Tuesday, June 13, 2023

RIP Antonio Mondonico

 Addio Antonio

Antonio with El Diablo from this feature

We just heard about the passing of our friend Antonio Mondonico.

Zio Lorenzo first met him at the old Interbike show back when Torelli had a stand there. Son Mauro (these days sales manager at former Mondonico customer COLNAGO...that's right, they built frames for them, we think Heather had a track frame built by Antonio) was there too.
One thing led to another and soon enough Antonio had his measuring tape out, getting Zio's dimensions on paper. Heather wasn't there but her bike specs were in Zio's memory so they went on the same page.

We'd been running CycleItalia for a few years by then, riding bikes supplied by the "other people" - repainted in CycleItalia livery by now of course, but we wanted to help Torelli and Mondonico so why not ride bikes our customers could buy from them?

A few months later boxes arrived from Torelli. Inside were gorgeous Mondonico frames and forks made with Columbus Nemo 747 tubing, made-to-measure for us! But they were painted orange...aranciata we were told, Mondonico's signature color for bikes they supplied. Zio has to admit not being as thrilled with the paint color as he was with the craftsmanship and the pride he felt in helping sell a few more of these bicycles.

When he pulled the invoice out of the box and saw -0- at the bottom he didn't care what color they were! He quickly stuck a seatpost in just to the MAX limit-line, bolted on a saddle and measured the saddle height. EXACTLY the 71 mm from center-of-BB to top-of-saddle Zio had ridden for years. He couldn't wait to build 'em up and find out how they rode!

Needless to say they were great and we wanted to share this experience with our clients. so we invited Antonio and Mauro to our Piedmont HQ to measure clients and take orders. Our bike tour customers were thrilled with a service like this and even more thrilled when they rode their new bikes.

In 2010 we went to see the Strade Bianche race in Tuscany and who did we run into at the start? Antonio Mondonico! He hustled us past all the race security to where son Mauro was waiting at the start, ready to pilot the race organizer's car!

We tried to keep in touch once they stopped building frames and we stopped running bike tours, Mauro usually telling us Antonio was enjoying retirement in Sardegna, so we were shocked and saddened by this news. In fact, Zio was trying to arrange a meeting in September when he's up there to watch the F1 race in nearby Monza.

Zio Lorenzo still has all three bikes Mondonico built for him: the original, now repainted in a tricolore paint scheme is in SoCal at his brother's house while the other two (one Torelli 20th Anniversary model) are both here in Sicily. Treasures forever.

Zio's 20th Anniversary TORELLI by Mondonico

The bike in the photo at the top is probably this Chiappucci bike (recently sold).

Addio Antonio!

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