Gianni was grooming his own sons, Massimo and Luca, to take over the family business. The third generation of the Casati family continue to run the business to the present day.
Gianni produced frames which were notable for their single colour paintwork, even at a time when elaborate graphics and paint fading were in vogue. Gianni preferred to let his exquisite framebuilding details do the talking. In a catalogue dating from 1988 Casati bicycle frames are described as being “purosangue” (pure blooded), and boasts that “A particularly careful execution makes of every frame and of every bicycle a masterpiece”. In the mid 1990s Gianni Casati conceived a completely concealed internal cable routing, and introduced a variation on the old Legnano integrated seat binder bolt, albeit considerably more refined.
Top quality, flagship frameset from Casati. The Monza framebuilder has produced some of our favourite frames over the years, and their attention to detail is legendary amongst those in the know. Never content to sit back and relax, they consistently push the boundaries of what is possible with steel framesets.
This frame belonged to an ex-racer, who cared enough to have a custom frame made with his name painted on the top tube. It features carbon seatstays bonded to oversized steel front triangle for a lightweight and compliant ride. Dedacciai carbon fork with oversized blades. Internal shifter cables with adjuster barrels at the headtube. Curious chainstays with rectangular cross-section. Steel rear dropouts. Typically high quality fillet-brazing work throughout the frame.
130mm rear spacing, ready to build up with any 8 speed groupset.
31.8mm downtube, for clamp-on front derailleur. Standard 27.2mm seatpost.
Provision for two water bottle cages.
Finished by renowned painter Carlo Dossena in the typical Casati pearl white with black painted logos ,
and visible carbon weave with clearcoat on the fork and rear seat stays.
Seat tube has a carbon insert to bring it to 27.2mm.
Seat tube c-c: 59cm
Seat tube c-t: 62cm (to lower edge of sloping seat tube)
Top tube c-c: 56cm
Head tube: 211mm
Rear spacing: 130mm
Seatpost diameter: 27.2mm
Bottom bracket thread: ITA
Headset: 1 1/8 threadless
Wheel size: 700c
Weight (frame): 1.84kg
Weight (fork): 520g