A Trio of Italian-Canadians: Marinoni, Miele, and Gardin


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Brian R.

Finally riding a big boys bike
Oct 16, 2015
416
876
Toronto, Canada
#1
I'm very new to post-1983 (ccm bankruptcy) Canadian bikes and have been trying to get up to speed on who was around then. I've learned there was a trio of Italian-Canadians building bikes in the '80s: Marinoni in Montreal, Miele in Toronto, and Gardin in Mississauga (next door to Toronto). I've made it my mission to find a beautiful and original example of each.

So far, I've picked up this c.1985 Gardin (pronounced Gar-deen). I love that the Italian colours on the frame, badge, and even the bar tape tell the story of Joe Gardin's love for Italy and cycling. He came to Canada in 1955 with $10 and a borrowed suitcase, and built up a successful material handling company (pallet trucks etc.). This allowed him to pursue his cycling-related passions building Cambio Rino and then Gardin bikes. He bought tubes and parts from Italy and brought over an Italian frame builder. He was an enthusiastic sponsor of the Canadian Olympic cycling team including, I've heard, Curt Harnett.

I've been told that my Gardin frame may have been built in Italy and assembled in Canada, but they did fabricate frames at their Mississauga factory. This one has a Gipiemme derailleur and Modolo brakes. The collector I bought it from says it's all original except for the tires. I have to take his word for it.

I will add pics of my Marinoni and Miele someday when I find them! Gardin closed in the '90s. The Toronto Miele factory also closed in the '90s I think, but the name ended up with Procycle in Quebec. Marinoni is still going strong I believe.

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TomSea999

On Training Wheels
Aug 28, 2019
1
1
50
98065
#2
I'm very new to post-1983 (ccm bankruptcy) Canadian bikes and have been trying to get up to speed on who was around then. I've learned there was a trio of Italian-Canadians building bikes in the '80s: Marinoni in Montreal, Miele in Toronto, and Gardin in Mississauga (next door to Toronto). I've made it my mission to find a beautiful and original example of each.

So far, I've picked up this c.1985 Gardin (pronounced Gar-deen). I love that the Italian colours on the frame, badge, and even the bar tape tell the story of Joe Gardin's love for Italy and cycling. He came to Canada in 1955 with $10 and a borrowed suitcase, and built up a successful material handling company (pallet trucks etc.). This allowed him to pursue his cycling-related passions building Cambio Rino and then Gardin bikes. He bought tubes and parts from Italy and brought over an Italian frame builder. He was an enthusiastic sponsor of the Canadian Olympic cycling team including, I've heard, Curt Harnett.

I've been told that my Gardin frame may have been built in Italy and assembled in Canada, but they did fabricate frames at their Mississauga factory. This one has a Gipiemme derailleur and Modolo brakes. The collector I bought it from says it's all original except for the tires. I have to take his word for it.

I will add pics of my Marinoni and Miele someday when I find them! Gardin closed in the '90s. The Toronto Miele factory also closed in the '90s I think, but the name ended up with Procycle in Quebec. Marinoni is still going strong I believe.

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View attachment 943089

View attachment 943090
I have that exact bike in white, which came with blue handlebar tape which wore off for me. The only thing I see on the bike which doesn't look original are the brake pads - in spite of the fact that I've ridden this thing 1000s of miles, most were centuries so I didn't brake very much :) - here's a pic of the original brake pads. Also, I bought this bike new in the mid-80s. I'm old. Also, I was told at the time that the frame was built in Italy. I think the convention was that the particular Columbus Tubing sticker on the frame would indicate that the frame was made in Italy - this was consistent with the Bianchi bikes at the times, which I coveted, but of course couldn't afford.

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Likes: redline1968

juvela

I live for the CABE
Aug 2, 2014
1,137
1,665
Playa del Rey, United States
#3
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Odd that the upper and lower headset stacks do not appear to match.

Dost the griffon appear only on the head emblem?


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