Just to add a minor footnote to Chuck's comprehensive narrative, seat posts were also marketed (early/mid 70's?) under just the initials GP. Single bolt design with a spring to keep tension on the bolt, and the letters G.P. in script on the rear top of the post. Does anyone know of any other components that were marketed under the GP (as opposed to GPM/Gipiemme) moniker?
Wayne Bingham Falls Church, VA
nelson miller wrote:
> Knowing absolutely nothing about the topic, I will throw in what I "heard" regarding Gipiemme--- That the name stands for the initials G.P.M. -- and they stood for either one person or three people who worked for Campagnolo and left and started doing his/their own thing. Is this how rumnors get started? Cheers-- Nelson Miller-- Seattle
From the archives:
GPM (the original name, Gipiemme is actually how an Italian pronounces the letters GPM as a word like NATO is used here and became a trademarked name much later) Generali Meccanista Pappalardo is the words from which the initials GPM was taken, actually got their start earlier than as a producer for Campagnolo.
While they have produced parts for Campagnolo and Columbus (dropouts and frame fittings) they were a general machine shop with an interest (I believe 30% share) in a forging plant north of Milan that used to make parts for pre war (First World War) Bianchi's used by the Italian Military amongst other things. I have a blueprint of a forged brake lever from 24-11-30 given to me as a momento by the manager of the factory that was giving them to anyone that wanted them, he had piles of them sitting there and couldn't throw them out because of the chemicals used to produce suchprints and the ecology laws now in place in Italy. That forging plant is still part owned by the Pappalardo family, who after selling GPM, later formed Tecnociclo, who produce dropouts and other frame parts under their own name, plus other parts for companies like Deda.
Gipiemme is now owned by Isca spa, who are of course producers of Iscaselle saddles. While there are still some parts available, the production now under the Gipiemme name (saddles, rims and wheels) has no resemblence to the groups used by teams like Iproxan (who became Carrera) and riders of the stature of Giovanni Battaglin when he won his tours. The hubs are no longer even made in house, being farmed out to DT (who don't produce the hub components themselves) and Miche. Rims and saddles sold under the Gipiemme name are made in the factory in Loria, not far away from Selle San Marco, Modolo, Campagnolo and other suppliers of bicycle parts.
The groups had Simplex made derailleurs, Modolo and Universal made brakes, Everest freewheels, and I believe every other part was made in house. Mario Pappalardo (son of the founder of GPM) keeps on his desk at Tecnociclo a
mounted machined crank from those days, and in keeping with the spirit of his father will produce anything anyone wants fabricated, especially if it's a bicycle component. --Mark Hoskin.