[CR]Re: Fake GIOS -> Miele -> Gardin?

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Chater-Lea)

In-Reply-To: <8C987EE586FADFB-870-51B8@MBLK-M40.sysops.aol.com>
References: <BLU112-F25F6D024CFF63BFC6978C0F9090@phx.gbl>
From: "Grant McLean" <grant.mclean@sympatico.ca>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 19:40:34 -0400
To: oroboyz@aol.com
cc: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: Fake GIOS -> Miele -> Gardin?

I believe Jim Miele started working for his father, who had an import business in Italy, and then in Canada selling Bianchi. As that was going along well, it appear that then they decided to start making frames. (as i outlined in the other post).

Around '85/86 was when Miele opened the big production factory, something like 30,000 units/year capacity. A web search pulled up the name "Guiseppe Ferrara" as the designer and builder who came to Canada to run that place. My impression was that it was a fiasco. Mountainbikes hit the market in '86-'87 around here, and the Miele image was tied to Italian road bikes (even though most never saw Italy) and quickly Miele had to start producing ATBs.

Lots of cheap mountain bikes were available from Raleigh Canada, as well as most of the American brands, and the Miele thing started to tank. I'm quite sure there were several bankruptcies.

Joe Gardin started as the Canadian importer of Cambio Rino bikes, around '82ish, and they were made in Ossona, Italy. Again, similar to Miele, Gardin set up a framebuilding facility in Toronto (which still has the largest population of Italians living outside of Italy) The Gardin bikes varied in quality. As a shop wrench at the time, I considered them junk. They were mostly a mess, and the cambio rino parts that many had were crap. Mostly, they were designed to be priced against Japanese stuff, which at the time, and less expensive than the "real" Italian stuff like a Colnago with campy.

A high end Gardin was rare. By the later 80's, the Gardin's that we saw on the streets of Toronto were gas pipe frames with Shimano Exage components by the truckload. There were photos of expensive Gardin's in the catalogs, but i don't know how many they really sold. Certainly the Pantograph bike that Mike Barry displayed is not a bike i've every seen in my 25+ years of riding in Toronto. Gardin missed the mtb thing completely, and there were money problems.

Somehow, there was still a Gardin company that was holding on until '94ish. I had a friend working there, trying to get things going again, but it folded, and they had a big sale. I got some Dura ace track parts real cheap! That friend went to work with Mike Barry for a couple of years after that. All this stuff really takes me back to those days!

The other Toronto name from the time that jumps out is Mike Mulholland of Cyclops, who bought the business from Jocellyn Lovell (was paralysed in a training accident in '83) Mike eventually moved to Vancouver B.C., and passed away in 2005

http://www.pedalmag.com/index.php module=Section&action=viewdetail&item_id=5224

Grant McLean Toronto, Canada

On 28-Jun-07, at 6:53 PM, oroboyz@aol.com wrote:
> << This source for these copies was found to be Jim Miele.
> When he went out of business a couple of years later, there were
> all kinds of decals and lugs in boxes in their warehouse. >>
>
> So... that was before his reincarnation and second (?) run as a
> bike builder? I sold Miele bikes in the early 1990s IIRC. They were
> "very Italian" style. And it seems not so very long ago (5-6
> years?) that a huge pile of Miele bike "makings" were sold off...
>
> Now, Gardin was started up about what year and went out of biz
> when? The Gardin bike that Mike Barry brought to the Cirque this
> year (It won the "Best Pantographing" award) was really cool. I
> wish I had taken a bunch of pics of it!
>
>
> Dale Brown
> Greensboro, North Carolina USA
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Grant McLean <grant.mclean@sympatico.ca>
> To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Sent: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 5:42 pm
> Subject: [CR]GIOS story as told to me
>
> Stephen,
>
> That story jives with what i've heard.
>
> Some more digging around, and I came up with a contact who
> purchased about 100 of these frame copies. He had been getting
> authentic Gios stuff for a couple of years in small qty's from the
> American distributor shipped to Canada. Around '88 or '89,
> the frames that showed up were suddenly poor quality copies,
> and phone calls to the distributor went unanswered, and then they
> disappeared. This source for these copies was found to be Jim Miele.
> When he went out of business a couple of years later, there were
> all kinds of decals and lugs in boxes in their warehouse.
>
> Earlier I suggested Gardin may have built some frames, but now i'm
> thinking that's not the case. My contact worked at both places,
> and as both guys had gone out of business a couple of times, i think
> i mixed up some parts of the history. He assured me it was Miele.
>
> Grant McLean
> Toronto, Canada
>
>
> From: "The Maaslands" <TheMaaslands(AT)comcast.net>
> Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 16:14:57 -0400
> Subject: [CR]GIOS story as told to me
>
> I worked for one of the German distributors of Gios in the late
> 80's and
> early 90's and spoke to Alfredo about this. He told me that a North
> American distributor had (illegally according to him) registered the
> brand GIOS in the US without him knowing. When they dropped the
> distributor, the distributor felt it to be his legal right to continue
> to sell Gios bikes. It took an expensive legal action to resolve the
> matter. I don't know if it went to court or an out-of-court agreement
> was reached, but for many years the rights to the GIOS name in North
> America were in doubt.
>
> Steven Maasland
> Moorestown, NJ
> USA
>
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