The death of Dario Pegoretti last August shocked the cycling community. At 62, the famed Italian frame builder left behind legions of fans who desired and admired his frames as much for build quality as for the unmistakable paintjobs. And Pegoretti had somewhat of a personal mystique. In issue No. 31 of PELOTON, after a visit to the Italian’s factory (above), journalist Augustus Farmer described Pegoretti as “a warm, friendly, loud and slightly scary figure. … His work is legendary and his presence is kind of mythical.”
The months since his passing have proved to be a difficult transition for his brand. Pietro Pietricola, a frame builder and Pegoretti’s assistant, said that the great man’s dream was that the brand would continue on beyond him. Many thought it would be impossible to forge ahead without Pegoretti, but it was the only course of action for those who worked with him and knew him well.
To reflect this time of change, the company brought to this year’s North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento, California, just two complete builds: one to serve as a tribute to their departed friend and one to signal what is next for the Dario Pegoretti brand.
The first frame was called Per Te Dario (“For You Dario”)—a so-called Mxxxxxo frameset, named for Dario’s father Marcelo, with whom he had a love/hate relationship. Hence the redacted middle letters. The paintjob evokes wine stains and includes the names of wines from the Valpolicella and Soave regions where Pegoretti lived. It’s a toast to a friend and his achievements.
The second frame is named Siamo Noi Adesso (“It’s Us Now”) and seeks to represent the next chapter in the Dario Pegoretti story. A black-red-and-white color scheme represents the pain and anger felt over the past months by those continuing the Dario Pegoretti brand. The frame is the workshop’s first ever use of charcoal and pencil—a representation of venting frustration by scribbling back and forth, much as a child might. But in that venting there is also passion and a belief in the future. It is a stainless steel Responsorium frame, which is the brand’s most modern, flagship model—a nod to the future.
Going forward, the brand is embracing the saying Fatti Con le Mani (“Made by Hand”). The idea is that the brand has skilled builders who make everything by hand. It doesn’t matter whose hand, just that it is a skilled hand. Although, most anyone who owns a Dario Pegoretti frame will tell you that it does in fact matter who built the frame. But if the two frames present at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show are any indication of the future, Dario Pegoretti’s legacy of craftsmanship and beautiful paintwork is in good hands. Skilled hands.
From issue 86. Buy it here.