Bicycle (racing)

F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A

Established 1885

Founded in 1885 by medical instrument maker Edoardo Bianchi, F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A is the world’s oldest bicycle-making company still in existence. Bianchi stood at the forefront of modern bicycle design, focussing on the use of equal-sized wheels with pneumatic rubber tires and a front-wheel caliper brake. From 1897 to 1967 Bianchi also produced motorcycles and in 1955 the joint-venture Autobianchi was created together with Fiat and Pirelli for the manufacturing of cars.

Bianchi’s marquee color contributes to the iconic value. It has always been called ‘celeste’ (which translates roughly to ‘sky blue’), but the actual shade has varied over the years from a bluish tint to its current minty green. However, its exact origin is a big mystery. Some say Edoardo wanted to match the eyes of the Italian queen, others say it’s the color of the sky over Milan. Less romantic people think that Bianchi simply used surplus military paint after World War I, which had toned-down over the years. We’ll never exactly know, but iconic it is!

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Photo credits
© F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A, Milan, Italy

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