Stelio BellettiA craftsman and engineer of uncommon vision and ability, Stelio founded the Stelbel brand in 1973.
La tecnicaThe details, unique solutions, materials and artisanal characteristics that make Stelbel special.
MissionThe company values and objectives that we set for ourselves to ensure the highest-possible level of product and customer service.
Stelio Belletti has always had a particular talent when it came to building frames for vehicles. That they were powered by a combustion engine, or the legs of a cyclist, made little difference. Every type of frame presents its own challenges, and achieving maximum performance is no easy task. For Stelio and his father Antenore, however, these difficulties only inspired them to excel at whatever they built, whether it was in the field of aeronautics, motorcycle racing, or cycling. Look into the Belletti family history, and it won’t be long before you come across an article praising their engineering genius. For example, the P19 Scricciolo, a small plane for which Belletti developed the fuselage, is described as “a masterpiece of handling” that for over 20 years was trainer aircraft of choice for the Aero Club d’Italia. In 1967, the Belletti’s were responsible for improving the chassis of the era’s most powerful racing motorbike, the Honda 500 GP. The legendary Gran Prix rider Mike Hailwood came to the father and son pair hoping to refine the handling of his bike, and in just 16 days, the Belletti workshop delivered a new frame for the powerful Honda engine. Shortly after, Hailwood duly rode to victory at the Mototemporada Romagnola in Rimini – beating another icon of the sport, Giacomo Agostini, in the process.
Stelio’s unique approach to bicycle frame construction was born from such experiences, and his background in motor racing and aeronautics. A lifelong love of cycling spurred him to develop new technologies and techniques for the cycling world, and though he’s now in his 80s, that passion still inspires him today. A bike frame is a seemingly simple tool, but that simplicity is only made possible by a complex understanding of the master craftsman’s methods and materials. A special attention is required. Stelio’s dedication has always been to the quality of the final product, regardless of how long it took. The classic Stelbel fork crown is the perfect example of this. There might have been easier solutions, but they wouldn’t have been the right one. This spirit of originality and hard work was passed down to Stelio by his father, Antenore, a skilled mechanic the likes of whom you no longer meet. The best teacher and mentor that the young Stelio could have asked for, he passed away some time ago but his energy and ideals can still be seen in all of Stelbel’s products today.
Steel has always been Stelbel’s material of choice. But it’s not just about continuing tradition, because recent metallurgical research has led to the production of high-tech alloys that offer undeniable advantages when it comes to tailoring a hand-built bike to the rider’s needs. We use Columbus Tubi because we believe that they’re the best in the business. They supply us with double and triple-butted tubing, and also customise tubes according to our needs.
For our new frames we’ve revived Stelio’s aesthetics and unique methods while combining them with the latest technological advances. TIG Welding remains at the core of the new Stelbel range, and we build frames one at a time, always to measure. This attention to detail allows us to devote the necessary time to ensuring a product of the highest-possible quality, with the frame’s dynamic characteristics always balanced to suit the rider. The classic range of frames will feature the famous Stelbel fork crown, one of the most distinctive elements from our past. For fans of timeless beauty, we offer the second generation “Integrale 40th Anniversary”.
Our modern frames are all equipped with carbon fibre forks. For the Rhone and Ortica models, we use an Italian-made model from WR Compositi that has been developed for our needs. For the SB/03 and Nina frames, our partner Columbus Tubi provides custom forks. All of the steel that we use comes from Columbus, the standard-bearer in bicycle tubing manufacture for generations. The sizes, thicknesses and specific forms have all been chosen to suit our designs, and we use triple-butted tubes made from three different alloys to build frames that are responsive and low weight.
Building a high-level steel frame requires the expertise of great craftsmen and workers. For that, we thank Giovanni, Domenico, Massimo, Claudio, Mario, Walter, Michele, Marco and everyone else involved in the construction and finish of Stelbel frames. Each model’s technical characteristics are described in detail on the frame’s dedicated page. More information is also available on 2015 models. Steel is at the heart of everything we do. It’s our history and it will be a huge part of our future, too. But we’re also interested in the possibilities of carbon fibre, so we will soon begin development of our own range of forks, designed and built entirely in-house. While respecting our history as craftsmen, we also hope to continue Stelbel’s tradition of experimentation and innovation by working with new materials and developing new frames in composite materials.
Stelbel’s revival started with a simple premise: stay true to the past. The brand’s most iconic characteristics have inspired this new generation of frames, and we treasure the values that Stelio Belletti has always followed. We will continue to experiment and innovate and with the ambition to improve. All of our frames are handmade in Italy by skilled Italian craftsmen, tailored exclusively to the customer’s needs and custom built to order. We work hard and invest a lot of time in ensuring that we live up to expectations, communicate quickly with customers and offer efficient assistance when needed. And of course, we aim to build the best possible product, whose quality is controlled throughout the process of construction and finish. We also aspire to honour the great Italian frame-building tradition, and perhaps one day we’d like to think that we played a role in returning it to its former glory.