Updated 2.21.2007


by Aldo Ross (from the Classic Rendezvous e-mail list.)

 “Balilla is an Italian folk hero, a famous 18th century Genovese “nationalist”. In mid 1746, the Austrians were in occupation of Genoa. A young boy named Balilla is said to have thrown a pebble at a Austrian official, thus beginning a revolt which saw the Austrian occupying forces withdraw from Genoa, and the eventual victory by the Genoese people. There’s even a statue of Balilla, throwing the pebble, in Genoa.’
      “Thus you get Balilla bicycle brakes, FIAT “Balilla” automobiles, the Italian fascist “Balilla” organization (which trained children to become “good” little fascists), etc. The surprising thing is that Balilla continued to use the name after the war.”
      “Balilla’s “tipo Corsa 61″ is their center pull brakeset, introduced in 1961. They also made side pulls brakes in aluminum (nice) and steel (awful).”


xCalipers & brake levers

Balilla Tip Corsa 61 center pull brake set..

Center pull brakes

Complete set of 1970s Center pulls

Jon Williams photos