A Pioneer of Italian bicycles, Umberto Dei was building bicycle frames as early as 1896. His legacy continues in part, with the Imperiale. This Beautiful Italian Machine represents timeless style and mechanical simplicity so often lacking in the trendy world of modern bicycle design. It displays immaculate attention to detail, while quietly and completely capturing the essence of “Bicycle”. The quality of its construction is top-notch, and we enthusiastically carry these fine machines for those who desire the Beautiful; the highest of quality; a simpler machine for those less demanding, but ever-so important escapades. These are not bikes you would necessarily leave outside in the rain all the time, nor bang around in bike racks, or lean awkwardly against poles–they are just too nice for such treatment, and deserve to be properly cared for. For those casual rides through the city or into Wine Country, down to the cafe, the farmers market, or to the movies, this bike will shine. However, we do not recommend leaving this bike unlocked and unattended; do not expect to carry 100 pounds of cargo, or carry two children to school on the Imperiale. Rather, expect the joys of Sunday rides to the local park, picnics on the Coast, evenings out on the town, and riding to work in style, all the while owning not only a piece of history and functional art, but personal transport which will provide decades of enjoyment.
These Italian Bicycles are still built as they were almost 100 years ago: steel cottered cranks, 26 x 1 3/8″ wheels on the ladies step-through frame, 28″ wheels on the men’s; rod brakes, steel chaincase, steel lugged frame, and beautifully plated proprietary hardware throughout. They come in two sizes (57.5cm men’s, 51.5cm ladies), one colour, and one speed. Slightly modern additions include aluminum alloy rims, which provide outstanding braking performance, and a tire-driven bottle generator, which powers the lights. And yes, these bikes have rod-actuated rim brakes (with built-in front brake modulator), and steel cottered cranks. Both the cotter pin and the rod brake have often been subjects of ridicule outside the Professional Bicycle Mechanic community, due solely to the amount of time it takes a skilled Mechanic to properly install, service, and set-up rod brakes, and the various methodologies required to properly replace and service cotter pins. Many bike shops today will not even touch a bike with such features, yet these classic mechanical gems make the Imperiale a true and honest Classic, not a re-production. These days, we all move so fast, looking too distantly and too briefly at too many things. We are bombarded with schedules, timelines, traffic jams, pollution, and much more. The Umberto Dei Imperiale represents a different time and place in history, bringing us back to an era when more of us actually had time to do things right, to perfect things, and to truly enjoy anything and everything life has to offer.
come check these bikes out, they are amazing. It’s really like going back in time to see these.