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. When Maino decided to sell his brand to Cesare Rizzato he reserved the right to continue the production of the Girardengo brand started in collaboration with Costante Girardengo himself. Girardengo bikes are characterized by quality production, where the characteristics of Maino bikes are clearly visible, reaching the peak of their diffusion and sale between the 1940s and 1950s.
Back in late 1930s, Tulio Campagnolo stood on a cold mountain top, and couldn’t unscrew the wing nuts on the rear wheel of his bike because his fingers were frozen. He enhanced his products while constantly seeking cutting-edge solutions. He invented the quick release hub and revolutionary gearing system called Campagnolo Cambio Corsa called also Campagnolo ”due leve” (two lewers) gearing system. To change gear the rider would:
1.Reach back to the seat-stay and turn the higher mounted lever to release the rear wheel (The lever was in effect a extended quick release).
3.The lower lever with a cage mounted over the chain is enabling the rider to select the sprocket he wanted by turning the lever.
4.Once the chain was engaged on the correct sprocket the rider would stop backpedaling and turn the higher lever back to it’s locked position. This action would lock the wheel and release the changing fork.
5.The rider could then pedal forward again and go on his merry way.
Proudly presenting this extremelly rare piece of the cycling history – GIRARDENGO Campionissimo which dates back to mid/late 1940s. Extraordinary details spotted on the frame: Girardengo headbadge with serial number (31142) underneath on the headtube, typical fork crown makes you understand that this frame was made by Maino. Equiped with original Campagnolo Cambio Corsa ”Due leve” gearing system, original Girardengo crankset, Universal 361666 brakes, BROOKS saddle, steel Cinelli cockpit with handlebar mounted REG water bottle. 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.31142)
– seat tube (c-t): 61.5 cm
– top tube (c-c): 58.,5 cm
– headset tube: 15 cm
– standover: 82.8 cm
Gearing system: Campagnolo Cambio Corsa ”Due leve”
Crankset: Girardengo (steel)
Brakes: Universal 361666
Brakes levers: Universal 361666
Cassette: Regina Extra (4 speed)
Stem: Cinelli steel
Seat: BROOKS, original
Watter bottle: REG, metal
Tubulars: Continental (new)
Handlebar Tape: Cloth, red
Condition: Used, but good condition. The frame has been restored and refubrished by professional guy. No cracks, no dents, not bent. All parts are working fine.