Zanconato Tailored Steel Bicycles – What’s Old is New Again

Posted on 26. Feb, 2010 by Paul Skilbeck in 2010 News

ZanconatoZanconato Bicycles has joined the tight fraternity of New England framebuilders only recently, but its products reflect the same classic construction and attention to detail of both its New England brethren and Old World masters.

Owner Mike Zanconato was an apprentice to the craft and trade of framebuilding at his Massachusetts neighbor, Seven Cycles, and he comes from a family tradition of fabrication.

Passion and spirit buoy the classicaly-trained efforts of Zanconato, who notes a lifelong interest in cycling and a growing demand for his frames.

New England is the cradle of the U.S. and home to many classic icons of American culture: white-painted steepled churches, ivy-walled universities, red siloed barns and Yankee ingenuity. Add lugged steel bicycle frames to the list.

The Sutton, MA-based Zanconato builds exclusively in steel and with classic, lugged construction. “Its what the riders want – a bicycle that first and foremost rides great. I build mostly for racers, and many chased the sacred cow of lightness with aluminum bikes, but in the end what matters is how the bike feels. People are coming back to steel in a big way.”

Many in the New England framebuilder’s guild never abandoned steel, and they are welcoming their newest member to nurture the art of classic frame construction. “There’s been overwhelming support from (fellow framebuilder) Richard Sachs and tubing suppliers Dario Pegoretti and Columbus.”

But Zanconato wouldn’t build his beautifully-crafted, full-custom frames with steel if that wasn’t what the market demanded either. “We’re seeing an industry-wide rediscovery of some of the materials that were abandoned earlier in the decade. Even Columbus Max tubing – I remember all the top Classics riders using frames built from this back in the 1990s.”

But like any new member of a fraternity, a little bonding with the brothers – if not quite outright hazing – greeted Zanconato’s first visit to NAHBS on an all-nighter roll down the interstates with his staff and some fellow Massachusetts framebuilders.

“We got lucky dodging the snowstorm and driving all night to get here to Richmond, but we’re still giddy with excitement. It’s a great show and a great time.”

- Matt Butterman

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