Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Gilbert Arizona
Yup, Italian bikes really are cool. My personal mount is a 2001 Torelli Brianza (Columbus Zona tubing), Campagnolo Zonda wheels, Campy Chorus/Veloce combo drivetrain, Deda stem and bar, Easton carbon seatpost and Selle Italia Prolink Gelflow saddle. I know Torelli is technically a California company, but the frames are welded up in San Marino. The only non-Italian parts on my bike are the Easton seatpost and the Shimano SPD-SL pedals which I like for the low profile but large platform.
It is a really smooth bike, and handles my 195 lb body without fuss. I have done a number of events on it (and have a metric century this weekend in fact). Probably not the best climbing bike at around 20 lbs, but I can still drag it up the hills OK.
You mention Italian teams and Italian bikes. The two don't necessarily go hand in hand. Look at Lampre-Caffita (last year's Saeco) who ride Cannondales. Domina Vacanze rides Specialized. But yeah, you have Liquigas on Bianchis, Fassa Bortalo on Pinarello, Aqua and Sapone on Moser, etc.
Non-Italian teams ride Italian bikes too, like Gerolsteiner on Willier-Triestina and various teams on Colnagos.
I like euro bikes in general, be they French Times, Belgian Merckx, etc. I don't know what I will get when it comes time for a new bike years from now. The problem is that the cool stuff costs a lot of $$$$$.
AROC-USA National Concours Chair