Bottecchia Factory Tour
The Company On a overcast day we set out in our 4 door Fiat car on some narrow roads in eastern Italy to visit the Bottecchia factory. We flew into Venice but we stayed in a great little town outside venice. The sleepy little town is called Quarto d’Altino. When we arrived at Bottecchia we were greeted by Paola who gave us an official tour of the facility. Paola took us though both warehouses and walked us through the process of how the bikes were designed, where they were made and how they were assembled. After the tour of the offices and warehouses we were given a large book on the life and struggles of Ottavio Bottecchia whom the company is named after. Bottecchia is not a well know brand in the US. It really only came to light when Greg Lemond fought an epic battle in the 89 Tour De France. Greg would make history with that win and making his comeback from a near fatal shooting accident. Here in Italy the name Ottavio Bottecchia is more well known as the first Italian to win the Tour de France. His Team was Auto Moto Hutchinson. One of the reasons I believe that so many people love the sport of cycling is the struggle that the sport requires of its participants. Unfortunately, the historical book of Ottavio Bottecchia life is all in Italian and It is filled with detail on his life from childhood, his adventures in the Italian Army in The Great War. The book is filled with pictures that are rich with his cycling accomplishments and his tragic history. Fast forward the bike company was started in 1924 as Bottecchia Cicli SRL in Cavarzere It.
Now Bottecchia bicycles is not only the brand that company owns. It also owns the Graziella brand. This is a very famous brand because it was the first folding bike in the world. It was very popular in Italy and Europe and even had some famous people using them. Bridget bardot and famous artist Salvador Dali both rode them. Even today Bottecchia produces and distributes the Graziella brand all over the world.
Fast Forward to today Bottecchia is thriving and doing well. Like 95% of the cycling industry Bottecchia designs their bikes in Italy but produces them in the far east. They are then assembled in their factory in Italy. Bottecchia sells about 40,000 bicycles a year and employees over 48 people. The facility is two big buildings and is just short of 70,000 square feet and they have been at their current location since 2003.
Something unique about the brand is that in their performance line you can custom order the bike. So what I mean by this is that you can order a model and then you can choose the group, bar stem post in any size that you want. So when you get it you don’t have to change anything.
Earlier I said that they produce in the far east. Well, I’m happy to say that is not entirely true. They have one frame model set that is entirely made by hand in Italy. It’s the Leggendaria frame set and it is truly personifies the passion and history of Italian cycling. Its vintage cycling art that you can ride. The frame set is made to order and takes about 90 days to make one. So If you want one and I know you do, order now. It’s worth the wait. Until recently the Leggendaria only came in the standard Red and White color scheme. But now you can get it in Blue/ white and the SCIS Team Saronni Replica of Black and White. The bike is made out of Columbus tubing with the three main tubes being Columbus Spirit tubing. The pictures that we took don’t do it justice and if you have one I can guarantee you that you will be the talk of the peloton.
For cyclocross Bottecchia is making 2 models. The Zolder is their carbon model with a Ultegra and 105 mix and the Liegi is a Aluminum frameset that has a 105 mix in it. Both of these models you can also customize with Bottecchia.
For 2018 the proteam that Bottecchia sponsors has received an official invite to the Giro d'Italia. Everyone at the factory was very happy and excited to tell us about this news as it will have a big impact on the company and its sales.
Many thanks to the Bottecchia team for letting us come by and look around. If you want to order your own custom Bottecchia frame set or complete bike you can get one from Gizomo cycling.