Fashionably late and appropriately glamorous, the Bella Ciao Superba is here! I was nervous up till the moment I saw it, but the bicycle is perfect. The pre-ordered bikes should be off to their owners very soon.
To recap for new readers, this is the result of a collaboration between myself and Bella Ciao, and you can read about it here and here. Twelve bikes were made as a special edition and they are available exclusively at Harris Cylery in West Newton, MA. I know that a good portion of them have already been sold, so please check with Harris for availability. The price is $1,495. I am not the one selling the bicycles (and I do not receive commission on the ones sold), so please contact Harris directly with all sales inquiries.
The Bella Ciao Superba frames were handmade in Italy, using Columbus Thron tubing. The frame size is 54cm, with 700C wheels. Tires are the cream Schwalbe Delta Cruisers, 700Cx35mm. The wheelsets are proprietary to Bella Ciao, made inhouse.
The Superba includes all the components and accessories pictured here, which I will detail below. It is a 3-speed bicycle with a rear coaster brake and front handbrake, internally routed dynamo lighting front and rear, leather Brooks saddle, natural cork grips, chaincase, and a handmade rear rack.
The stainless steel racks were designed by me and handmade in Dorcester, Massachusetts by Trimount Ironworks. They are rated to carry 18kg (40lb) of weight, provide attachment for bungee cords, and will accommodate a variety of pannier systems.
There is a provision for attaching a battery-operated tail light to the rack, for those who wish to supplement the dynamo lighting.
One thing I like about the stainless rack with its thin tubing, is that it has the effect of being "invisible" on the bike. I've played around with a number of different racks, and this definitely suits the bicycle best. I may write a separate post about the rack design in the near future.
The high-polished alloy handlebars are made by Bella Ciao. I would describe them as a hybrid between North Road and Porteur style bars, and they are possibly my favourite handlebars on the market today.
The bike is fitted with natural Portuguese cork grips from Rivendell and elegant Tektro city brake levers. The cork grips will be left unfinished, but they can be shellacked by the owner - which will make them darker. The brake lever can be placed either on the right or on the left.
Brass bell, of course.
The dynamo-powered lighting is by the German manufacturer Buechel.
It looks fairly classic and unobtrusive, and works nicely.
The dynamo hub is Shimano. The wiring is routed externally up the fork, then internally through the frame, exiting through one of the chainstays.
Sturmey Archer 3-speed coaster brake hub.
Front caliper brake.
Brown Brooks B72 saddle.
Non-slip platform pedals.
And the fork ends/dropouts (I like to remove those black dust caps, but forgot to do it here). You can also see the bungee cord attachment point on the rack here.
The colour of the bike as it shows up in the pictures here is fairly accurate. It is not the same colour as my own bike, but a more vibrant, saturated pastel green. If you have any questions about the features, I will be glad to answer them here. I hope that the owners of these bicycles will be pleased with them - I am very happy with how they came out. There is some talk of more bikes, but nothing is certain yet - so your thoughts are welcome. Many thanks to Bella Ciao again for the opportunity to work on this project, and many thanks to Harris Cycley for all of their help.