The Portofino is at once an anachronism and a classic beauty. Few will argue against the traditional looks of old lugged steel road bikes. But in an era of lighter, stiffer modern framesets and ever-increasing gearing spreads out back, it’s hard to justify getting a lugged bike these days without getting left behind on the build. That’s where the true beauty of the Officina Battaglin frame comes in, mixing classic lugged steel construction with oversized tubing for the best of old & new…

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike
c. Officina Battaglin

Established by 1981 Giro-Vuelta double Grand Tour winner Giovanni Battaglin, Officina Battaglin first debuted the innovative Portofino modern lugged frame a couple of years back.

With its modern oversized diameter, premium Columbus Spirit tubing, the Portofino lays claim to being the first ever steel bike to be built with true oversized lugs. Battaglin developed their own proprietary cast lugs to fit the lightweight, triple-butted Spirit HSS tubeset, delivering handling stiffness, drivetrain efficiency, and rider comfort at the saddle. But they also worked with Columbus to pair an exclusive set of stays to fit the bike, and of course the unique tapered headtube.

Officina Battaglin Portofino, made-to-order custom steel

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

“We worked on the Portofino and on the proprietary lug castings for more than a year”, says Giovanni Battaglin. Creating their own lugs now allows Battaglin to build the bike in either 1cm stock sizing (or even to-measure) for each rider with modern road geometry.

In fact, every Portofino that comes out of their Italian workshop is made-to-order, starting with an individual consultation with Giovanni Battaglin himself. Buyers talk with the Grand Tour winner about their riding style, personal needs & real measurements, in order to create the perfect frame for each rider.

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

The newest iteration of the Portofino also gets a new 2-color paint scheme for 2019, with a dark mocha brown base, then dark amber engraved & painted details. And of course its  classic look is complemented by the shiny chromed lugs & chrome chainstay.

Portofino tech details

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

A truly handmade modern take on a traditional Italian frame, the Portofino features a tapered headtube so you can pair it to a modern fork. It is still a classic race bike, designed to fit just 25mm tires, although Battaglin can likely get that up to at least 28mm rubber for those interested through the customization process.

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

The bike remains rim brake only, getting a BSA bottom bracket, quick release dropouts & 130mm spacing. It can be built up with modern 11-speed groupsets from Shimano, 12-speed from Campagnolo & now SRAM, or even 13-speed from Rotor.

Portofino availability & pricing

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

The Officina Battaglin Portofino is available now as either a frameset-only starting at $2750 / 2400€ (including the proprietary full carbon fork to match the headtube lug offset), or as a complete bike build. This complete customer’s bike is from a cyclist in Thailand, built up into a truly Italian road bike with Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed and Bora Ultra carbon wheels.

Battaglin Portofino modern oversized lugged steel road bike

Owner Sangsern Painutaiwat talks of his new bike’s ride, “How does the Portofino ride? I love every bit of it. It’s stiff when you put the power down, thanks to the oversize down tube. It’s springy and lively. It’s very comfortable and plush, but not sluggish. You can easily fit 25mm tires, and it feels fast as well.”


  1. Frame doesn’t look too bad, from this distance. But that fork and those wheels are atrocious. Something like a Woundup would have been more aesthetically appropriate. And wheels with a more traditional lacing and fewer/smaller logos (but those appear to be the buyers choice in this case). The rest looks decent enough. Anyway, opinions are like sphincters…

    • I don’t think a Wound Up fork would really make this bike. Just because they have a polished fork crown to match the lugs, their fork blades are much thinner and wouldn’t match the OS nature of the overall aesthetic, IMHO. But you’re right, it’s all pretty subjective. My only criticism is the fork color should match the frame color, not the logo color.

    • I think the fork looks more ill-matched than it really is because of the outright color change. Keeping the brown base/amber accents on the fork would help “visual flow” there. Maybe. I don’t mind it though, but I’m a fan of modern forks on steel bikes – like you said, got my own sphincter 🙂

  2. What about Richard Sachs UOS lugset with SaxMax oversize crown for UOS PegoRichie tubesets and fork legs? Those came out in 2012 and R. Sachs and other builders have been making frames with them since.

  3. The lugged bits look ok, but overall, it does not appeal to me. Maybe it is the color tones. Also, the downtube cable routing seems a bit low to me. It is as if they did not want to interrupt the decals and the cable routing was a secondary thought. This is for the cycling-history-buff crowd.

    • Kellog & Battaglin: bike porn

      ..Owned 5 Battaglin fabolous steel bikes before i got my Kellog designed Merlin Metal Works CR3/2.5 🙂 Never got rid of any of the Battaglins on purpuse i either crashed them or they where stolen. The CR is in my book still the finest Titanium frame out there despite beeing 12-13y old.

  4. remomeber my Battaglin with complete Columbus MAX oversize tubing. Lovely ride and fabolous geometry with BB drop 2mm lower than the average Colnago/Pinerello frame + 5mm extra on the chainstays.

    (pretty much like my current Merlin Works with Tom Kellog geometry).

  5. I think the design and colour is fantastic. Sorry to those who dislike it, but as an architect and designer, the modern colourway, juxtaposed with traditional chromed lugs and the fork that takes on the accent colour, is a perfect balance…somewhat like the contrast and balance of the solid/void used in well done architecture. This is one of the best executed pieces of bicycle design I have seen of late. I have a Power+ on order right now and I am having second thoughts…this is a masterpiece.

  6. Problem is the protrusion on the back of the on a aero frame. And how it protused into the lug. And the down tube is dropped below the bottom of the head tube. Very bizarre

  7. The front tire seems way too close to the down tube. As if the fork needs to be longer or something. Throwing me for a loop there visually.

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