ICS at show 84

Thinking back to 1984 and ICS presence at the Bike Show:

“…………was first shown at the Cologne Show in 1984, on the ICS stand – ICS meaning Italcicli Cycle Systems, based at Hardturmstraat 135, 8005 Zurich, the Swiss city with more banks per 100 metres of “straat” than jewellery shops – and that really is saying something.

I was working the Show for a French exporter and on one of the few occasions I had to stroll around the other booths, I came across the ICS stand. and the MAGNI was quite an eyecatcher -all gold plate (or lacquer) and blue flam paint. My theory was that if you’re rich enough to live in Zurich, already have most of your wealth stashed away in one of those undisclosed and secret Swiss bank accounts, you just have to find something to do with the small gold change in your back pocket and the guys at ICS came up with a reasonable solution.

There were two bikes on the stand plus several presentation boxes of ICS “tweaked” Campag accessories. The ICS had two model ranges – MAGNI “Ecklusiv ORO” and MAGNI “Exklusiv CX” The first one speaks for itself and the second one although promising something more aerodynamic was in fact the same bike with more chrome plate and less gold, Basically the frames were chromium-plated all over, with the main triangle being a flam transparent blue over the chrome – guaranteed to look good, but not to last very long. It may have been gold plate on the frame or more likely a brass plate.

The component groups were based on the Campag Super Record groupo with the addition of a Cinelli 1R stem. The “First Class Gold” boasted a “18carat, 5 micron gold-plated finish, while the “First Class Chrome” had a “high lustre chromium plate finish.

The catalogue goes on to read “The salient features of these groups are: 3-D system adjustable diagonal gear derailleur chain-wheel and front derailleur with chain guides, anatomically designed control levers.” A footnote added ” Superb accessories for the forward-looking” cyclist”

The demon teaks on the chainset were five triangular chain guides, one attached to each of the crank-to-ring bolts. The purpose of these was simply to stop, by the most expensive method known to the Swiss cycle engineer, the chain from over-shooting the big ring. The front mech had a quadrant-shaped plate added to the leading edge of the inner plate of the mech, this addition being almost as long as the cage itself, and looking very precarious as it edged forward and downwards of the inner ring. It’s purpose – to make sure the chain would not derail off the inner ring when shifting down. The Swiss have patented these gizmos but are still considering whether to take out a patent on the small pocket screwdriver.

The ultimate luxury of this set ………… was the gently upswept gear lever – aerodynamics(!) which could be mounted on top of or at each side of the down tube. And for those of us who normally ride our bikes wearing ventilated back peccary skin driving gloves, the Swiss had had the foresight to erase the nasty Campag logos off the levers and to replace them with nice layers of suede leather. All in all, I reckon this is just the sort of bike you need when riding to the Banque de Zurich, with a couple of gold bars in the back pockets of your ICS “maillot”. I also reckon hat the doorman would even offer to park it up for you, gold trouser bands and all.”


Norris Lockley on the Classic Rendezvous Google group   1.26.2004