Renzo Formigli was born in Florence, Italy in 1969. Discussions around the dinner table with his grandfather, father and brother, all semi-professional cyclists, involved cycling as did family activities and every free weekend. Renzo was surrounded by bicycles and the thrill of racing.
At age eight he told his mother that when he grew up he would build bicycles.
When he was 12, before and after school he would hang around the local bicycle shop. By listening to the mechanics and builders in the shop, he began to understand the mechanics of a bicycle. That same year he asked his father for a gift, a bicycle build kit he’d seen in a shop window. That was the first bicycle Renzo assembled, the beginning of his dream to become a world class bicycle builder.
Renzo’s career path was set when he met Cinelli at age 21. Cino Cinelli, a legendary figure uniquely able to claim the following three titles: champion bicycle racer, manufacturer who stood out as a genuine innovator, and master frame designer. Cinelli saw something in Renzo and invited him to his home to discuss the theories and practices of bicycle building. Cinelli began to teach Renzo the secrets of a master craftsman, including the step-by-step process of handcrafting steel racing frames.
When you see the fit and finish of a Formigli steel frame’s tubes and lugs, you know that only a master craftsman, someone who knows the secrets, could create something so fine. Materials and frame designs have changed since his time with Cinelli, but Renzo still uses much of what he learned at the old man’s bench as his foundation for design and creation.
In 1990 Renzo created Formigli cycles in a small shop near Florence. His ambition was to honor the tradition in which he’d been trained, at the same time integrating modern technologies to keep alive the Italian legacy: handmade, customer-specific frames.
Over years Renzo Formigli has perfected the art of custom frames built through a process that has itself evolved. Each Formigli frame is one-of-a-kind, each is the highest quality racing frame available.
Having establishing his name in Italy over the last 26 years, Formigli serves over 40 Italian shops and hand picked cycling teams.
Renzo learned his craft with steel. He still makes steel and aluminum bikes, but today he focuses on applying the art and skill of the master framebuilder to carbon fiber. His hands-on approach allows him to create completely custom bikes from cutting-edge materials.
Every frame Renzo Formigli makes is custom crafted by hand with Italian materials, made 100% in Italy. No Formigli frame will ever be mass-produced or mass-marketed.
In 2009, Renzo joined forces with an American company and formed Formigli International to distribute his special frames to the USA. Formigli International Corporation saw that Italian handmade custom frames are nearly impossible for non-Italians to find unless they’re in Italy and speak Italian. They saw the value in Renzo’s craft and sought to spread that pure enjoyment of cycling imbued in each of his frames.
In 2014 Formigli Inc was formed to manage the world distribution of Formigli frames.
Now, since the partnership of Renzo Formigli and Formigli Inc, his frames are available to riders everywhere. You don’t have to go to Italy to order a custom frame. Not that there’d be anything wrong with that.