Bike of the Month – May 2021
Bike collector, restorer and photographer Andrea Virgillito has been busy since he returned to his native Torino. Obviously he has a particular interest in Sannino Cycles which was formed in 1978 in his home town. They produced ‘high end’ frames for competitive cyclists. There were four founding members of the company (Sannino, Sannicandro, Cavallito and Brusaschetto) but Mauro Sannino was the frame builder . Most of their frames were painted in their signature red colour. Sannino eventually left Torino and relocated to Germany.
Bicycle Make: Sannino
Bicycle model: SLX
Date of Manufacture: 1985
Drivetrain: -Campagnolo SR first generation pat 75 rear derailleur -Campagnolo SR Front derailleur -Stronglight/Galli Chainset -Regina chain -Regina Freewheel -Campagnolo SR pedals
Wheels: -Nisi rim, Galli/Maillard hubs
Brakeset: -Campagnolo SR brake levers, Galli brake calipers
Finishing kit: 3TTT stem,-3TTT Handlebar (leather wrapped). Campagnolo SR first geneneration seatpost.-Selle Italia Turbo Hinault
During a work related trip in the Italian hinterland, Andrea took a 40km detour in order to see this bike.
The detour left him a very rural and remote location. He managed to find the address, which was an old traditional Italian farm house. Inside an old farm building he discovered this Sannino made with Columbus SLX tubing from the early 1980’s. It looked like the bike was that was probably sitting, unused, in that shed for the last 15 years. Andrea could see beyond the accumulation of dust and dirt and realised he had found something rare and original.
The Campagnolo parts may not have been originally on the bike which would indicate that this bike was well used and certainly no ‘Trailer Queen’. We think you wil agree that first generation Campagnolo rear derailleur and seatpost really complement the signature red frame.
The bike was given an ‘oily rag’ restoration as Andrea felt that it already looked perfect and might lose some of its sense of history if he was to change anything. This is the real skill of a restorer, knowing when to stop. Andrea fitted a pair of new tyres, the computer was removed and 20 years of accumulated dust was removed.
There is an interesting footnote and Irish connection to the Sannino company. The company FiftyOne Cycles hand build custom fibre racing frames in Dublin, on the same machinery that Sannino used to build this bike back in the 80’s.! FiftyOne founder Aidan Duff, under Sannino’s guidance, bought and shipped the factory from Germany to Dublin, Ireland where the machinery continues to create dream custom bikes for clients worldwide