Sometimes it’s worth taking a break from all the adventure and gravel bikes flooding the media streams and remind yourself of simpler machines assembled purely for fun and functionality. Italy’s Ciclico workshop takes us back with their latest build, Solemio.
Leonardo Ragusa de Vargas Macciucca is a passionate Italian mechanic who derives a great deal of pleasure from repurposing old and disused frames and components, of which there is a plentiful supply in his homeland — if you know where to look for them.
His newest creation, Solemio, or My Sun, is an amalgamation of various classic parts, but he started with the pedals: a rare pair of Barelli ‘Supreme’ pedali. Despite their Mediteranean moniker, they have an English heritage.
Barelli pedals were manufactured by Geoff Chapman, an English engineer who lived in Bar Hill, near Cambridge. Perhaps in an effort to capitalize on the prestige associated with components made in Italy, the Barelli name was evolved from Bar Hill.
Despite the misleading branding, Barelli pedals were highly regarded. They were over-engineered for their time, offered with a lifetime guarantee and garnered an esteemed reputation — notwithstanding occasional reports of failures.
In a similar tradition to Campagnolo’s Delta brakes, they did not let their good looks get in the way of functionality, and to coin an English technical phrase, they certainly look the bollocks, perfectly complementing the rest of the Campy components.
Chorus Monoplaner brakes were installed fore and aft of the crankset, along with Chorus derailleurs and Nisi rims. There’s a 3ttt handlebar up front, a well-worn Brooks Professional saddle and a custom top tube handle grip.
The frame is a restored Berma unit made from Columbus tubes with Cinelli lugs, painted with a most delicious lemon yellow hue, and Solemi truly warms the heart and eyes. It would be a real treat to take it for a ride around the piazza.
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