|Pino Morroni and a lugged and brazed titanium frame. |
(Photo from Classic Rendezvous)
|Pino Morroni titanium stem, mounted on Eddy Merckx's|
Hour Record bike, photographed for a March '91 issue
of Bicycle Guide magazine.
Probably the most famous client of Pino Morroni's was Eddy Merckx, whose aforementioned Hour Record bike of '72 used several parts either manufactured or modified by Pino. That bike used a titanium stem which can be easily identified in photos. Other parts that were reportedly supplied by Pino were titanium hub axles, titanium bottom bracket spindle, and a special aluminum headset. A unique seat post made of titanium or perhaps magnesium was also supplied, though a close look at photos of the Hour Record bike show that Merckx may have used a lightened Campagnolo seat post during the actual record ride instead.
|According to the Aug. '74 issue of Bike World, the saddle|
and seat post combination weighed no more
than the stock Brooks Professional saddle.
|Some early versions of Pino's bottom bracket unit, and a|
specially-made tool for installing it. (Bike World, Aug. '74)
|Pino Morroni proclaimed his wheels were the strongest|
available. End of story. (Photo from Classic Rendezvous)
|Pino's titanium bottom bracket shell (left) and Behringer working on the|
frame (right). (From Popular Mechanics, July '82)
Pino built and sold highly regarded steel frames, first with his own name in the 70s, and later with the brand name Telavio in the 80s. In both cases, the bikes would be adorned with a logo of three green mice -- something that was a trademark for Pino's products (if anyone out there knows why, I'd love to know). Though built from lugged steel and looking fairly traditional at first glance, the frames typically incorporated some of Pino's unique ideas and innovations. One such idea was the use of internal tubular frame stiffeners. On the Classic Rendezvous page about Pino Morroni, one can see an excellent example of a Telavio frame (owned by CR member, Wayne Bingham) and if one looks closely, they can see small holes through the frame tubes. Those holes are pieces of tubing brazed into place through the cross-section of the main tubes, which is supposed to prevent any twisting/flexing of the frame. In recent years, Italian framebuilder and innovator Dario Pegoretti took a similar approach to frame stiffening with his "Big Leg Emma" frame, the difference being that Pegoretti uses flat steel plates instead of sections of tubing.
|The down tube on a Telavio track bike. Note the small holes at|
either end of the down tube decal. Those are pieces of small-diameter
tubing brazed into place through the cross section to eliminate
any flex or twisting. (From Classic Rendezvous)
Pino Morroni was an innovator right to the end of his life. Though few people apart from serious bicycle freaks are familiar with his name, his contributions to bicycling have been important, and his influence can still be seen.