Benotto Classic Italian Bikes
The classic Italian bicycle brand Benotto was founded by Giacinto Benotto. Like many of the renowned Italian bike manufacturers, Benotto himself was a passionate racer and had had first hand experience of the competitive world of racing and the need for high quality designs.
Racing bikes for the future
The company was set up in Torina, Italy, in 1931, when Benotto was just 24. Benotto, together with his brother, did a lot of research on the development of racing bikes for the future. However, early in 1948, the story of the brand took a somewhat unusual turn. Having read about the newly discovered oil in Venezuela, Benotto was keen to travel to Venezuela in order to set up his classic bicycle brand.
The introduction of bikes to Latin America
They reached the port La Guaira in the summer of 1948, along with 200 newly designed Benotto bikes. As they went through customs, Benotto explained his concept of introducing bikes to Latin America. Despite his best efforts, they weren't convinced. They maintained, 'here in Venezuela we don’t bike, we drive Cadillacs'. Despite the initial opposition he became a successful bicycle pioneer. Benotto developed the first Venezuelan fold-bike, the first tandem and a five person bicycle which became famous through television apperances.
The influence of the Benotto family
A further Benotto family member, Felice Benotto, also engaged himself in the in the racing scene in Venezuela, and successfully managed to get a team to Mexico in October 1950. In 1953, part classic Benotto bicycle bicycle moved to Mexico City, but the Italian production remained until 1983/84.
The world championship success of Benotto bikes
11 world championship titles have been won by riders of Benotto bicycles, the most most notable winner being Franscesco Moser in San Cristobal, Venezuela, in 1977. Ole Ritter made an hour record on a vintage Benotto bicycle in 1968, 48653 km, in Mexico City. The Benotto 3000 model was ridden by Francesco Moser, which includes classic Columbus SL tubing. Another key model of this collection is the Benotto 2700, which has the same SL tubing, but also has a fork with chromed Campagnolo ends. Benotto is also known for its cello-tape, a handlebar tape which became extremely popular in the 70s and 80s. It was light, made of plastic and came in many shiny colours.