Factory Tour: Casati

Our visit to Casati workshop in Monza was very enlightening as we were taken for a tour by Luca Casati who showed us step by step production of both steel frames and carbon frames.  Now this family business is in the third generation of frame building.  Started by their grandfather in 1920 the Casati name badge proudly adorns bicycles made today by brothers Luca and Massimo.  The production is small but the quality is high and the attention to detail is not surpassed.  All of the frames can be produced on size and to the customers requirements.  They use a sizing system for clients who visit the shop for personalized service and to determine the appropriate frame geometry.

Luca showed us the tubing inventory where carbon tubes are drawn specifically for them by an Italian supplier for the Aliena and Marte 2.0 carbon frames.  All the tubes were perfectly consistent in thickness and straightness.  After mitering the tubes they are placed in a jig and glued with a special aerospace adhesive.  These joints are then bandaged with thin carbon strips glued to the joints.  This work is painstaking and carefully aligned for a perfect bond.  Now the frame is autoclaved for saturation of the resins and finish work is completed to make the frame “seamless”.  Finally the aluminum bits like drop-outs, headset cups and bottom bracket shells are installed  before sending the frame to be painted.  In much the same way steel frames like the Lazer and Espresso models are fillet brazed with perfect joints that are carefully polished to a smooth finish.  Casati likes fillet braze construction because there is little heat stress to the tubing like there is with tig welding.  Again the steel frames can be built full custom and in classic horizontal or modern sloping style.  Casati uses steel tubing from both Columbus and Deda depending on the frame model, ride quality and cost.  And finally Casati still builds steel frames with lugs and they produce the Linea Oro and Campionissimo models reminiscient of classic frames from the 70’s and 80’s and with graphic details and gold head badges.

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The finished bikes in the showroom were a stunning display of bicycle art with excellent paint work and details one would expect from a proud builder with nearly 100 years of heritage.  We applaud the Casati brothers for continuing this work.

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~Ciao, bici life~

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