77 | 011 Made in Italy: Interview with Fabrizio Rigolio of Rizoma
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 19 November 2012
When a picture of the Rizoma 77 | 011 landed in my inbox I took a closer look. A sleek Italian designed and manufactured bicycle, without a seat tube, and featuring custom parts, from the cranks to the steerer and handlebars. Rizoma are located north of Milan in Northern Italy and are well known for their motorcycle accessories. This is their first bicycle and it reflects heavily on the Rizoma style.
Rizoma CEO, Fabrizio Rigolio, was kind enough to talk to Bicycles Network Australia (BNA) to provide an insight into the 77 | 011:
BNA: This is a very striking bicycle. You [Rizoma] are new to cycling, though have extensive experience in motorcycle parts and accessories. Can you describe why you decided to create a bicycle?
Fabrizio Rigolio: First of all thank you for the compliment. For us it is similar to when a fashion brand decides to create a jacket.
We have our own design centre and complete production chain. In the bicycle we saw the possibility to express our values. It’s a concept for a different bicycle. It is about style, something that is close to part of your fashion. You can go to work, to a cafe and drink coffee, or do your shopping in style, and of course with a cool technological bike.
BNA: Can you explain the name 77 | 011?
Fabrizio Rigolio: 77 is a new unit, and 011 is the project name. For the next new products, the unit number “77″ increases, and always followed the project number.
BNA: The most obvious difference to a common bicycle is that there is no seat tube; this bicycle doesn’t have the advantage of a front and rear triangle. Why did you decide to eliminate the seat tube and does this affect the strength?
Fabrizio Rigolio: This, along with the belt drive, are features that people immediately spot when they see the bike for the first time. The choice is both stylistic and functional. The ‘missing’ seat tube has no impact on the performance of the frame because, due to its perfect geometry, it means that the weight is distribute on the whole structure of the frame.
BNA: Many of the parts of the bicycle seem unique: the handlebar and stem, the cranks, the rear dropouts. Can you provide an overview of all of the parts that have been created specifically for this bike?
Fabrizio Rigolio: The 77|011 is produced entirely in our factory; it is 100% made in Italy. Every single component of 77 | 011 has been designed and developed specifically.
BNA: Can you explain “Monobloc”? What does this mean? How is the frame made?
Fabrizio Rigolio: “Monobloc” means that the frame has no joints or welding; is made of one piece of carbon, so as to have clean lines and, at the same time, performance. We used best practice in carbon forming to make this frame.
BNA: The 97cm wheelbase is short, perhaps optically emphasised by the frame design. Did you consciously aim for a short wheelbase, making it a more maneuverable bike suited to lower speeds?
Fabrizio Rigolio: The 77 | 011 is a single speed developed for urban use, each characteristic aimed to make riding in the city is easy and pleasant.
BNA: You have a belt drive system, Gates Carbon Drive I assume, where does the frame “break” if the chain would need to be swapped?
Fabrizio Rigolio: The belt drive is a complete new system developed by us, guaranteed for 15.000 Km without needing replacing.
The change is really easy, in the bottom rear part of the frame there is the hidden opening system that allows a belt change.
BNA: As this is a single speed, are there already thoughts or even now the possibility to use an internal gear hub?
Fabrizio Rigolio: While Rizoma believes in continuously evolving, we have concentrated on one speed and selecting a transmission ratio that best suits city riding.
BNA: A small detail that is relevant for both the UK and Australian markets, can the mirror be switched to the opposite side for left-side traffic?
Fabrizio Rigolio: Yes sure, you can mount the mirror in the left or right side, as you prefer. And when you ride in the heavy traffic you can also close the mirror to protect it.
BNA: Who do you feel that this bicycle best suits? Who is your audience?
Fabrizio Rigolio: Do you want to be different? Then 77 | 011 is what you’re looking for!
Mr Rigolio, thank you kindly for your time, we wish you all the best with this new bicycle.
Take a closer look at the Rizoma 77 | 011 online. The 77 | 011 retails online in Europe for €3700.