Annes Monte

What is a Monte?

By Ann Phillips

Well no one can say for sure, but this is what we know so far…

Sometime in the Spring of 2002, Matteo Brandi found a group of raw, unpainted frames in a small bike shop owned by Vasco Montelatici in Firenze, Italy.
Photos courtesy of Matteo Brandi & Les Himel

Vasco Montelatici, the gentleman on the left, had a long time involvement with bicycle racing, not only as a shop owner and sponsor, but as a racer himself.

Matteo Brandi arranged to send 14 of these frames to the US, where they were offered to members of the Classic Rendezvous e-mail list, a loosely connected group of vintage lightweight bicycle collectors spread all over the world.

These frames have some unique features, such as an unusual scalloped rear drop out and fork drop out attachment. There appears to be two different styles of lug windows and bottom bracket cut outs in the group, but all the frames have the scalloped drop out attachments and fork and rear stays

Montelatici bicycles hanging in Vasco’s shop for sale.

Construction techniques, materials, geometry and style indicate that the Montelatici frames were made sometime in the 1970s.

Some collectors have observed that the brazing pin placement is similar to that used by Cinelli in the 1970s. The personal and business relationship between Cino Cinelli and Vasco Montelatici could indicate the frames were made by Cinelli for his old friend.

Sadly, Vasco Montelatici passed away in 2003. Since he threw out all receipts and paperwork associated with his shop after the required 15 years, we have no written record of where these frames came from.
Many of the Montelatici frames sent to the US were painted differently and built up with various components, ranging from the 1970s to modern equipment.

Les Himel’s modern Campagnolo built Montelatici, recently returned to a vintage build

Brian Baylis’ traditionally built Montelatici

Whoever made the Montelatici frames, made a beautiful bicycle that rides very well. I’ve gotten a lot of joy from mine. So, please enjoy this interpretation of a classic Italian road bike from the late 1970s.

Paint scheme designed by Dale Brown, paint work by Brian Baylis.