Italian Dreams–Benotto & Atala
These two beauties make a cameo appearance in the previous post, but they’re both worthy of special mention. We all have some appreciation for the beauty and flow of the Romance languages, and bicycle makers in those nations have indeed capitalized on the American desire for something a little bit more–how shall we put this–well, maybe just a little prettier. Think Bianchi, De Rosa, Colnago or even (dare I say it) Peugeot. But the Italians seem to have maintained the most cachet, so let’s just focus on them for a minute. It’s also tempting to try and spin a fictional love story for Benotto and Atala; I am sure they do love each other very much, and enjoyed every minute they spent together riding along the cobblestone roads of the Italian countryside…of course now they have both found themselves in San Francisco, are a little lost, and need loving homes!
For Benotto, San Francisco streets should pose no problem. You might find him easily powering up the rolling hills, thanks to a good low-range gear and a comfortable handlebar with some moderate sweep.
Atala is looking pretty in her adopted country, proud of her freshly shellaced cork grips and matching saddle.
Braided gold cable housing nicely complements the flowy font and color scheme.
Benotto’s got a couple of scars on his head tube, but hey, who ever said packing up your life and sailing across the Atlantic to the New World would be easy?
Though they’re set up with different grips and brake levers, Benotto and Atala share the same Soma Sutro Stem and Velo Orange Milan handlebar.
Unlike Atala, Benotto does have a shifter–albeit a simple, original, and pretty classy one mounted on the downtube. Atala sometimes gets a little envious of this here in hilly San Francisco, but she tries not to let it hurt their relationship…
Atala is justifiably very proud of her wheelset. What other recent emigre has the good fortune of having Mavic Open Sport rims laced to Surly sealed bearing hubs? She knows these will stand up to the tough streets of America’s most European city. Who knows, she’s thinking, maybe they’ll outlast even my love for Benotto…
Atala, at 53 cm, would be a good fit for a human about 5’5″ to 5’9″. Benotto’s a little smaller, at 50 cm, and is seeking a rider in the 5’0″ to 5’4″ neighborhood. While both would like to think they’re priceless, the brutality of capitalism and the global marketplace have assigned each of them values of $550.