Visiting the Columbus factory is an unforgettable experience; a place where a group of skilled workers have fabricated and continue to fabricate tubes for some of the most famous and world-renowned bicycles.
Emilvano leads us proudly around the factory past shelves piled high with the dies and rollers that have made Columbus a household name for the international cycling elite, while we listen to the machines humming in perfect sync. A synchronicity that is reflected in the order and harmony of the people who operate them, working calmly but quickly, almost hypnotically for those of us lucky enough to witness it.
The raw material is processed in different stages, and the result is a high-quality tube that is used and appreciated all over the world and which has been synonymous with quality and cutting-edge research since the early 1900s when Angelo Luigi Colombo opened A.L. Colombo.
It started out as a mid-sized steel mill producing steel for the nautical, aviation, and racing car industry, for the military, and even for high-end furniture, as well as for the cycling industry, specialising in the field when the sport became more competitive and needed more specific, customised frames.
Today, just as they did in the past, Columbus has the objective of providing frame-builders with perfect tubes, researching and developing the best materials and shapes on the market.
The Columbus philosophy is to perfect the mechanical properties of their tubing by carefully choosing the composition of the alloys and refining them through a cold-rolling mill shaping process, and applying a heat treatment to eliminate internal stresses within the tubes.
Columbus has continued to develop and innovate within the steel tubing industry, despite new materials taking over the industry. With the recent revival of steel frames and frame builders working both in Italy and abroad, the latest challenge is to tailor its products in order to accomodate this new demand.
Cicli Corsa, experienced and knowledgable distributors of high-quality cycling products, is a proud, official dealer of Columbus tubing, and aims to become a bridge between new frame-builders who have started to work with, or plan to work with, steel tubing. Cicli Corsa hopes to provide them with as much information and assistance as they require thanks to a direct and continuous working relationship with Columbus. In addition to steel tubing, Columbus has added a range of carbon components such as forks and complete frames, all of which are available at the Cicli Corsa online shop.
Photo credit: Gianmarco Dodesini Valsecchi – 341 Production