by Old Bone Machine

Dario Pegoretti is an Italian framebuilder. He knows to drink the finest wine first, the coarser wine when drunk. He has designed and built frames for the greats in cycling – Indurain, Pantani, Roche, Chiappucci and Cipollini.

Dario works in fire and steel, without a welders mask or glasses. He handles the steel with his bare hands.

The hands are an extension of your mind, I believe. For me they are the most perfect instruments. There is nothing else in the natural world that could be a substitute for your hands. You can do anything with them. You can find tools which are more precise, but as regards versatility, there is nothing like your hands. You can do anything with your hands. You can cause pain, you can caress, you can be tough, you can be delicate. With your hands you can do all kinds of things. Naturally though you need to know how to use your hands and that comes from the mind. Our hands are an instrument, the most perfect one that ever existed. – DP

His relationship with his materials is intimate.

I’m talking about the smell of steel. About what this material really is, about the fact that it moves, about how it moves. And about the smell it has especially in winter when it’s cold. The fact is that it has a unique smell that anybody could recognise, which can’t be applied to other metals. – DP

Dario was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2007 yet continues to work. One of his frame designs is called Catch the Spider.  The title coming from his assistant Pietro Pietricola. The spider, of course, referring to his cancer.

Pietro said to me, “drink a glass of wine and the spider will get drunk”. -DP

The relationship between Dario and Pietro is symbiotic and close. The pair are an odd couple. Dario is a beautiful, red balloon and Pietro is the stick and line that keeps the balloon from floating away.

Pegoretti frames are TIG welded from either steel or aluminium. The frames are easily recognisable as Pegoretti, by their distinctive and colourful titles, graphics and paint work.

(Catch the Spider)

Observations and quotes have been inspired and sourced from the Rapha/Ridley Scott Associates produced film d’acciaio / of steel. The film is by Ben Ingham. Watch it.

The image of Dario and his hand are by Nadav Kandar.