Road to NAHBS 2012 – Gaulzetti Cicli

Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli prepares for NAHBS

Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli prepares for NAHBS

Craig Gaulzetti builds only race bikes and only out of aluminum. They’re custom fit and built specifically for the customer size, but they’re still going to be an aluminum bike with racing geometry. Until now…

BIKERUMOR: What have you been working in since NAHBS last year?

CRAIG: Gaulzetti Cicli has been working on a bunch of stuff since NAHBS last year. The biggest project has been bringing all our production in house. Everything except the main tubes are being produced here in Massachusetts- bottom bracket shells, cable guides, drop-outs and head tubes are all now designed and produced by us and for us. We’re like a Mike Dukakis election campaign- “Make in Massachusetts!”…..just with more furloughs and less driving around in a tank.

Our Corsa hasn’t changed. We are introducing our new steel race bike at the show. I am really excited about it. It’s basically my take on a Paris-Roubaix bike. It’s got a little bit more tire clearance, a slightly longer wheel base and a little bit less nimble handling traits than the Corsa.

Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli shows the Corsa race bike

BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds?

CRAIG: Every bike we build is better than the last one but I am not more or less proud of any of them. They are the best race bikes I can make. Certainly, the finish provided by our painters at Circle A continues to impress- but when it comes down to it, I am building a fucking sporting good. The bikes work. I’m not trying to make art or even a commodity. Gaulzettis are tools and very effective ones. I honestly believe that were the UCI to ban equipment sponsorship tomorrow, every rider in the Pro-Tour would be competing on a bicycle just like mine. That being said, I believe that the bike that works best for winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege is also the bike that works best for anyone wanting to ride for some distance at a moderate pace over a myriad of road conditions.

Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli shows the Corsa race bike Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli shows the Corsa race bike

BIKERUMOR: Did you see anything last year that’s inspired you?

CRAIG: Inspired me? Being around my peers and pals is really what inspires me. NAHBS is a great opportunity to get together with other builders. Regarding product and design, I don’t really take any inspiration from other frame builders. The hand built industry for the most part is doing something very, very different than what I am doing. I don’t care about fancy lugs or hiding a Di2 battery in a place that’ll make a poor mechanic have to remove and re-adjust saddle heights on 25 team bikes. This ethos makes for some beautiful bicycles, but I am concerned far more with function and practicality than aesthetics. The fact that my bikes look all right- comes from the wheels being in the right place and the design being solely and completely based on function.

Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli shows the Corsa race bike

BIKERUMOR: Can you give us a teaser of what you’re bringing to NAHBS 2012?

CRAIG: We’re bringing a bunch of Corsas in some of our new colors. They’ll be built up with a variety of build kits from Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM, All of them will have Mavic wheels. We will also have two of our new steel bikes on display, one will be in our booth and the other will be in the Whisky booth- showing off some of the great new product Anna Schwinn and her crew have come up with. We are also going to be displaying the new Gaulzetti mountain bike. It’s a cross country race bike with a lot of neat features built in to the frame…it’s built around tubular mountain bike wheels and the best components we could find. This isn’t a bike for shredding the ‘gnar with your buds in their Camelbacks- this is a bike for trying to stay on Julian Absalon’s wheel in Houffalize. You don’t have to put Look road pedals and a suspension fork that doesn’t work on it- but we won’t hold it against you if you do.

BIKERUMOR: If you had to race all the other builders, who would you want to inch out for the win right at the line?

CRAIG: I am far to fat to race a bicycle.

Craig Gaulzetti of Gaulzetti Cicli shows the Corsa race bike

Comments

Brandon - 02/15/12 - 9:29pm

Really, really, want.

Joshua Murdock - 02/15/12 - 10:30pm

This is a really cool article! I like the simplicity of the ideas at work here. Build a solid race bike and keep it simple. As incredible as most of the NAHBS craftsmanship is, there are a lot of frilly designs out there… a lot of variations of the same thing. This is unique. I like it. And they’re strictly race bikes, which is very cool.

bandmeeting - 02/15/12 - 10:38pm

Interesting tattoo. He should consider a swastika for his next one.

dimples - 02/16/12 - 12:44am

bandmeeting, what would that prove? Would he be Jainist, a white supremacist or just a big fan of Shakti if he did? bandmeeting full of assholes.

