Rivola frame

mattsccm

Senior Retro Guru
I have aquired what looks to be a Rivola. There are about 2 sentences on the web about the brand and that's itt. Anyone come across one, know who imported them etc? Nicely made and light enough. Obviously fully chromed chainstays under a lovely metallic paint. A few Campag Record bit fiited . Very sloping and chromed fork crowns have a large R engraved in them A bit like a Raleigh but not identical. No battery in the calipers so haven't measured the seat tube yet. Bottle cage bosses on down tube only are studs not holes. Never seen that and it doesn't look a bodge. Decals look a bit god to be after market but equally are not under any top coat. It will have to go as its about a 23" frame and way to big for me.
Anyone able to add to this?
 

Fifthgrace

Retro Guru
I have aquired what looks to be a Rivola. There are about 2 sentences on the web about the brand and that's itt. Anyone come across one, know who imported them etc? Nicely made and light enough. Obviously fully chromed chainstays under a lovely metallic paint. A few Campag Record bit fiited . Very sloping and chromed fork crowns have a large R engraved in them A bit like a Raleigh but not identical. No battery in the calipers so haven't measured the seat tube yet. Bottle cage bosses on down tube only are studs not holes. Never seen that and it doesn't look a bodge. Decals look a bit god to be after market but equally are not under any top coat. It will have to go as its about a 23" frame and way to big for me.
Anyone able to add to this?
Hopefully this will shed some light - I suggest to visit the website which is a great resource for the lesser known Italian bike builders/ brands and you will find some example bike pics

CREDIT: Translation of text on frameteller.it

"Let's start the story of the Rivolas from their father Giovanni, born in 1940 and called “the Master” by his fellow citizens, who was a great bike enthusiast and a fan of Coppi, so much so that he called his first son Fausto, in the hope that he could one day become a racer. He was a bricklayer but the passion for cycling ended up becoming his life, he started by modeling Brooks saddles in the basement of his house and he came to build excellent frames signed with his own name.

The son Gianni was born in 1925 and at thirteen, after school, he began to work with his father in the workshop.

“Back then a type of saddle called Brooks was fashionable, in buffalo leather, all the champions used it. My father worked them before they were used by the riders, so that they already took the shape of the seat, then they were disassembled, and finally reassembled and pulled, thus creating a tailor-made saddle. At that time the three champions Gimnoti, Adorni and Ferretti came to my house every year to take two or three saddles for each ”. Over time, he also began making minor repairs and continued until the early 1960s. I believe that the first bicycle built by him came out in 1963, again from the cellar, and it cost seventy thousand lire. It was a good amount for those years, but it is a handcrafted bike ”.

In 1964 the artisan builder Chiesa di Bologna who appreciated his talents asked him if he wanted to start assembling components for his bicycles, so he also started this activity, again in the basement of his house, but given the success his bikes obtained in 1964 he decided to leave the job as a bricklayer and devote himself entirely to this work. Open the workshop in via Amendola, after a few years the business is already thriving enough to cover the rental costs. The Bolognese craftsman Umberto Chiesa initially welded the frames, taking the customer's measurements and assembling the frame and completing the bike with the finishing touches in Rivola by hand after the dropouts had been welded into the sheath tube, the bending was 6-7cm and took place in 3 parts, it was taken into account in making it the distance between the centre of the movement and that of the hubs which had to be 4.3.4 , 5 cm in the larger frames and 4 cm in the smaller ones, to give greater stability to the frame and first of all to avoid the risk of the foot touching the wheel; this distance is technically called REC and changes slightly according to the frame builder's ideas. Always for the same reason, for the large frames, I welded the seat tube with an angle of 72.5 ° -73 °, while for the smaller ones it was no less than 74 °, the (attachments-frame dropouts)? I used were the Cinelli and Campagnolo

I produced 80/90 frames per year, the production record I had in 1981 with 120 bicycles and my total production is approximately 1,000 frames, the cost of a complete product in the 80s was 2,000,000 . "From 1978 and for about fifteen years, Rivola bicycles were completely produced in the family.

