Paletti - Master of innovation
Luciano Paletti was one of the most innovative frame builders, always trying to push out the current boundaries of technology.
He's built high-quality road bikes since the early 1970s and introduced innovations 30 years before the biggest international companies did. He patented the down tube inner cables shifters, the braze-on front derailleur and the Oria shaped tubes. He also built reliable competitive bikes for ambitious amateurs, too.
Paletti was born in 1947 in Modena, Italy. He started his career as a racer but he was always fascinated by the manufacturing process of the bicycles. In the 1960s he worked in the workshops of many skilled craftsmen, like Ugo De Rosa, founder of one the most famous bike manufacturing company in the world, and the brilliant frame builder Orazio Grenzi, from whom Paletti learned their techniques.
1972 – Paletti acquired Grenzi's workshop in Vaciglio (Modena) and for a few years continued to brand his frames with the double signature Grenzi/Paletti. Thanks to Grenzi's friendship Paletti also met Ognibene, the engineer who helped him to develop his revolutionary patents in the '70s.
In the mid-'70s Paletti developed the idea of fixing the front derailleur directly to the frame. The prototype he produced was lightweight, elegant and height-adjustable and in 1978 he patented the first braze-on front derailleur.
1980 – With the collaboration of Ognibene, Paletti patented other important innovations. Down tube inner cables shifters, and a system to insert the brakes into the frame. The excellent design and engineering of these patents were all part of Paletti's ambitious project: a bike with no exposed cables.
1983 – After four years and 680 hours of complex engineering work, Paletti presented the prototype bike with no visible brakes at the Milano Fair.
The success of the Paletti family
1982-85 – Paletti founded the Cicli Paletti Team and made a track on the lawns in front of his workshop. His son Michele, who had been helping him build frames since he was 13, shared the same passion for racing and began to compete, winning three titles in '82 and '85 in the junior category. Then he joined the Ariostea Team as a professional, and participating in the Tour de France with the Mapei Team and becoming part of the national team at the World Championships.
1997 – Thanks to the Cicli Paletti Team, Luciano Paletti helped many young people to start their career as cyclists and in 2015, a few months before his death, he founded the ASD Simec Fanton Cicli Paletti, a team for Modena 15 and 16-year-old boys.
Champions who raced on Paletti bikes
Michele Paletti: Italian champion Juniores and Allievi, with the Mapei Team – Tour de France, with Italian national team.
Riccardo Riccò Italian Junior champion / Claudio Vandelli, Olympic gold, team time trial, Los Angeles
The high-quality and sophisticated design is the defining characteristic of all Paletti frames and components. One of the most popular models is the Meteor, road and track, today highly sought after by collectors. For this beautiful bike, Paletti designed special tubes with an uncorked shape, made by the ORIA company.
Since the 1980s Paletti bikes have been in demand in China, Australia and the USA, and the workshop, run by Michele and his mother Giuliana, is still known and very appreciated for the high quality of its products and the professionalism of the Paletti family.
(1) Paletti Meteor, 1982
(2-3) Paletti Meteor, 1982: a detail
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