Bill - 02/16/12 - 12:49am

It is refreshing to hear about a Bike Builder, not a bike designer. Bikes are ment to serve a function. Some have lost sight if this and gone on to try to make the bike with the best curves and lines to appeal to the coffee shop crowd. The bitch of this is, the guy that usually beats everyone out at the end of a ride is the guy who doesnt stop at the coffee shop. His bike isn’t the prettiest, but the most functional. His tires don’t match, saddle/bar tape/grips are worn, and the damn thing makes funny creaking noises, but he is there, week in and week out. Bike companies get so caught up in making uber coffee shop bikes, they forget the real purpose. Its not about the oooing and ahhhing at each stop light and over a cup of expresso, but the ride itself. Making a bike that just plain works is what its all about. Pure, simple function.

Robin - 02/16/12 - 1:00am

The guy who beats everyone out in the end is the guy who thinks he’s racing people when they aren’t racing him.

tt - 02/16/12 - 4:07am

GAULZETTI CICLI…

At first I thought it was one of those small and local Italian manufacturers…. But it’s American, “made in Massachusetts”. So why not Gaulzetti BIKES or BICYCLES?

And take a closer look at the last photo: Campagnolo combined with SRAM. Please WHY?? (by the way, isn’t it blasphemy?)

Sorry, it’s too much for me. I prefer CICLI CASATI (or CICLI PINARELLO or CICLI SCAPIN or whatever else of Italian heritage) + complete Campagnolo groupset (any).

bandmeeting - 02/16/12 - 7:16am

Hi Dimples,

He has a hammer and sickle tattoo which was the symbol of communism, an ideology that has been conservatively estimated to have been responsible for the deaths of 100 million people.

The fact that I suggested a swastika tattoo is what we call sarcasm.

Ghost Rider - 02/16/12 - 7:23am

Nice bikes…and I agree with the other commenters in that Craig is building functional race machines that happen to be gorgeous without being frilly or fussy. We need more of that.”

Mixing Campagnolo and SRAM, though, is unforgivable ;)

@tt: As for calling it “Cicli”…seems to me that Craig is embracing his own “Italian heritage”. Makes perfect sense to me to call his company that. Btw, Pinarello is Italian in name only; Casati and Scapin make most of their stuff in Italy, but Pinarello farms nearly everything out to Asia.

bandmeeting - 02/16/12 - 9:01am

Are the comments being moderated these days? I’ve not noticed that before and don’t seem to be able to get a comment posted here.

bandmeeting - 02/16/12 - 9:04am

Ok. Apparently not.

Dimples, I put that comment up due to the fact that the photo shows him with a hammer and sickle on his arm. Maybe he has a Che Guevara t-shirt too, can’t say. What I do know is that an awful lot of people have died in the name of the ideology that his tattoo symbolizes, similar to a swastika.

mattL - 02/16/12 - 10:22am

Communism didn’t kill 100 million people. Joseph Stalin and Totalitarianism killed 100 million people. Resume discussion….. And this man build amazing bicycles! Continue the good work!

bandmeeting - 02/16/12 - 10:24am

Joseph Stalin and Totalitarianism killed 100 million people

Credulous dupe.

mattL - 02/16/12 - 10:26am

And as for the Campy/SRAM mix, could be a lightweight build and the Red BB30 crank is lighter than the super record Ti. And quite a bit cheaper.

Craig Gaulzetti - 02/16/12 - 10:48am

Thanks for the interview Bike Rumor and thanks for reading and commenting to everyone else. I hope my bikes speak for themselves and I’m sorry that a 15 year old tattoo seems to be the issue that needs some explanation. It is actually a rendition of Pablo Picasso’s design for the Popular Front Government in Spain during the Spanish Civil war. They were an coalition government of Liberals, Republicans, Anarchists, Syndacalists and yes (gasp) Communists that were fighting Franco and his Nazi and Fascist allies. As those of you in the know can attest, many if not most bike racers in Europe in the early and mid-nineties had stupid shoulder tattoos- showing off a political bent was only one of the purposes.

