At the Berlin bike show Continental was showing their tires on a couple of lovely looking steel bikes from a small Italian builder named Stelbel. The bikes had some unique details that jumped out at us, so we had a talk with their head guy at the show and got some history and details. The bikes got their start with Stelio Belletti, an Italian mechanical engineer from a motorcycling and aeronautics background, that pioneered TIG welded bike frames in the early 70s outside of Milan. After almost 20 years of welding bikes, including the bikes of a Polish team that won a team time trial world championship in 1975 the first year he was building bikes, personal problems shuttered the company for another 20 years.
But with some modern interest from the tech savvy team at Cicli Corsa, a collaboration was formed to bring Belletti back to is business and to revive Stelbel with a simple idea: stay true to the past, while continuing to experiment and innovate. With that the reinvigorated team at Stelbel has been bringing back their classics and developing modern interpretations based on modern materials, skilled craftsmanship, and an excellent attention to detail.
Join us after the jump for full details on the new bikes and the still-available classic that started it all…
All of the new bikes being built at Stelbel are made-to-order from base models and geometry, although full-customization is also possible. In essence this makes them something between a custom and a production builder. With the power of their webshop backing and the reawakened frame building expertise, Stelbel hopes to be producing in the hundreds of frames a year by year’s end. All of their bikes are sold as framesets built from custom double and triple butted tubing made for them by Columbus, and can also be customized and built into complete bikes. All of their prices here are quoted in Euros excluding VAT tax (which is usually included in our EU pricing, and adds 22% in Italy.)
The blue bike we found at the Berlin show is their SB/03 – the third generation of their new Stelio Belletti special, a modern steel road race bike at the peak level of performance. With its semi sloping geometry, it is Stelbel’s ideal, as the best that can be made in a steel road machine.
The SB/03 uses triple butted tubing and includes a special set of 36mm tall x 17mm wide oval steel chainstays custom drawn by Columbus just for this bike. Its unique hooded dropout brings together the oversized chainstays to form as stiff of a dropout connection as one could ever hope for with steel, combined nicely with a set of traditionally thin seatstays for classic steel comfort. Add in a shaped tapered headtube with a 1.5″ integrated headset and full carbon Columbus fork custom made for Stelbel for not only top-notch power transfer, but exceptional steel handling stiffness.
Like all of the Stebels, the SB/03 gets a subtle graphics treatment, with extra Belletti signatures for this signature model. The frames modular cable ports add flexibility that accommodate internal routing for either traditional cables or electronic wiring, and can even be built with disc brakes if so desired, with framesets starting at €1630.
These Stelbel bikes we’ve had a chance to see so far, really do shine in their attention to detail. This road frame uses those unique internal routing cable ports to bring the shift housing around the tight spot of a steel BB cluster at another signature element, the Pressfit30 bottom bracket shell. The S logo pops up here-and-there too, like on this simple brake bridge holding a Super Record brake to complete a perfect Italian build.
The Ortica track frame on hand was designed for the velodrome, and uses Stelbel’s custom drawn Columbus oversized 30x16mm chainstays and a signature BSA threaded bottom bracket shell to maintain rear end stiffness. The frame is built of oversized Columbus steel tubing, with set-in fork ends to make for a visually unique rear triangle, and retails for €1250 with a Italian-made carbon fork.
Again, this bike really shines in all of the details. The hooded stainless steel track fork ends are inspired by classic Stelbel models and also get the custom signature treatment. The signature details make it into the bottom bracket shell, and even custom pantographed on the headtube, as looks to be standard across the range in lieu of a traditional headbadge.
The Stelbel Integrale is the classic road bike that started the company. It is the most famous bike the brand has made, having pioneered TIG-welding in bikes 40 years ago. It is still built the same way today, with modern Columbus SL Niobium tubing in traditional road sizes, tiny by modern comparison. It is a limited edition frameset, made-to-order with their in-house 1″ threaded steel fork for €1250, and is able to be built up either with traditional components or a modern 11-speed groupset based on customer request.
The white Rodano is Stelbel’s standard steel road bike, seen as a training or all day comfort bike. It uses more conventional solutions like a straight 1 1/8″ integrated headset, mostly external cable routing, and a threaded bottom bracket to make it both less fussy and less expensive. It still gets Stelbel’s great detailing and 30mm deep oval chainstays, and retails for €1630 with an Italian carbon fork.