EUROBIKE: Saintly bike parts grow on trees

Italy's Ghisallo has been making wooden bicycle products since 1946 but this is the company’s first time exhibiting at Eurobike.
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Ghisallo Wooden Rims of Italy has been making its wooden bicycle products since 1946 but this is the company’s first time exhibiting at Eurobike.

Giovanni Cermenati, who has been involved with the famly-owned business since the 1950s, was on Eurobike Demo Day stabnd showing visitors a selection of wooden rims, handlebars, mudguards, handlebar grips, chaincases and rear racks.

The company – which also makes a wooden bicycle frame - is based a stone’s throw from the world-famous chapel housing the patron saint of cycling, Our Lady of the Ghisallo. This chapel is high above Lake Como, 60kms from Milan, and has been the spiritual centre of cycling since 1949 when Pope Pius XII confirmed the Madonna del Ghisallo as the saintly patron of fast and skinny two wheeling.

The chapel is full to the rooftops with cycling memorabilia, including the crumpled bike of Fabio Casatelli who crashed on the descent of the Col de Portet d'Aspet during the 1995 Tour de France. The sanctuary has long been a major draw for cyclists and many also visit Ghisallo Wooden Rims.

Made from seasoned Slavonian beech wood, Ghisallo’s products are weather-resistant thanks to waterproof glue and natural varnishes. Cermenati said wooden rims were strong and had a natural suspension element. The company makes road, MTB and city bike rims, as well as the other accessories. The rims have to be used with Ghisallo's brake pads.

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