As for the name of my company, it’s an homage to the tradition I hope my bikes are descended from. My bikes are race bikes in the Italian tradition- and belong to no other. The use of “Cicli”, I felt expressed that and sounded and looked nicer following my own name which also ends in a vowel. So it’s for historical, visual and auditory reasons that I picked it. Nothing more- hey- all my main pipes are made in Italy too so there you go…..

I have no problem mixing and matching gruppos- but the bike pictured is set up that way per my client’s request. It works and the PF30 Red crank is really nice. Personally, I use complete gruppos on my own bikes- but I could not care less if it is Sram, Shimano or Campagnolo.

Hey- Thanks for reading!

Craig Gaulzetti

PS if you are still going to be a hater- to quote Jonathon Richman from the Modern Lovers, “Pablo Picasso was never called an Asshole, not like you.” See you at NAHBS!

Eric NM - 02/16/12 - 10:57am

@Craig: Best reply I’ve ever read on this site. Bravo! Best of luck at NAHBS next month. –Eric

Robin - 02/16/12 - 10:59am

Nice bikes.

Perhaps before someone jumps the gun and makes some presumption about what a tattoo in a picture means, that someone ought to contact the person wearing it to check out the story. It’s easy. He’s got a blog. Getting the truth can prevent looking like an ass down the line.

Danno - 02/16/12 - 11:42am

Thanks for posting Craig. I dig the frames, the energy, and the aluminum. I’ve owned one ISP frame and am over it already, though. Do you offer boring old seatposts too?

Craig Gaulzetti - 02/16/12 - 11:56am

Danno-
It’s as easy as cutting the isp, drilling and slotting it. The tube’ll take a regular 31.6 seatpost so it’s not a problem at all. We call it the “travel option”….or if it’s done post sale, the “my house is getting foreclosed on and I need to sell this fucking bike to a guy with longer legs” option.

thanks!
Craig

Steve - 02/16/12 - 1:34pm

Craig, I ask this question with nothing but genuine curiosity and respect. Why are your frames so expensive? There are other “stock” aluminum frames (Spooky), and even custom aluminum, available for less.

satisFACTORYrider - 02/16/12 - 4:07pm

really nice clean frames. has a slight pegoretti look. pushing 3grand for a frame is on par for NAHBS participants these days. Atleast racing frame prices like this make more sense than 10k steel grocery getter/commuter pricing the show has been whoring.

Justin - 02/16/12 - 4:10pm

Great interview and responses Craig. Happy to see well-deserved accolades in the press.

Sounds like it’s time to have a bandmeeting on ignorance.

Chase - 02/16/12 - 5:46pm

The f****ing guy is qualified and makes rad bikes.
Yet any idiot without and discernable knowledge or insight can post on the web.

Its not like Capitalism isn’t responsible just as many atrocities.
Bandmeeting, I’m sorry; we’ve voted, and you’re out of the band, dude.

Steve M - 02/16/12 - 6:36pm

On a practical note- drilling the cable guide hole with the crank installed?

I do admire his smarts and skills though.

Joe T - 02/17/12 - 9:24am

i am confused. is this guy a frame builder or is the building out-sourced? or perhaps in-sourced(bring in the builder for the day)

why is he drilling out the BB shell with a crank and BB installed? is he asking for burrs and bits to lubricate the bottom end of the bike?

Lorotomas - 02/17/12 - 12:29pm

@Steve,

I don’t think there are expensive. I own a custom Darkside from spooky and have a road bike,custom also, coming from them as well. Probably you are mislead by the fact that a real production skeletor without paint or fork costs about 1G. If you call Mickey today and ask for a Deda Foce XL tubeset , Enve taper fork, PF30, 44mm headtube, ISP Skeletor, it is going to cost you well above 2Gs.

