But not for looking at them. Our friends Marco (l) and Aldo (r) GIOS are not far away and Larry's threatened to come visit them for years, but never finds the time. Why not today? It's barely an hour by car from our HQ.
This shop is sort of new for them and is NOT the factory where the bikes are produced (which is about 50 kms away) but is packed with history. Marco wisely is conserving all the memorabilia and history here. Pretty much anybody can make bikes (or order some from China and stick their names on 'em) but how many can boast of making bikes for the great champions? By this I mean bikes the great champions actually RACED on, even if someone else' name might have been on the downtube.
This is also their repair shop, though there was a sign saying not to expect repairs to be done on Saturday, which is the day I was there.
They make some carbon, aluminum and titanium bikes, but STEEL is king here. Marco told me of some ex-pros coming by to PURCHASE steel frames for personal use. They know that nothing rides like steel, having ridden bikes made from carbon fiber, etc.
Part bike shop, part museum. Filled with passion and history. Brothers Aldo and Alfredo split up a few years ago and now Aldo and son Marco keep the flame burning in Italy. Sadly, the only way to get a REAL GIOS bike these days is to come to Volpiano. If you'd like a made-to-measure one, it'll be ready to go in just two months on average.
So maybe you come over and order one with us one summer, then come back and ride it in Italy the next?
Bikes from GIOS' (say JOESS like in Joseph) storied history are mixed in with current production models - pretty much any color you like as long as it's the traditional BLUE. Can't argue with that!
Chromed steel, polished alloy and GIOS blue paint.
Crammed with history, this is one of those places one could linger around all day if they'd let you. They were closing up to go to lunch, otherwise I might have!
Yep, Roger DeVlaminck actually raced on this bike. Aldo was usually in the team car behind, just-in-case.
And they claim one Andrew Hampsten raced on one of these. More on that next time.
Marco is continually working on the displays in the store. With all the history they have it's a never-ending project I think.
Mille grazie to Marco and Aldo!!! Watch for Part 2 soon.