The history of Ortelli bicycles began in 1921 in the Italian city of Faenza, where Vito Ortelli was born, the son of a masterful frame Builder, Lazzaro Ortelli. His early life centered around cycling, as his father manufactured one of the first bicycles designed for children by modifying rims and tires to a smaller size, allowing Vito to begin riding by age 6. Already by age 15 he was welding frames and showing a prowess for fine craftsmanship. His life in the workshop however was interrupted in 1938 when Vito began racing professionally, in a career that included being italian champion four times, twice on the road and twice on the track– both times defeating Fausto Coppi! He also won several stages in the the Giro d'Italia (in 1946 he got the podium).
Our Ortelli was built in the mid 1940s, and was most likely to have been made by Lazzaro Ortelli rather than Vito, who only returned to the workshop after 1952 and a serious leg injury that prevented him from racing professionally. Our mid 1940s Ortelli is in wonderful condition considering its age, and still has mostly original parts. The unmarked crankset is likely to be a Magistroni piece, who were making cranksets, bottom brackets and headsets for the majority of Italian racing bikes in these years.
The Fratelli Brivio hubs are also spectacular in design and function, and were the top end hubs available at a time before Campagnolo had began producing them. The dual lever rear shifting from Campagnolo is another feature of this historic bicycle that would excite any enthusiast or serious collector.
This marvelous bicycle is a piece of cycling history and would be a rich addition to any collection.
Used. The bike is in good condition especially considering its age. The frame has no cracks, no dents and is not bent. Paintwork and decals are original. All parts have been checked and are working.