Unique Handcrafted Bicycles 100% Made in Italy

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A Q&A with Lucrezia Pascale, Scatto Italiano‘s Co-Founder & Head of Product Design

Hi Lucrezia, tell us a little about your background.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a stimulating and creative environment: my mother’s knitwear lab in a small village in Puglia. I literally spent my entire childhood on a little wooden box in front of the weaving machines. I loved that period, and also my adolescence: I spent a lot of time between wool spools, needles, and threads. We made bespoke garments for the four of us in my family, for relatives and friends, all strictly made to measure.

I think the “primary value” that still stays with me today in Scatto Italiano was developed in that period: the immense value of humanity. I always moved on seeing the happiness in the eyes of the people who wore those garments for the first time, I was thrilled to know that my and my mom’s know-how and our minds were the source of that happiness.

What first got you interested in the bicycle world and what inspired you and your co-founders to start Scatto Italiano?

The history of Scatto Italiano began in 2013 from the common passion of Giuseppe and Pietro – my two partners – for the cycling world. It all started with the production of the two handlebars in American walnut Barra and Café Racer Scatto Italiano, hence the desire to produce also a line of bicycles that was an authentic symbol of the Made in Italy made of craftsmanship and innovation.

My entry to Scatto Italiano dates back to the period of the first design conversations about the values that the brand should have, on how we wanted to maintain an ethically correct design, capable of reviving the manufacturing tradition of the past as a priceless treasure to draw on in order to innovate and create our idea of contemporary humanistic craftsmanship.

I joined the projects due to my background in the field of knitwear. Pietro, with whom I shared my academic years in Industrial Design at the Politecnico di Milano, asked me to make a bike bag. Hence the challenge of creating a product that can be adapted to any bicycle frame, but which is also a fashion accessory, without any aesthetic reference to the world of cycling. We presented the Ziggy Clutch Bag, which was later patented, together with the first line of Scatto Italiano bicycles, during our market debut at the Salone del Mobile di Milano in 2014.

From that moment on we have never separated.

What’s the philosophy behind the brand, and what are its core values?

We dreamed of creating a brand that would be an ambassador and custodian of authentic principles, those that have made Made in Italy great in the world: the craftsmanship as an irreplaceable humanistic value, the quality of raw materials and finished products, the culture of beauty as a means to take care of the human soul, the knowledge of the past as a wealth of knowledge to create and innovate the future, the idea of productions that respect their time and are able to last and be handed down from generation to generation.

We believe in four fundamental values for us: Diversity, Memory, Time, and Care.

We believe in the value of beauty as a means to tell another value that we hold dear: Diversity.
The uniqueness that lies behind the custom-made projects we do, the uniqueness of the manual work of the people who make all our products by hand, the uniqueness of the ideas behind every single product: all this allows us to be proud spokespersons of the concept of “Diversity”. For us, it is a value to be praised, always, especially today in a world where it is often trampled underfoot.

The importance of Memory.
We grew up in three small villages in Puglia breathing the craftsmanship of the village shops. With our projects, we want to take you back to when we were children and convey the respect we have for the art of know-how with which we grew up. We want to pass on the strength of ingenuity that the generations of our parents and grandparents had in doing so much with little.

We respect the Time.
For this reason, time is one of our core values. There is no faster way to produce our frames by hand, and there is no faster way to paint them using paint masks layer by layer, rigorously by hand. We believe in the value of the “Care” that our craftsmen have when they complete the idea we submitted to them. We believe in the care we put into all our projects: from the idea to when everything in the creative puzzle is in its place and a new product is born. Taking care means taking the time to respect what you are doing.

With our products, we want to create these types of emotions.
The goal of our bicycles is to hand down these authentic values, in an era in which everything is designed to be engulfed, used, and thrown away.

How do you approach design and where do you find inspiration for new products?

We are three designers with an academic background in the industrial product field, but we are also proud “contemporary craftsmen”. In all our projects, digital manufacturing solutions coexist with those deriving from the most deeply rooted tradition. Processing with the use of numerical control machines, lasers and 3D printers is mixed with handwork of steel, wood, and leather, with the manual application of painting masks.

The beauty of perfectly made mechanical parts mixed with the humanity of artisanal imperfections. For us, this is the essence of our designing: maintaining tradition by innovating.

Our inspirations are everywhere, from the observation of so-called everyday objects, with an anonymous but extremely functional design, to more complex fields such as the automotive, nautical or scientific one. The ability to observe the world and retrieve it from memory according to a design need to be satisfied is one of the most precious treasures for a designer.

Scatto Italiano offers a tailor-made bicycle service called “The One”, which allows people to get the bike of their dreams (with no request limits): how does the process work?

