Bella Ciao city bikes are now available in the UK through online retailers bikesales4u and we reckon they’re going to appeal to the style-conscious as well as those after some good, old-fashioned practicality. All the bikes in the range have classic looks, feature frames that are handbuilt in northern Italy, and are assembled in Germany.
The lugged steel Corvo Citta is about as traditional-looking as you can get – and that’s really saying something at time when there are so many retro-styled bikes out there in the marketplace. The frame is available in both men’s (Uomo) and women’s (Donna) versions, and you can opt for either a singlespeed setup (£599) or go for a Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal hub (£699).
Time-honoured features include a fully enclosed steel chainguard that’s painted to match the frame, along with full mudguards, a Brooks B17 leather saddle and leather grips. The manufacturers give the weight of the men’s version at just over 30lb (14kg) – not light, but we’re guessing most prospective customers are going to be after reliability rather than speed.
The Neorealistica is a more high-end version of the step-through Corvo Citta Donna featuring, for example, a Stronglight crankset, polished stainless steel mudguards, and MKS Sylvan Stream pedals. The singlespeed model comes in at £799, although you can go for a Nexus 3-speed build for £899.
£1,199 gets you the top-level Veloce version of the Neorealistica – ‘Veloce’ meaning ‘fast’ in Italian, rather than referring to the Campagnolo groupset of the same name. You actually get a Nexus 7-speed hub here and a Columbus Cromo tubing version of the frame.
Finally, for the time being, there’s the Ingegnere which is built around a double butted Columbus Cromo frame. At 24.2lb (11kg), it’s the lightest bike in the Bella Ciao lineup. Prices start at £799 for the basic singlespeed version and rise to £949 for the 3-speed Nexus model. There’s also an Alfine 8-speed internal hub model (£1199) and even one featuring Schlumpf-Getriebe gearing (£1399).
For more info on the Bella Ciao range go to bikesales4u.com.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.