In the early 1970’s, few bike shops in Canada were importing proper European racing bicycles and equipment. When my father, who was a passionate cyclist from England, arrived in Canada, his dream was to build a full service shop with the best touring and racing equipment available on the global market.

Each season, my parents and the Browns, their business partners, would travel overseas to the Milan or Cologne bike show to see the latest products and develop relationships with the builders and manufacturers. Shipments from Europe would arrive at the shop in Toronto: containers of rollers, boxes of Campagnolo, bundles of silk tubular tires and hundreds of frames. They were the bikes and parts that the shop staff, and of course the customers, had only seen in the European magazines.

In the mid to late 70’s, Mike Brown and my father were at the Milan show and a brand with a small stand caught their eye as the frames were finished as nicely as the best on the market.  
The brand was Pinarello. Mike described meeting Pinarello: “I believe we were the first company to import Pinarello bikes and frames into North America until Gita Sport started to import them. On the stand we met Giovanni Pinarello he spoke only Italian, but his daughter did speak very good English, they were a very nice family and real bike enthusiasts. The booth was so small in those days…. just look at them now….. didn’t they do well!”

Thirty five years later, I joined Team Sky, a new professional team which had just developed a partnership with Pinarello. Since Giovanni Pinarello built the first frame in 1952, the family has always been involved in the business. From the first training camp, Fausto Pinarello, Giovanni’s son and his team of engineers asked for the riders’ and staff’s input, as they strove to build a better bike. They also worked with the team of consultants from aerospace and Formula 1 that Team Sky collaborated with to provide insight into how the bike could be faster. They developed a stable, well handling fast race bike.

That progression has continued over the last 14 years, as they continue to work with the same team, under the new sponsor Ineos. Through the 1990’s, Miguel Indurain dominated the Tour de France on a Pinarello, won an Olympic gold medal and broke the hour record. That success continued with Sky and most recently, Pinarellos have been the dominant bikes on the track, as they have been ridden to team and individual pursuit world records, Olympic gold medals and another hour record.

Over half a century of working with professional teams has allowed them to design some of the best bikes available as the engineering and design that goes into a bicycle ridden to an hour record trickles down to every bike in their range.

Having ridden countless bikes, Pinarellos remain one of my favourite for their stability at speed, reliability and aesthetic, which is why we are proud to now offer them in our shop once again. Pinarello is iconic brand of high performance bicycles.

Pinarello History

Pinarello Bicycles

By Michael Barry