Universal

There are bicycles. And then there are Italian bicycles. Italian Racing Bicycles traces the rich history of 40 landmark brands intimately connected with racing. Enjoy this brief selection from Guido P. Rubino’s celebration of the heritage of Italian cycling brands.

Today, specialization in manufacturing seems normal. In the early days of the bicycle, however, builders in Italy had only a limited number of suppliers to choose among and often had to make parts or components themselves. It was precisely for this reason that Universal played such a decisive role in the panorama of the history of bicycle manufacturing in Italy. Created in 1919, Universal was the first Italian maker of brakes.

Universal, as featured in Italian Racing Bicycles by Guido Rubino

A box of Universal Model 77 side-pull brakes.

 

Universal, as featured in Italian Racing Bicycles by Guido Rubino

Universal center-pull brake Model 61, mounted on the bicycle used by Rik Van Looy in 1966.

Enjoy more of cycling’s treasured manufacturers in The Elite Bicycle: Portraits of Great Marques, Makers, and Designers.

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