Italian bespoke framebuilder Marco Bertoletti visits BikeScience in Bristol to demo his range of custom Italian-built frames
Marco Bertoletti competed as a junior, before being apprenticed to a framebuilder where he learnt his craft.
He set up on his own in 1989 building top of the range frames for famous Italian marques and providing servicing for up to six pro teams, before setting up Legend to sell his bespoke bikes in his own right.
Unusually for a custom framebuilder, Bertoletti works in more than one material: you can buy a Legend bike in carbon fibre, steel or titanium. Titanium is his preferred material, despite being the most labour intensive, for its connoisseur appeal – and its looks.
All Legend frames are made to measure, with BikeScience doing the initial fit in Bristol before sending the complete specification over to Italy.
There’s then an eight to ten week wait for the frame to be built and shipped.
Top of the range is the Venticinquesimo, released to celebrate Bertoletti’s 25 years of framebuilding. It’s a rather beautiful combination of carbon tubes with titanium lugs and costs around £7000 for the frame and fork.
For an extra £300 or so, you can specify a one piece headtube and lugs cut from a single billet of titanium rather than made from multiple welded tubes.
One advantage of the bespoke build is that you can get exactly the frame that you want: so if you want discs and thru-axles Bertoletti will build your frame with discs and thru-axles.
You can also decide your colour scheme and choose matt, semi-matt or gloss finish. And even the sheen of the etched lettering on raw titanium frames can be customised.
BikeScience says that often it’s the time taken to decide on finish which is the major delay in placing an order.
Watch: How are titanium bikes made?
Carbon frames are made using tube-to-tube construction, in which internal lugs are used to join the tubes, with additional layers of fibre used to overlay and strengthen the joints.
As you move up the range, there’s increasing customisation of the tubeset used and increasingly expensive materials. Titanium frames include the Il Re. Built for endurance riders it comes in at between £5000 and £6000.
Bertoletti is still involved in the Italian racing scene, sponsoring two Gran Fondo race teams, which between them won 12 Gran Fondos last year.
Photos courtesy of BikeScience/Legend