As with spooky, this frames are not productions frames. You order one and they make it for you. The only “production’ feature would be that you are lucky enough to get a proper geometry that will actually work.

Loro.

Craig Gaulzetti - 02/17/12 - 6:45pm

JoeT and Steve M-

I’m drilling a hole in the bottom bracket shell with the crank installed because I am an idiot and forgot to do it before hand and had to get the bike out to California. I thought it was a hilarious picture and I had to one up the awful picture I sent bikerumor last year for my interview. I do not do much personally in the way of fabricating the the Corsas- I can’t weld as well as Curtis can and I can’t run a machine shop as well as Ricky can- what i can do is design a bike so it rides right and design a tubeset so it goes together well and the stuff ends up working.

Why do the cost so much? Well- darlings if you must ask……

Rob - 02/20/12 - 1:18pm

“I honestly believe that were the UCI to ban equipment sponsorship tomorrow, every rider in the Pro-Tour would be competing on a bicycle just like mine”…Haha.Yea and 6 speed friction shifters and pedals with toe clips… This guys gives actual builders of bikes a bad name…Hilarious..

mickey@spooky - 02/22/12 - 11:38am

Mickey from Spooky here-
If you put the same quality paint on one of our made to measure bikes the thing would come in at just about the same price.
CircleA does amazing paint work.

The GZ bikes are super-duper wicked awesome and about as “premium” as you’re going to get.
They’re also fabricated by my best friend in the whole dang world so go buy one of the darn things so he can buy me dinner next time I crash on his couch.

Craig Gaulzetti - 02/22/12 - 5:50pm

Rob- Having raced, drank, stolen girlfriends, gotten in to fist fights, and pouted like a little girl around many a pro-cyclist I can assure you that in an ideal world these guys would be riding bikes not unlike mine. prior to the involvement of trek and specialized in what came to be the pro-tour- everyone was on made to measure bicycles most of which were made out of aluminum. production bikes are better than they ever have been and the best race bikes today from the big guys are superior to what vdb was using in lbl in 1999…but had the development of made-to-order hand built race bikes not stopped and stagnated in the early 2000s what would we see in the pro-tour today?

a bike that can be easily built up to the uci weight minimum, does not flex under power and can be built to measure is the best tool for this sport….and aluminum lends itself well to this application. so, yeah hilarious- if i could build a better race bike than what i’m building i would….but i can’t and if someone else could i wouldn’t need to.

rob - 02/22/12 - 9:03pm

“a bike that can be easily built up to the uci weight minimum, does not flex under power and can be built to measure is the best tool for this sport….and aluminum lends itself well to this application. so, yeah hilarious- if i could build a better race bike than what i’m building i would….but i can’t and if someone else could i wouldn’t need to.”
Yea that’s a fact for sure, not at all your opinion..Spare me…What pro team was it that you were on again? Oh yea and the over the top false bravado is pretty funny as well..Thanks …

Walter - 02/23/12 - 8:07am

Craig – did you ride on the same teams as VDB and Nico Mattan? Or other teams?

Andrew - 02/23/12 - 11:01am

Craig said:
“I can assure you that in an ideal world these guys would be riding bikes not unlike mine”

“a bike that can be easily built up to the uci weight minimum, does not flex under power and can be built to measure is the best tool for this sport….and aluminum lends itself well to this application. so, yeah hilarious- if i could build a better race bike than what i’m building i would….but i can’t and if someone else could i wouldn’t need to.”

A few thoughts on these hilarious ramblings:
1. Pros would only be riding aluminium bikes if we turned back time to 1990 or so. And then only the mis-informed traditionalists on their Pegorettis sprayed as MBKs, because the rest would be riding Colnago C40s. Lighter, stiff enough and about a million times better ride. Oh, and still working fine 15 years later, which I can’t say for many light aluminium bikes of the period.

2. A good carbon bike is indisputably lighter, stiffer and rides better than anything you can make out of aluminium today. So why aren’t you using carbon?

