DISRAELI GEARS

Gipiemme

Gipiemme Exploit derailleur main image Gipiemme Exploit derailleur main image Gipiemme Exploit derailleur main image

Based in Loria, north eastern Italy, not far from Vicenza, Gipiemme have a long history as one of the smaller players in the Italian bicycle industry. Their name is the initials ‘GPM’ pronounced as a word. They are sometimes referred to as ‘GPM’ and have branded some product as ‘GPM’.

There are a number of aspects of Gipiemme’s history that are slightly mysterious to me. In the way of many small Italian companies, Gipiemme’s Italian web site, www.gipiemme.com, makes much of a single heroic figure in their history, Giovanni Bernardi. Bernardi is pictured with the leading cyclists over the decades, starting with Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali in photos dating from the early 1950s. It is rude to say it, but Giovanni Bernardi seems to have been the poor man’s Tullio Campagnolo - a marketing professional might ‘position’ him more politely as ‘the affordable Tullio Campagnolo’. All of which makes perfect sense - and is vaguely consistent with Frank Berto’s description of a 1949 derailleur branded Gipiemme, a fork type that is strikingly similar to a Campagnolo Corsa.

However Gipiemme’s, very official looking, British, web site, www.gipiemme.co.uk, clearly states that the company was founded in 1964 in Milano. That the company started working with Campagnolo in the 1970’s and moved to the Vicenza area in 1974. This site makes the very reasonable claim that GPM stands for Gran Premio della Montagna, the high points on mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia, at which spot prizes and points for the King of the Mountains jersey (Maglia Verde) can be won.

Finally I have been sent a scan of a Technociclo brochure stating that Gipiemme was spun-out of Technociclo in the 1970s and headed up by one Giovanni Pappalardo in Milano. Technociclo were a reasonably well known manufacturer of steel frame components and are often mentioned in the same breath as Gipiemme. This brochure makes the perfectly credible claim that GPM stands for Giovanni Pappalardo Milano.

Why have one truth when you can have three!

In terms of derailleurs, there is Frank Berto’s 1949 fork type model. Gipiemme are also often alleged to have manufactured a copy of the Campagnolo Nuovo Record in the 1970’s, but I have never seen one. They certainly rebadged a variety of Simplex derailleurs during the 1980’s and possibly the early 1990’s, as they strove to provide Italian bicycle manufacturers with a complete groupset. Finally, and possibly after the demise of Simplex, there is the Gipiemme Exploit, a rather classy piece of work of unknown provenance - perhaps Gipiemme manufactured it themselves.

Gipiemme continues in the bicycle components business to this day - something that cannot be said of many other Italian companies listed on this site. They do not currently include derailleurs in their range.


see also US Trademark # 1,112,678 1977

see also US Trademark # 1,112,678 1977

US Trademark 1,112,678 - Gipiemme thumbnail


see also US Trademark # 1,200,381 1980

see also US Trademark # 1,200,381 1980

US Trademark 1,200,381 - Gipiemme thumbnail
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