“Our chassis, albeit in disguise, have also participated in international competitions. The Tour of Italy passed in Romagna right near our country. What was my father's surprise when he found himself in front of the rider José Manuel Fuente who asked us for repairs for a breakdown reported during the race. My father helped him and Fuente was impressed by his competence as a mechanic and builder. After some time, here is Fuente himself showing up from Spain to order two frames: of course they did not bear our name, because the rider was linked to a sponsor, but for us it was a source of great satisfaction. to know that many races have been won riding one of our creations. Between 1991 and 1992 my father began to feel ill, and since he was already about seventy he decided to leave the business. I took his place, but in 1995 I had to give up my job as a frame builder, which I entrusted to an external collaborator and dedicated myself only to repairs in his shop, then in 2005 I accepted a job at SOMEC in Lugo ”.


Gianni kept the business until 2006 when he closed the business to go to work in another store as an employee.


“The first few months it was certainly a trauma to work for the competition. I worked on my own for thirty years and the change is certainly not a joke. But I know I have brought with me the value of my experience and professionalism, and this makes me proud anyway. Today the mechanic who followed Pantani, Oscar Veneziano, also works with me, having to abandon the activity that he created himself from nothing is painful but it is a circumstance determined by the change in the market, which has become too competitive for the little one. artisan. Once again the balance is tipped in favour of industry and mass production. What is lost is the human value. Behind an artisanal production there is always first of all a person who follows the customer not only at the time of the sale, but also afterwards. The size of the workshop was beautiful because it created a relationship on a human scale, a mutual understanding based on shared moments, on a communion of interest. For example, I was also a cyclist as well as a mechanic, so my opinion was more willingly listened to. To young people who want to undertake this profession I can say that it is hard work, there are few opportunities for integration. But if any advice can be given, it is my father's teaching: haste never pays. The right approach to a job like this is that of the past, which requires dedication and time before seeing results. I have always followed these principles, and I have been rewarded with great satisfaction ”." ENDS

A signature of Rivola frames and forks are the open seat and chain stay ends and open ended fork blades. Bottom bracket shells often, but not always, feature multiple circular or elliptical weight reducing cut-outs. Later forks feature an engraved "R" on chromed gently sloping crowns. Other sources suggest that Rivola inherited frame geometries for the different frame sizes from another Bolognese frame builder of repute, Patelli.
 
Last edited:

avi.1990

Dirt Disciple
I have aquired what looks to be a Rivola. There are about 2 sentences on the web about the brand and that's itt. Anyone come across one, know who imported them etc? Nicely made and light enough. Obviously fully chromed chainstays under a lovely metallic paint. A few Campag Record bit fiited . Very sloping and chromed fork crowns have a large R engraved in them A bit like a Raleigh but not identical. No battery in the calipers so haven't measured the seat tube yet. Bottle cage bosses on down tube only are studs not holes. Never seen that and it doesn't look a bodge. Decals look a bit god to be after market but equally are not under any top coat. It will have to go as its about a 23" frame and way to big for me.
Anyone able to add to this?
Pictures?
I acquired Rivola 437 frame and fork this spring.
Bottom bracket shell, seattube and chainstays are pinned.IMG_20220406_224951.jpgRivola Competition telaio  (16).jpgRivola Competition telaio  (6).jpgRivola Competition telaio  (12).jpgRivola Competition telaio  (4).jpg
IMG_20220220_032632.jpgIMG_20220220_032705.jpgIMG_20220220_034217.jpg
 

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avi.1990

Dirt Disciple
Hopefully this will shed some light - I suggest to visit the website which is a great resource for the lesser known Italian bike builders/ brands and you will find some example bike pics

CREDIT: Translation of text on frameteller.it

"Let's start the story of the Rivolas from their father Giovanni, born in 1940 and called “the Master” by his fellow citizens, who was a great bike enthusiast and a fan of Coppi, so much so that he called his first son Fausto, in the hope that he could one day become a racer. He was a bricklayer but the passion for cycling ended up becoming his life, he started by modeling Brooks saddles in the basement of his house and he came to build excellent frames signed with his own name.

The son Gianni was born in 1925 and at thirteen, after school, he began to work with his father in the workshop.

“Back then a type of saddle called Brooks was fashionable, in buffalo leather, all the champions used it. My father worked them before they were used by the riders, so that they already took the shape of the seat, then they were disassembled, and finally reassembled and pulled, thus creating a tailor-made saddle. At that time the three champions Gimnoti, Adorni and Ferretti came to my house every year to take two or three saddles for each ”. Over time, he also began making minor repairs and continued until the early 1960s. I believe that the first bicycle built by him came out in 1963, again from the cellar, and it cost seventy thousand lire. It was a good amount for those years, but it is a handcrafted bike ”.