3. Only a very small minority of people really need a custom bike. Very simple maths shows you that if you start with a reasonable number of sizes and allow the bars and saddle to move a few cm +/- then all sizes can be catered for. Does it matter if your stem is 11cm rather than 12? No.

4. Maybe you shouldn’t get your arse on a Parlee Z5SL. It will make you give up frame building and deprive us of these amusing interviews and photos of you bodging a $5000 product. Nice.

Craig Gaulzetti - 02/23/12 - 11:22pm

Andrew,
A colnago c40 was a great bike.because the wheels were in the right place. I’ve had several, and my last colnago was an ex-milram extreme power which while great, weighed a few hundred grams more than my current corsa frame. you can make a great.bike out of any material, but atr isn’t making carbon pipes anymore and a carbon bike that exhibits.the same.torsional rigidity as a corsa ends up heavier, more delicate and in general can not be made to measure and is often available.in geometries that make more sense for a.bike fitters idea.if what joe customer needs, than what a serious cyclist should be on. look at the schleck boys with their 150 or 140mm slammed -17′ stems and saddles pushed all the way back- or the fact that there was not one guy on csc in their.last.year who wasn’t on a 54 or a 56cm.cervelo. frankly the reality is that sponsorship money means andy schleck needs to ride your bike. it’s a commodity that.is good enough, not a sporting good optimized for it’s intended purpose. there are.great.carbon race bikes… there are great aluminum race bikes. I’m not trying to.build something to appeal to.everyone, I’m trying to build the best road bike I can….and people I trust like’em. I’m sorry you.dont,, but you’ve.never.ridden one either and.seem too trollish to appreciate what we’re trying to do anyway.

Andrew - 02/27/12 - 7:56am

Craig,

thanks for replying. Some of your comments continue to wind me up though.

“A carbon bike that exhibits.the same.torsional rigidity as a corsa ends up heavier, more delicate and in general can not be made to measure”

Do you have any objective evidence to prove this? Until then, I’m going to go with the many published stiffness tests which demonstrate that aluminium pipes continue to obey the laws of physics and exhibit poorer stiffness to weight characteristics than mid-range carbon bikes.

And whether they are more or less delicate is a moot point – let’s not pretend that thin-walled aluminium is immune to dents, notching, low and high cycle fatigue, weld contamination or other failure-inducing problems. I’d say they’re about even myself.

“…and is often available.in geometries that make more sense for a bike fitters idea if what joe customer needs, than what a serious cyclist should be on…” [sic]

Hmmm… I think the Schlecks are about a million miles from average, and have pretty nasty-looking positions – my hunch (I’ve not asked them) is that they might prefer a custom bike. But they do seem to go fine on standard Treks, so it’s not really an issue other than aesthetically. Again, my view is that 99.9% of normal cyclists do pretty well with Trek’s size range and 3 head tube heights. And anyway, since when was it impossible to build a custom carbon bike? Many people do – Colnago’s custom program, not to mention all those other tub-to-tube manufacturers: Parlee, Calfee, Crumpton, Kirklee, Viner, Seven, IF…

I do appreciate you’re trying to build the best bike you can, and that it’s probably a quite a nice bike to ride and own. But I don’t appreciate inaccurate marketing blurb that patronises the readers here who have invested time to understand Engineering and Physics.

Stick to the facts and we will all be friends ;-)

Grant - 02/27/12 - 10:36am

Andrew – stiffness to weight ratio is a moot point if you have a pound of ballast on your bike. As Craig mentioned, he’s talking about building bikes to the UCI weight limit. If you want to build a lighter bike,
then yes, a carbon bike can achieve that. Reading comprehension skills are fundamental, yo. Meanwhile, I totally get where Craig is coming from. The fact that some internet trolling message board “cyclists” would actually post that “made to measure isn’t [b]necessary[/b] just makes me laugh out loud. Is that really where we’ve come to as a species? Bashing an approach to race bike design that actually begins with the specific rider dimensions instead of a catalog or geometry in an excel spreadsheet is now considered wrong? WTF? The rest of you can have your standardized, mass-produced, generic, and boring Treks and Specialized, you deserve ‘em.

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