NALINI AND WHO WE ARE
Nalini is located in the town of Castel d'Ario (MN), Italy, a few miles south of the historic city of Verona. A town of 4,800 residents, Nalini has over 300 employees. Founded by two brothers, Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani, whose expertise, passion and dedication in creating the most technical cycling apparel for top profession cyclists are the driving forces behind Nalini's success. Today, Nalini is considered the largest cycling apparel manufacturer in Italy.
When entering Nalini’s 215,000 sq ft factory, one sees Nalini’s passion and devotion to professional cycling. Signed jerseys and historic photos of professional cyclists who raced in Nalini clothing like Indurain, Bugno, Chiappucci, Pantani, Riis, Ullrich, Freire, Valverde, Basso, Quintara, Contador and Nibali adorn the walls.
Co-founder, Vincenzo Mantovani, was a bicycle racer who was a member of the Italian Team Pursuit in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. His Olympic team made it to the final round against Germany. At the end of the Olympic race, it took the judges 10 minutes to decide which team would receive the Gold. The judges awarded Germany the Gold medal and Vincenzo's team the Silver. Right after the Olympics, Vincenzo went home and started working with local artisans to create technical cycling clothing to make one more efficient on the bike. Still racing, Vincenzo won 3rd place in the last stage of the 1968 Giro d’Italia and finished 71 overall. This is the same Giro d’Italia that Eddy Merckx won his first Maglia Rosa jersey. By this time, through word of mouth, more and more cyclists were asking Vincenzo for technical cycling apparel. Vincenzo realized that clothing options for cyclists were very limited and saw an opportunity to fulfill this demand.
Claudio Mantovani, a year younger than Vincenzo, was also an elite athlete. He was a soccer goalkeeper for A.C. Milan and later was a member of the Italian national soccer team. When a knee injury ended his career prematurely, he joined his brother in Castel d’Ario to start up the company. The company was officially formed in 1970.
From the start, the two brothers shared a common vision for Nalini: quality craftsmanship, technical innovation, attention to detail, and bend-over-backwards service for the professional cyclist. They used the finest fabrics of the day, wool, polyester, silk, and synthetic fibers. Their intent was simple – create clothes that were lightweight, breathable, comfortable and performance-infused. Starting in the early 1970's many professional cyclists stood atop podiums wearing Nalini apparel.
In 1989, Nalini suffered a tragic blow when Vincenzo died in a plane crash. Suddenly, the reigns of Nalini fell solely into Claudio's hands. Inspired by Vincenzo's legacy, Claudio carrying on their dream sits at the helm of the company.
Over the years, Nalini has become the center of innovation. For instance, Nalini developed the first synthetic pad for cycling shorts (eschewing traditional leather), and pioneered advanced fabric design, printing techniques, patented treatments, and breakthrough technical features.
Nalini has been tailors and technical partners with such legendary teams as Banesto (Miguel Indurain), Carrera (Marco Pantani), Movistar (Nairo Quintana, Rui Costa and Alejandro Valverde), Colombia, Astana (Alexander Vinokourov and Vincenzo Nibali) plus many, many more. Nalini maintains extensive and highly-detailed records of fitment dimensions for hundreds of pro riders, ensuring that each competitor is perfectly fitted. All told, Nalini-clad riders have won 11 Tours de France along with other major races. No other cycling apparel company can make this claim.
Nalini is a classic vertical business controlling all aspects of apparel design and construction – fabric spinning, garment fit and design, material preparation, graphic design, sublimation dye, sewing and construction, and quality control.
There is no “off-season” at Nalini. After a busy winter season making custom team kits, the 300 employees continue crafting the Nalini Collections for serious every-day riders – Summer, Winter, Base Layers, and Shoes, plus the Bianchi-Milano apparel.
With each collection, Nalini brings to the public technical cycling apparel derived from Nalini's 45 years of furnishing professional cyclists with performance-infused clothing to boost their cycling abilities.