Tolmino Gios was born in 1916 in Vittorio Veneto and took his name from the little town near where he grew up - which is now a part of Slovenian territory. He had not yet reached the age of two years old, when his family decided to move to Torino, where Tolmino discovered the bicycle for the first time. Later on, Ruggero Radice, commentator of many Giro D’Italias and Tour De Frances described him as “a natural talent, a natural force”.
Newspapers of the time recorded Tolmino as being “a very good long distance cyclist” after his most important success in the 1936 edition of the King’s Cup in Milano. The fans went crazy for him and a poll carried out by the “Sport Illustrato” magazine, ranked him as one of the favourites for both the 1936 World Championships in Berne, and more importantly, the Olympic Games in Berlin that same year. Sadly, Tolmino was not selected for the national team owing to a serious disagreement with the Italian team manager.
However, he was recruited by a professional team and participated in several Giro D’Italias - riding along-side the likes of Bartali, Guerra and Di Paco. Then, in 1948 after the Second World War, Tolmino opened a small bicycle shop. Slowly the shop increased its turnover and employed more and more staff. At the same time, Tolmino also helped young, promising cyclists and 1958, enlisted onto his team Italo Zilioli, a great future champion.
In 1959, Alfredo Gios, the first of Tolmino’s sons, joined the company. At their factory located in Torino, they mostly produced city-bikes - from very classical models, to more extravagant ones such as the “Policeman” and “Easy Rider.
Although Tolmino’s second son (Adriano) preferred to work in the economic field, his second son, Aldo, joined the company in 1966.
Then in 1968, Tolmino handed over the ownership of the factory to Alfredo and Aldo - the “Gios Brothers”! In spite of this, Tolmino still spent many hours at the factory passing on his great experience and knowledge as a “Cyclist-Entrepreneur”.
1972 was the year that everything started to change. At the Milan exhibition of that year, GIOS displayed their “Easy Rider” bicycle and Giorgio Perfetti, owner of the Brooklyn trademark, claimed he was “struck by lightning”. “it’s perfect - I want a hundred”! He exclaimed, adding that he saw in this bike the ideal prize for all the young boys who competed in the “Brooklyn Chewing Gum” cycling competition that he sponsored.
“It all happened by chance” recalled Alfredo Gios. “That bike was only meant to help promote our city bikes, so I never thought that we would find someone who wanted us to produce it. The meeting with Perfetti therefore, was very important, because without him, GIOS road bikes would probably never have existed. Furthermore, it’s due to Brooklyn that we started producing different kinds of bicycles - firstly, a bike for the “Chewing Gum” competitions, and then the following year, when Brooklyn and Franco Cribiori decided to form a professional cycling team, as we were involved in the operation.”
Soon, GIOS were producing bikes for the Brooklyn team of Roger De Vlaeminck and Patrick Sercu, resulting in years of hard work but with much satisfaction. Many other great riders like Panizza, Bertoglio, Osler, Lualdi, Passuelio and Turrini enjoyed incredible success between the years of 1973 and 1977 as the famous GIOS ‘blue’ bicycle was seen in all the classic races - Milano-Sanremo, Parigi-Roubaix, Giro delle Flandre, Giro di Lombardia, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Freccia Vallone, Paris-Brussels, Milan-Torino, Campionato di Zurich, Het Volk, Tirreno-Adriatico, Giro di Svizzera etc.
Many victories, one colour - GIOS BLUE!
GIOS decided that they needed a special colour, which went well with the “Stars and Stripes” designed jerseys of the Brooklyn cycling team. So after many attempts, the unique electric blue was born which has since become famous all over the world and an important part of professional cycling history.
Then in 1978, came the official press presentation of the great Didi Thurau, who was to represent GIOS with the ‘Ljboerke’ professional team. The following years would see many famous victories featuring three of the greatest GIOS bikes of the past: the Super Record, Aerodynamic and Professional.
The eighties were also years of great successes, as Fons De Wolf - an “exceptional model” - won classic events like the Milan-Sanremo riding a GIOS Professional.
Continuous studies based on direct racing experience, has brought exceptional technological results for GIOS. First of all, the patented COMPACT rear fork-ends, where the rear wheel is inserted in the vertical position. The GIOS trademark also extended to Cycling fashion. The "GIOS Fashion Line" has been much appreciated during the years and is in constant evolution.
Then in 1989, GIOS renewed its cooperation with professional cycling teams like ‘Jolly Componibili Club ‘88’ featuring star riders such as Visentini, Leali and Colage and directed by Marino Basso. In 1991, the super champion Stephen Roche chose the “Blue Bikes” for his exploits, and to this day the rider still has a close relationship with Alfredo, even after the end of his career. (Picture 3 - Alfredo and Stephen Roche representing GIOS at Anaheim Interbike exhibition, Los Angeles 1995)
It has been some years now that technological development in the “Racing bikes” field is no more linked to frame geometry - which always offered the best solutions by classical design. But innovation never stops and GIOS has demonstrated this with the GIOS COMPACT patent and with other small but vitally important details that make every GIOS frame a unique piece.
This constant innovation has been accompanied during the years, by the development of new and important materials technologies. Firstly, the super treated and very resistant steel frame has been improved in lightness and stiffness by the new TIG brazing system and with heat treatments at extremely high temperatures.
1998 represented a major goal for the GIOS bicycle company - it’s 50th Anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the company created a vanguard product with special technical concepts - the “CINQUANTENARIO”. This frame was produced using DEDACCIAI 7003 tubing, thermally treated and with GIOS COMPACT rear drop-outs in the same alloy but treated at T6 state. 48 hours after brazing, the frame is thermally treated a second time with 2 heating and 2 cooling phases.
A new champion in GIOS history: Ivan Quaranta! The “cheetah” shows his incredible power in the final 200 metres by winning two stages of the 2001 Giro d’Italia and many other races.
(text source: Gios)
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