Have a look at the Wilier Superleggera Ramato. Why? Because we love the finish. We’re not pretending this is anything other than a gratuitous bit of bike porn.
Italian brand Wilier – or Wilier Triestina for long – will be 110 years old in 2016 so it has recreated the historic Ramato finish as an option on the Superleggera as a tribute to the old Wilier racers. Genuine Ramatos are much admired but increasingly rare.
The Ramato finish was a signature feature of Wilier bikes from the late 1940s right through to the 1980s, when steel was the preferred material for high-end race bikes.
The polished copper effect is produced by mirror-polishing and then fully chroming the frame, followed by painting with a special translucent lacquer. This is a lengthy process, and that means it’s expensive.
The resulting bikes were called ‘Gioiello Ramato’ which means ‘copper jewel’.
The Superleggera is made from Columbus SL Niobium tubing and this one is built up with a modern Campagnolo Athena group with a classic polished aluminium finish.
The wheels are Ambrosio Excellence rims on Ambrosia Xenith hubs for the authentic look.
“I rode a Ramato similarly equipped back from Eurobike, across Switzerland and the Alps to Le Bourg D’Oisans, and then straight up through France and back to Eastbourne,” said Wilier’s UK product manager Kevin Izzard. “I had a tent on the back and it proved to be an excellent long-distance companion. I don’t believe in building bikes to hang on the wall, they’re for riding.”
The new Ramato frames are hand-made in Italy from Columbus SL tubing in 10 standard sizes. If none of those fit, then custom sizes are available.
The frameset has a retail price of £1,699.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.