Thirty-eight years ago Giovanni Battaglin won the Giro d’Italia with a TT finish inside the ancient Roman arena in Verona. This year, the Giro finally returns, finishing in the same arena again with an individual time trial. So Battaglin’s modern steel workshop is commemorating his victory & the race’s return with a limited edition, classic lugged steel road frameset, individually numbered, custom fit, and decked out in beautifully shiny pink chrome.
Battaglin Arena 1981, limited edition lugged steel road bike
While the bulk of the frames that Officina Battaglin brazes or welds by hand, one-at-a-time in their workshop in northern Italy are more modern steel, they still do lugs too. Many day-to-day operations have now passed to Battaglin’s son Alessandro and their in-house framebuilders. But when we dropped by this week, Giovanni himself showed us how he set up his workshop, even mitering some tubes to demonstrate how he developed their many custom-made jigs to precisely craft both modern & classic steel bikes.
In 1981 when the Giro finished in Verona’s ancient amphitheater, it became Battaglin’s first Grand Tour win (after several stage wins). From ancient Roman gladiators going head-to-head, to modern cyclists fighting for the coveted Maglia Rosa. So it holds a special place for the Italian, and makes a fitting addition to his modern brand’s Collezione Speciale commemorating major career milestones. The Arena 1981 will be made in a series of only 38 frames (and Giovanni is keeping #1)
Lugged steel, custom geometry & chromed details
It definitely is a collector’s edition type frameset, individually numbered on a toptube plate and including a certificate of authenticity. It even comes with a Giro-edition magnum bottle of Astoria prosecco, the same that each 2019 Giro stage winner receives. But these bikes are really made to be ridden.
The Arena 1981 recreates a classic, using lugged construction and traditionally sized, double butted Niobium steel Columbus Super Leggerra SL tubing. Every frame is custom made-to-measure for each buyer, with Giovanni (& Alessandro) consulting personally with each buyer to dial in their ideal fit on the bike.
It really is all in the details with Battaglin’s special collection bikes, and the Arena 1981 is no exception. Chrome-plated, pointed lugs finish out the top end of the bike & fork crown, together with chromed seat & chainstays. The pink cromovelato finish of the frameset is special as well, requiring the raw frame to be polished to a mirror shine before being entirely chrome plated, then painted with a special transparent lacquer layer for that high gloss pink chrome look.
Special details continue throughout, with engraved and contrast painted logos & lettering on the fork crown, headtube, headtube lugs, bottom bracket, brake bridge & special edition number plate, plus the Italian flag tricolore in front of the seat lug.
Battaglin Arena 1981 details, pricing & availability
The Officina Battaglin Arena 1981 is a classic frameset ready for a modern build. It features a 1″ threaded headtube, English threaded bottom bracket, internal rear brake routing, downtube shifter bosses, braze-on front derailleur tab, an integrated seat clamp for a 26.8mm seatpost, two sets of bottle bosses, and traditional road 130mm QR dropouts.
With the Giro d’Italia set to kick off Grand Tour road racing this weekend, there’s no better time to think about a road bike build in limited edition pink. As for pricing, Battaglin said this limited edition frameset will actually be about ten percent cheaper than their last Collezione Speciale bike, something always nice to hear. They will also help spec a complete bike if you want to add a modern groupset.
The Arena 1981 is available to order now direct from Officina Battaglin with global delivery. Current delivery time is 4-5 weeks after you finalize geometry.