What's new on this page? (15 Feb 2005)

Magistroni was a brand name of the Italian firm Officine Mecchaniche Giostra, which produced cranksets, bottom brackets, headsets and seat collars (all in steel) from the 30s through the mid-60s. Magistroni parts were stock on many a classic Italian bike during that time. The story goes that they were eventually pushed out of the bicycle business by Campagnolo's insistence that sponsored racers ride either full Campy gruppos, or they wouldn't get free parts. Magistroni also produced crankarms for manufacturers such as Cinelli, Bianchi, Legnano, Olmo, Atala, Frejus, FB and many others. It has been suggested that they may have had something to do with Gnutti's then-revolutionary splined steel crankset/bb, and most liikely were the actual manufacturers of Campagnolo's cotterless steel 3-pin "Sport" crankset.

Interestingly enough, Magistroni licensed some chainwheel patterns from T.A. in France - cleverly combining two of my favorite component manufacturers. Apparently at least chainwheels and adapters were produced, in alloy (Magistroni's only non-steel components, as far as I know), under this licensing agreement.

At the 1950(!) Milan bicycle show, Magistroni displayed a unique crankset (shown in this Rebour drawing) - the spindle is conical, with a drive key on the "taper". Annular bearings, and an interesting crankbolt design as well. Overall, very Stronglight 49a/d in appearance - it's not known to me whether these were alloy or steel (though I presume the latter), or if they even made it into production (I'd guess they didn't)

Just to attempt to follow Magistroni's history after their dissolution, bottom bracket spindles from cottered cranksets on many a mid-range Italian bike from the late 60s through the bike boom of the 70s are stamped "OMG" - perhaps a way for the company to stay in the bike biz after the high-end Italian market had been completely absorbed by Campy. As another point of interest, Ofmega may in fact be a resurrected Magistroni - if you look at the name OFficine MEcchaniche GiostrA, well... who knows (Ofmegi just doesn't have the same ring to it). It certainly would correlate with Magistroni's disappearrance in the mid/late-60s, the run of "OMG" spindles through the 70s, and Ofmega's appearance shortly thereafter.

Right now, this is just the beginning of this listing - I haven't yet been able to get ahold of a Magistroni catalogue of any kind, so I don't even have part numbers, for the most part, nor do I have anything other than physical descriptions to go on. Many of these pictures have been nicked off ebay or elsewhere that I've been able to find them - if you find one of yours, and you'd like me to credit it accordingly, please let me know. Beyond that, if you have images or catalogue info to add to this, or can maybe confirm or refute the Ofmega or Gnutti connections, please do not hesitate to email me! Thanks!

Thanks to Roger Barrett and Peter & Jan Johnson for their assistance with this project, and to an unwitting Aldo Ross, from whose yahoo photo album I snagged some images.

As with my T.A. listing, I've broken this up into component sections, for ease of browsing - it's not really big enough to warrant it now, but I figured i may as well do it now, rather than after the page gets big... a preemptive strike, if you will. I'm sure it seems odd to sort headsets and seat collars together, but as far as I know, there's only 1 kind of Magistroni seat collar, and it seemed silly to give a single item its own page, so in with headsets it went...

cranksets, chainrings and cogs

bottom brackets

headsets and seat collars

back to joel's main page