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Italian Framebuilder Antonio Mondonico dies

Bill McGann, the former owner of Torelli Imports and Antonio Mondonico's agent and importer in North America posted this:

"It is my sad duty to report that legendary framebuilder and good friend Antonio Mondonico passed away Friday, June 9, in Como, Italy.

"Like his father and grandfather, Antonio pursued the craft of hand-building steel bicycle frames. Antonio's frames were works of art that had a ride and feel that made riding them a joy. Antonio was more than a gifted artist, he was a kind and gentle man."

Here's the death notice from the Italian site TuttoBiciWeb.

For us at South Salem Cycleworks, working with and selling Mondonico frames is a pleasure. Though he retired in 2006, we still have a few of these beautiful examples of the framebuilders art.

Here are some photos of Antonio from the 1980s and 1990s:

Antonio Mondonico

The 1991 Milan bicycle Show: Antonio is in front of his booth shaking hands with another great framebuilder, Falerio Masi.

Mondonico brazing frame

Here's Antonio Mondonico brazing a bottom bracket.


Mondonico had lots of tool to check his work as he went along. Here he is in 1985.

Antonio Mondonico

Checking a frame's alignment

Mondonico shop

Here is the Mondonico shop. The various jigs and tooling painted green are made by Marchetti & Lange. We are looking lengthwise past the framebuilding jig towards Antonio in the red sweater. Some of the tools here were used by Antonio's father Giuseppe, who started building frames in 1929.

Antonio Mondonico

Painting flux as part of preparing a joint to be brazed. When the tubes are heated to brazing temperture the flux removes contaminating materials and oxides that would prevent a good, strong joint.

Mondonico cutting a tube

Mondonico cutting a tube

Antonio Mondonico

Checking the angle of a freshly brazed head tube joint.

Preparing to pin frame

Mondonico pinned his frames rather than tack-braze them. Here he's drilling a hole in a bottom bracket shell for a pin.

Antonio modonico

And here he drives in a pin


This would be 1985.

Mondonico brazing

And this would be in the early 1990s

Claudio Chiappucci

Antonio built some of Claudio Chiappucci's frames. Chiappucci won Milano-San Remo, Clasica San Sebastian, was second in the Tour de France, and earned a host of other high placings in the 1990s.