Galli main image Galli main image Galli main image

Giovanni Galli and Co was founded in Torino, some time in the 1930’s. Giovanni Galli was a racing cyclist, and his claim to fame was that he manufactured the worlds first aluminium caliper brake.

Galli regarded itself as the equal of Campagnolo in engineering terms but without the unnecessary hype. A Galli representative once earnestly told me that Torino, the home of FIAT, was the real capital of Italian engineering, and that Vicenza (the home of Campagnolo) was more famous as a manufacturing centre for jewellery for women, which he considered entirely appropriate given some of the prima donna’s that Campagnolo was sponsoring at the time... blah, blah, blah.

Some of Galli’s designs reflect this ‘honest engineering’ philosophy, with their simple lines and clean edges. However Galli also had a penchant for multi-coloured anodising that shows that the Italian love of ‘bling’ was alive and well, even in macho, down-to-earth Torino.

Galli produced full groupsets by drafting in products from other manufacturers; TTT for seatpins, Stronglight for cranks and Maillard for hubs. They also used Simplex branded pulley wheels on their later derailleurs. Some people claim that Galli’s derailleurs were manufactured by Simplex - but they are very unlike anything that Simplex produced, Simplex was never into anodising and, pulley wheels apart, they do not share any minor parts. For me, the evidence is overwhelming that Galli produced their own derailleurs (and I think brakes).

Frank Berto claims that Galli produced their first derailleur in 1976 and that derailleur production ‘survived until about 1987’.

Share this page