Having grown up in Italy, builder Claudio Bellon was surrounded by cycling culture throughout childhood. Though bicycles continued to run as a theme throughout his life, and despite decades of experience as a welder and fabricator, it was only after being prodded by friends that he decided to take to the torch to build them for himself. Self-taught with house-made fixtures and tooling, Claudio focuses on building the classic, lugged frame sets that he would like to see more of in the world…
BIKERUMOR: Why did you first decide to build your first bike? Who did you build it for?
CLAUDIO: I decided to build a bike because my friends asked me why I hadn’t ever built one even though I have been making things with my hands for decades. From building metal and steel structures to big rig trailers to woodworking, I thought I would take their advice and look into bike building. After much researching, I tried my hand at it and taught myself how to build and fine tune a frame that fit my needs. My first bike was built for myself. I made myself the first bike so I could feel how it rode, looked, and felt on the road.
BIKERUMOR: What is your origin story? How did your company get its start?
CLAUDIO: Growing up in Italy, cycling was all around me. We lived it, breathed it, and loved it. Cycling has always been a part of my life and as my friends and family encouraged me to try out bike building, I knew that I should take a chance and just go for it. My vision for my bikes became clearer as I researched everything I could about structure, materials, techniques, and different parts. From building my own jig to making my own parts, I realized that at the end of the day I was experimenting with new styles and sizes that added my own personal touch to the frames. Each aspect of my frames is close to my heart, but the closest is the name “Nino” on the top of the frame. Nino was my dad’s nickname. I chose to name my frames after him as a way of honoring him because he always supported me and drove me to be a hard worker no matter what I was doing.
BIKERUMOR: How has your style changed from your first year? Are you still building what you initially set out to build?
CLAUDIO: My style hasn’t so much changed as much as it has gotten better as I have gained experience from building and critiquing my own work. I am a self-taught builder and I learn best by doing. I am still building what I originally set out to build, but with the addition of more details and options.
BIKERUMOR: What got you excited about building bikes when you first started out?
CLAUDIO: I still get very excited to ride and display my bikes. My personal artistic talent for creating and producing a comfortable, light, steel framed bike that invites conversation and interest continues to stimulate my desire to grow my company and build bikes as my sole profession.
BIKERUMOR: What’s the cool thing you’re bringing to the show this year?
CLAUDIO: This year I am excited to introduce a steel framed bike with a classic design of Columbus tubing and traditional lug style.
BIKERUMOR: What advice would you give someone wanting to do what you do?
CLAUDIO: If you believe you can build a bike, you should study the types of metals and components that you desire to sell your product and be prepared to spend years in development and design to offer the public a new, progressive and comfortable bike that is fitting for racing, comfort and leisure.