The One customized service is the beating heart of Scatto Italiano as it allows us to fully express three of the values we hold dear: the uniqueness of each creation, the humanity of the relationship with each client created during the creative process, and the humanity of the emotional connection that binds the single bicycle to each customer. The One bicycles, due to the high manufacturing value, are bicycles born to be handed down from generation to generation.

The first step of The One process is learning about the aesthetic tastes and functional needs of the individual customer, which can take place in various ways: in person by setting up an appointment in the atelier, through a written interview, by sending images and inspirations.

Following this phase, in about 10 working days, we are ready to be able to present The One project. These are very intense days of hard work. For each customer, unique graphics are designed and ad hoc components can also be designed. As an output of this phase, a presentation is delivered with photorealistic renderings.

Once the project has been approved, the implementation phase begins, which takes 35/40 working days. The first step, lasting 10 days, concerns the study of the tailor-made geometry of the frame and the production of the same in Columbus Ultra-light steel, welded with an alloy with high silver content.

Under each frame, as a “contemporary seal” of the uniqueness of each creation, a brass plate is welded with the engraved initials of the owner.

The next phase is the painting of the frame. This phase, which lasts 15 days, includes an anti-rust treatment by immersion, two coats of protective base, and the production of the specific color, which can also be made to measure. The painting phase is carried out in a completely artisanal way.

The final assembly phase of every single component chosen is a delicate phase, as we calculate assembly tolerances of very few millimeters, to ensure elegance and visual harmony of each The One.

The last phase, as well as the most beautiful for us, is the post-shipment phase when the customer receives his The One bicycle and we can enjoy his astonished gaze and his appreciation in words.

Your bicycles are designed in Milan and manufactured by your “family” of artisans with over 600 years of combined experience. How did you find the best workshops to partner with, where are they based, and what’s your relationship with them?

We traveled all over Italy and found our “family of craftsmen”, because that’s exactly how we like to define it, between Padova, Monza and Como. The relationship created in these 10 years of activity is a working relationship of mutual loyalty and respect, but also of great affection. More than 600 years of history come out of them if you calculate the experience of the generations behind our products. Each laboratory is in its second or even third/fourth manufacturing generation, some fathers and grandfathers of our current craftsmen really wrote the history of Italian cycling, by producing bikes, components, and accessories for the greatest Italian cyclists such as Coppi and Bartali.

Inside their workshops, you can breathe the smell of wood shavings, paints, and freshly welded metal. Their hands at work are beautiful to look at because every gesture tells a story made up of experience and passion. I will always remember Giovanni’s genuineness and bright eyes, with his seventy years of experience in the production of wooden components for bicycles, when I asked him “Giovanni, why do you still come to the laboratory to work at the age of 84?”.
His answer was “Because I like it”.

How has Scatto Italiano evolved over time and how do you see it in the future?

We never compromise on quality, we never betray the values we believe in. We still feel as excited today as the first time when we see the eyes or read the emails of those who receive their custom-made The One bicycle. It is a brand that thrives on these emotions, and these emotions arise precisely because in each bike we put all the humanity of our design ability to make every single customer happy, all the humanity of our relationship with our skilled craftsmen who patiently follow us in each request to raise the bar higher and higher.

Taking care of someone through a product or a bicycle, making Scatto Italiano‘s products in an ethical and conscious way, doing it with respect for the work of others, and enhancing the history and tradition of craftsmanship and the value of the single individual are the goals that we will certainly continuously pursue in the future in every new product we’ll make, such as the new line of Gravel Scatto Italiano bicycles that we will launch in the coming months.

What public figure, past or present, do you feel best represents the overall style of the brand?

I reply without hesitation by mentioning the enlightened Brunello Cucinelli, who for me represents the highest ideal of purity of spirit and of entrepreneurial and human intentions. I read his book “Il sogno di Solomeo” during the harsh period of the pandemic and it gave me the strength not to doubt the values in which I have always believed for Scatto Italiano: enhancing quality over quantity, promoting craftsmanship as a treasure of the past to preciously keep in order to be able to produce Beauty in the future, the right principles of loyalty, kindness and humility, the heart as the driving feeling of entrepreneurial activity, because, as written by the illustrious entrepreneur: “The heart always has more strength than the mind”.

Leave us with a motto that the company will always believe in.

I will quote a phrase that I got to know thanks to the highly valued Brunello Cucinelli, and which I thank immensely for.

“I felt responsible for the Beauty of the World”: this sentence of the Roman emperor Adriano is a motto in which Scatto Italiano will always believe.

We need to feel responsible for our share of Beauty in the World, and try to make our contribution by taking care of the traditions, of the values to be handed down from generation to generation, of the ideas that our products represent, of the humanity of the people who make up the history of which we belong. In our small dimension as bicycle manufacturers in an immense universe, we will do our best to be the spokespersons for the Beauty mentioned above, in any form and nature.

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