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Glasgow-based Vincenzo Severino couldn't find a bike that met his needs - so he devised his own...

 

A six foot six inches tall man who has a background in engineering and who had trouble finding a city bike the correct size for him decided to come up with his own – and has beaten the £20,000 goal he set on Kickstarter to bring it into production.

Italian-born inventor Vincenzo Severino, who is based in Glasgow, set up his company Pedale88 and has used the crowdfunding platform to bring its first model, the Crono, to market.

Pedale88 Crono (source Instagram).JPG

Pedale88 Crono (source Instagram).JPG

The bike has a belt drive and comes in single- and two-speed versions, although three- and eight-speed models are also planned.

Despite being inspired by the difficulty of finding a bike to suit a tall rider, will also be available in a model suitable for shorter ones from five foot two to five foot nine.

On the Kickstarter page, Severino wrote:

This project really started out as a necessity. I am fairly tall, 6’6” to be exact, and it was really difficult to find an inexpensive bicycle that would fit me. One day it struck me that I could use my engineering background to build the perfect bike on my own. So, I bought a large frame and all of the parts required to build a budget fixie exactly as I wanted.

After few months I started thinking about how I could improve it. I particular, I noticed how difficult it was to keep all the parts clean and lubricated in a cold, rainy, and windy country like Scotland, or in a really warm and dry country like my hometown (Southern Italy). That's the day that I started this project, without even knowing it!

He visited suppliers around the world in his quest to devise “a bike that is always ready to ride, beautiful, innovative and affordable,” and describes the finished product as “the perfect bike” he had envisioned.

These days, brands that have some kind of personal backstory, whatever the industry, have a strong pull for consumers and Severino’s – or rather, his grandfather’s – is straight out of the post-War reality of life in Italy that inspired Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece of neorealist cinema, Bicycle Thieves.

Vincenzo Severino's grandfather (via Kickstarter).jpg

Vincenzo Severino's grandfather (via Kickstarter).jpg

This picture of my grandfather from 1947 inspired me since the first day. After WWII he needed a job to start a better life. He met the owner of an insurance company and managed to procure a job as sale agent. To do this job, he needed a way to move door to door. Monetarily, buying a car or a motorcycle was out of the question. However, he owned an old female bicycle that was badly damaged. While he didn't have any formal training or mechanical skills, he figured out how to repair it and make it work perfectly. That bicycle, which I still own in my hometown, was the first way that my family was able to move around town effectively. Moreover, it played a vital role for him. It has made him feel useful, provided a better life for my family, and allowed me to chase my dreams today.

This is why I believe that two simple wheels are not just a transportation piece or a hunk of metal. I believe that it is an important part of your story. A story that is constantly evolving and can take you wherever you want to go. This is my story, about my family and the passion that we have for bicycles. And that's the reason why I really believe in this project.

So far, Severino has raised £34,116 to help realise that dream against an original Kickstarter goal of £20,000, with two weeks left to run.

The bike will be priced from £699 when it comes to retail - although earlybird discounts are still available on Kickstarter.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

8 comments

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Freddy56 [260 posts] 3 months ago
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I love kickstarter.

People can bring ideas to the market that would normally sit in a bank managers bin.

top marks

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CygnusX1 [461 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Who said raising 20 grand was a tall order?

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gonedownhill [158 posts] 3 months ago
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As a 6'6" rider colour me skeptical about this being a solution to the problems of bike sizing for us lanky gits. The problem for really tall riders is that most manufacturers only go up to about a 60cm top size meaning that whilst you can put the seatpost up to get the correct saddle height, the front end is relatively low as a result - fine if your flexibility is good but if you have any sort of back issues then it gets uncomfortable fairly quickly (although perhaps not that much of an issue for a 'city bike'). Really what I want is a 64cm frame with an accompanying large head tube (>23cm) to maintain the stack to reach.

The FAQs on their kickstarter page show the large frame as suitable for rider heights from 5'10" to 6'6", so I assume that it is basically guilty of the exact same sizing problems as most manufacturers, ie they expect you to whack the seatpost up and get your head down. I stand to be corrected as they don't give any frame geometry.

 

 

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Poshfpg [5 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I agree with Gonedownhill, unless those wheels are 32+" that is not a bike for a 6'6" person.  The short headtube look is great but it's incompatible with normal wheels.  Make a bike has that exact look and headtube with appropriate wheels and I would buy it.

Separately Gonedownhill I ride a Canyon Ultimate AL in 3XL which is a 66cm frame.  

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gonedownhill [158 posts] 3 months ago
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Poshfpg wrote:

I agree with Gonedownhill, unless those wheels are 32+" that is not a bike for a 6'6" person.  The short headtube look is great but it's incompatible with normal wheels.  Make a bike has that exact look and headtube with appropriate wheels and I would buy it.

Separately Gonedownhill I ride a Canyon Ultimate AL in 3XL which is a 66cm frame.  

 

Have a 3XL Canyon  myself (old model Roadlite AL when they were drop bar bikes similar to the Endurance); them and Rose are somewhat the exceptions in terms of bigger sizes. That said I noticed the new Canyon Endurance disc models only go up to 2XL.

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MikeKlemin [6 posts] 3 months ago
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Bike looks great,  no mudguards thou  2 

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Poshfpg [5 posts] 3 months ago
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gonedownhill wrote:

Have a 3XL Canyon  myself (old model Roadlite AL when they were drop bar bikes similar to the Endurance); them and Rose are somewhat the exceptions in terms of bigger sizes. That said I noticed the new Canyon Endurance disc models only go up to 2XL.

Seeing Canyon launch 650b wheels for 2XS sizes in the women's range I wonder if a larger wheel for the larger sizes might become a possibility.

 

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Bez [612 posts] 3 months ago
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As above, I'm 6'5" and struggle to find road frames that fit. I may be a slightly different shape because it's not the drop to the bars that I find the issue but the length: 61cm top tube is the minimum for me, even with a long stem. There are some American brands that go this big, but very little else.

Either way, a range of bikes that has only two sizes, with the largest claiming to work for 5'10" riders, is not going to improve the existing market as far as tall people are concerned. Seems odd that this keeps being reported as such.

It just seems like a wholly unremakable track-style bike other than the belt drive. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Bikes are good. But I can't see anything new here. (Including the rather tired view that 25mm tyres and no mudguard mountings make sense for an urban bike.)