The premiere networking circle for English-speaking professionals who do business in Italy

American Business Group Milan

Speaker for September 2019

Antonio Colombo

President, Cinelli & Columbus Tubi

Antonio ColomboAntonio Colombo is the owner and president of two legendary names in the bicycle industry: Cinelli and Columbus Tubi. He is also, as the owner of Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea, a supporter of modern art.

Colombus Tubi, founded in 1919 by Antonio’s father A. L. Colombo, quickly became a leading supplier of bicycle frame tubes. Over the years Colombus Tubi has inspired and supplied tubing for other sectors as well; Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair (Bauhaus) is a famous example.

Cinelli was founded in 1948 by former racer Cino Cinelli. Ownership passed to Antonio Colombo in 1978. Known for its continual innovation in the sector, Cinelli counts among its milestones the introduction of the “Rampichino”, the first ever Mountain Bike to be produced in Europe; the “Laser”, built specifically to conquer the hour record and the “Bootleg”, the first off-road adventure bike, a forerunner of Bikepacking. Attention to the American bike messenger community led to the perfection of fixed gear bikes.

Art and creativity has been a recurrent theme in Antonio's life… as has an attentive eye on life in urban America. In the 1980’s he befriended American street artist Keith Haring and gave him a Cinelli bike to travel on in New York. Haring later personalized the bike in his recognizable style (see photo).

In 1998 Antonio founded the Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea gallery which has hosted solo shows by Silvia Argiolas, Gabriele Arruzzo, Marco Cingolani, Francesco De Grandi, Fulvio Di Piazza, Nathalie Du Pasquier, El Gato Chimney, Tom Fabritius, Thomas Flechtner, Matteo Guarnaccia, Giuliano Guatta, Laboratorio Saccardi, Francesco Lauretta, Miltos Manetas, Andrea Mastrovito, Luca Pancrazzi, Luigi Presicce, Giuliano Sale, Andrea Salvino, Marta Sesana, as well as one of the first events, featuring 3000 photographs retouched by Mario Schifano.

A passion for rock music led to the selection of some artists, including Moby, Daniel Johnston and Mike Giant.

Talk title: Italian ingenuity & artistic influence: from Columbus tubes & Cinelli bicycles to contemporary art, Milan industrialist Antonio Colombo speaks on a life pushing the envelope

Photo: courtesy of Cinelli

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