In 1964 the artisan builder Chiesa di Bologna who appreciated his talents asked him if he wanted to start assembling components for his bicycles, so he also started this activity, again in the basement of his house, but given the success his bikes obtained in 1964 he decided to leave the job as a bricklayer and devote himself entirely to this work. Open the workshop in via Amendola, after a few years the business is already thriving enough to cover the rental costs. The Bolognese craftsman Umberto Chiesa initially welded the frames, taking the customer's measurements and assembling the frame and completing the bike with the finishing touches in Rivola by hand after the dropouts had been welded into the sheath tube, the bending was 6-7cm and took place in 3 parts, it was taken into account in making it the distance between the centre of the movement and that of the hubs which had to be 4.3.4 , 5 cm in the larger frames and 4 cm in the smaller ones, to give greater stability to the frame and first of all to avoid the risk of the foot touching the wheel; this distance is technically called REC and changes slightly according to the frame builder's ideas. Always for the same reason, for the large frames, I welded the seat tube with an angle of 72.5 ° -73 °, while for the smaller ones it was no less than 74 °, the (attachments-frame dropouts)? I used were the Cinelli and Campagnolo

I produced 80/90 frames per year, the production record I had in 1981 with 120 bicycles and my total production is approximately 1,000 frames, the cost of a complete product in the 80s was 2,000,000 . "From 1978 and for about fifteen years, Rivola bicycles were completely produced in the family.

“Our chassis, albeit in disguise, have also participated in international competitions. The Tour of Italy passed in Romagna right near our country. What was my father's surprise when he found himself in front of the rider José Manuel Fuente who asked us for repairs for a breakdown reported during the race. My father helped him and Fuente was impressed by his competence as a mechanic and builder. After some time, here is Fuente himself showing up from Spain to order two frames: of course they did not bear our name, because the rider was linked to a sponsor, but for us it was a source of great satisfaction. to know that many races have been won riding one of our creations. Between 1991 and 1992 my father began to feel ill, and since he was already about seventy he decided to leave the business. I took his place, but in 1995 I had to give up my job as a frame builder, which I entrusted to an external collaborator and dedicated myself only to repairs in his shop, then in 2005 I accepted a job at SOMEC in Lugo ”.


Gianni kept the business until 2006 when he closed the business to go to work in another store as an employee.


“The first few months it was certainly a trauma to work for the competition. I worked on my own for thirty years and the change is certainly not a joke. But I know I have brought with me the value of my experience and professionalism, and this makes me proud anyway. Today the mechanic who followed Pantani, Oscar Veneziano, also works with me, having to abandon the activity that he created himself from nothing is painful but it is a circumstance determined by the change in the market, which has become too competitive for the little one. artisan. Once again the balance is tipped in favour of industry and mass production. What is lost is the human value. Behind an artisanal production there is always first of all a person who follows the customer not only at the time of the sale, but also afterwards. The size of the workshop was beautiful because it created a relationship on a human scale, a mutual understanding based on shared moments, on a communion of interest. For example, I was also a cyclist as well as a mechanic, so my opinion was more willingly listened to. To young people who want to undertake this profession I can say that it is hard work, there are few opportunities for integration. But if any advice can be given, it is my father's teaching: haste never pays. The right approach to a job like this is that of the past, which requires dedication and time before seeing results. I have always followed these principles, and I have been rewarded with great satisfaction ”." ENDS

A signature of Rivola frames and forks are the open seat and chain stay ends and open ended fork blades. Bottom bracket shells often, but not always, feature multiple circular or elliptical weight reducing cut-outs. Later forks feature an engraved "R" on chromed gently sloping crowns. Other sources suggest that Rivola inherited frame geometries for the different frame sizes from another Bolognese frame builder of repute, Patelli.
I would say form the beginnings in the cellar/basement '63 pre registration at the camera di commercio (chamber of commerce) and the Confartigianato in '64 the frames where build by Umberto Chiesa from Bologna till 1978 when Giovanni Riovola s second born son Gianni Rivola learned for two years framebuilding under Chiesa and continued brazing inhouse the Rivola frames till 1993.
15 years beginning from 1978.

Rivola intervista gioranle stroia dscn00741.jpg
 

avi.1990

Dirt Disciple
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avi.1990

Dirt Disciple
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avi.1990

Dirt Disciple
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avi.1990

Dirt Disciple
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