Wooden rims manufacturing began during the second world war and is linked to the name of d’Alessandro who at the time was producer of aluminium and wooden rims with his main production in Milan but transferred with his machinery in Guello, an area of Bellagio, to escape bombings which were daily brought on Milan.
It was in Guello that the collaboration with Antonio Cermenati started and Antonio, in 1946, when war ended decided to continue wooden rims production under the new name “Cerchio Ghisallo” together with his son Giovanni.
Since then Cerchio Ghisallo location has been in Via Adua in Magreglio around 100 meters from Santuario della Madonna del Ghisallo where Antonio operated with a mechanical repairing activity too.
At the end of the war Cerchio Ghisallo production grew thanks to raw mineral material shortage, in 1947 it came the request by Allied Australian Headquarters for a wooden rims supply to be shipped directly in Australia.
During last century 1950’s and 60’s economic boom it became increasingly less suitable to manufacture bicycle wooden rims, aluminium was becoming cheaper and it was possible to put up big production lines offering the product with a competitive price.
It was only thanks to Giovanni’s tenacity that Cerchio Ghisallo survived through these years when the production continued despite of low profitability, Giovanni Cermenati passion allowed Cerchio Ghisallo to survive in a market more and more difficult despite wooden rim superior qualities which were recognised by many professional cyclists.
During these years, product requests from abroad continued and many famous designers used wooden rims in their projects.
In the meanwhile Ghisallo became an international pole of attraction, Giovanni was lucky to meet great champions like Coppi, Bartali and Magni. In particular Bartali was a close acquaintance and also Magni who would have funded together with Giovanni the cycling museum at Ghisallo.
During the 1980’s Giovanni’s son, Antonio, got the torch from Giovanni bringing new improvements to the product by introducing new items and bicycle parts.
Present day, Ghisallo are proud to provide the finest of wooden cycling products from the original rims to handle bar grips, mudguards and even the odd frame, below are just some of the rim designs produced by Ghisallo. These rims come in various sizes including 26in & 29in with even a 16in version especially for the much loved Brompton folding bike.
With these wooden rims being hand made to order, timescales are much longer than your average rim, averaging 4-6 weeks, however I can assure you they are worth the wait! Give us a bell to discuss more.