Costante Girardengo (18 March 1893 – 9 February 1978) was an Italian cyclist, considered by many to be one of the finest riders in the history of the cycling sport. He was the first rider to be declared a “Campionissimo” or “champion of champions” by the Italian media and fans. At the height of his popularity in the 1920s he was said to be more popular than Mussolini and it was decreed that all express trains should stop in his home town Novi Ligure, an honour only normally awarded to heads of state. Girardengo was almost unbeatable in years 1915 – 1925, his palmares includes: 2x Giro d’Italia, 30 stages at the Giro, 9x Italian champion, 6x Milano-San Remo. After his carrer he helped at Maino’s factory with developing bikes and directing their cycling team.
Maino was established in 1896 and is one of the oldest bicycle producers in Italy. Maino was the bike of Constante Girardengo and the first racing bicycle of Fausto Coppi. Maino also sponsored their professional cycling team existed in years from 1912-1936.
In 1920s changing gears meant stopping and removing the rear wheel and flipping it around to use a different size cog. But in early 1930s, the new Vittoria Margheritta gear system was released, which used a sprung tension arm, mounted on the chainstay and placed the striking fork above the chainstay, so requiring back-pedalling to change gear. Alfredo Binda had used the Vittoria Margherita system when he won the World championship in Rome in the fall of 1932 and many pros mounted the system on their bikes for the 1933 season. The Tour de France forbade the use of derailleurs until 1937. But unlike the Tour, the Giro d’Italia allowed their use before.
Proudly presenting this extremelly rare piece of the cycling history – GIRARDENGO Campionissimo which dates back to late 1930s. Extraordinary details spotted on the frame like internal seat tube chain oiler, Girardengo headbadge with serial number underneath on the headtube makes you understand that this frame was made by Maino. Equiped with original Vittoria Margheritta – Tipo Giro di Francia gearing system, almost impossible to find in such a great condition. We are surprised how smooth the shifting is comparing to Campagnolo Cambio Corsa system. Original Universal 36166 brakes with cork brake pads, original cockpit & saddle with handlebar mounted water cage and bottle and beautiful paintjob makes this bike a real EYE CATCHER.
With this special steel machine you can get an incredible experience how cycling heroes rode back in the golden era of cycling history. Or to get a lot of attention at any historic cycling event.
Frame: Girardengo by Maino, steel frame (No.50905)
– seat tube (c-t): 56 cm
– top tube (c-c): 55 cm
– headset tube: 12,8 cm
Gearing system: Vittoria Margherita, Tipo Giro di Francia
Crankset: 170mm (50 )
Brakes: Universal 36166
Cassette: Regina Extra Oro (4 speed)
Stem: Original, steel (7,5cm)
Handlebar: Original, steel
Seat: BROOKS, original, leather
Pedal cage: REG
Rims: CBI wooden (36 spokes)
Tubulars: Continental (new)
Air pump: Impero Silca
Handlebar Tape: Cloth, green
Condition: Used, but good condition. The frame has been restored and refubrished few years ago by professional guy, no cracks or dents. The bicycle is already registered for L’Eroica events. All parts are working fine.
Era: late 1930s