“Giovanni, I’m afraid you cannot ride your bike anymore.” The cardiologist’s words hung in the air, as he broke the devastating news to the former Giro winner Giovanni Battaglin. A sharp, acute sting gnawed at Giovanni’s malfunctioning heart: but this time it wasn’t a physical sensation. It was a deep, throbbing emotional pain.
As a former pro cyclist and Grand-Tour winner, Giovanni’s heart had always been his secret weapon. Its vigor, its force had propelled him through countless finish lines and into the annals of the sport when he achieved the Giro-Vuelta double in 1981. That same heart was now beating at a different rhythm, forcing Giovanni to apply the brakes for the first time in his life.
Sitting in the hospital room, Giovanni felt like a piece of him had been ripped away. It was a pain far greater than any mountain pass he had climbed. A more formidable challenge than any sprint finish.
It was a farewell he never thought he’d have to make. How does one say goodbye to a lifelong companion?
Over the years, even as he left professional cycling, the bond between Giovanni and his bike had remained. Each weekend ride in the quiet countryside was a return to the past, a meditation, a conversation with himself.
Understanding Giovanni’s unbroken bond with cycling, the doctor — himself a longtime tifoso of Giovanni — presented a safe alternative: an e-bike. The electric power assistance could actually allow Giovanni to go out on a ride without getting his heart rate up and putting his life at risk.
But while there were plenty of e-bikes to choose from, none of them resonated with Giovanni. The stiff, graceless carbon frames of most e-bikes, their bulky batteries, and inelegant motors couldn’t win his heart.
In recent years, Giovanni had found joy in the bespoke steel bikes from Officina Battaglin, his own company. Relishing the comfort and irresistible aesthetic of steel, he wasn’t prepared to let go of it.
It was then that a thought sparked in his mind – a steel-framed e-bike, custom-made to a rider’s measurements. A bike that would preserve the spirit of his beloved steel road bikes.
Was an Officina Battaglin e-road bike really possible?
Together with his son Alex and the gifted craftsmen at his factory, Giovanni began this ambitious project. But what was even more ambitious was that they aimed to create a completely customizable e-road bike made from steel, to combine the comfort of a custom-made frame with the smooth, forgiving ride of steel.
To Giovanni, who had always revered the sleek elegance of the road bike, the motor had to be as unobtrusive as possible.
Alex and his engineering team found the ideal solution: the FSA e-system hub-based motor. Yet, as they would soon discover, fitting this innovative system into a steel frame came with its own set of challenges.
The frame needed a down tube large enough to house the battery internally, and a bottom bracket shell that could contain both the battery and the cables.
In the following months, there was a lot of trial and error. The Battaglin team collaborated with Columbus to draw a downtube with an unprecedented diameter. They turned to 3D printing to mold the bottom bracket shell and CNC machining to shape the dropouts.
Gradually, the puzzle pieces fell into place.
After relentless testing, the first-ever custom e-road bike made of steel was born. It was tailored precisely to Giovanni’s measurements and ready to help him reclaim those climbs that had once been his playground.
Dressed in Giovanni’s favorite cromovelato finish, a deep and electric blue, this bike was not merely an example of the highest Italian craftsmanship.
It was Giovanni’s triumph over one of the steepest ascents in his life. It was a testament to resilience, rebirth, and rising from the ashes, proving that a true cyclist’s spirit is, indeed, indomitable.
And that’s why the first steel e-road bike was aptly named after the mythological creature symbolizing all these elements:
At first glance, the Fenix looks like any other Officina Battaglin fillet-brazed model. The sleek frame design is based on the Columbus GB81 oversized steel tubing, custom-drawn to replicate the aesthetic of premium modern road bikes.
The battery is fully concealed within the downtube, slim enough to preserve the traditional streamlined silhouette we’ve all come to love. At the back, your eyes might even miss the compact FSA hub-based motor, discreetly hidden behind the cassette.
The Fenix is a flawless masterpiece that will be noticed for the only thing it truly stands out: its striking Italian appeal.
The Fenix road e-bike comes with Officina Battaglin’s proprietary stem. Completely CNC-machined, the stem integrates the stylish button to access the three power-assist modes available.
Easy to locate and operate, the stem-mounted control will allow you to quickly boost your ride on the move without taking your eyes off the road.
A mere thirty custom Fenix e-bikes will await their owners in 2023. This limited availability is a reflection of our commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and the personalization each cyclist choosing Officina Battaglin is looking for.
In our workshop, expert craftsmen pour countless hours into every single build. But the dedicated, personal approach we adopt for every custom project doesn’t involve only the machine we’ll build for you. We don’t just assemble parts and ship the bike; with photos, constant updates, and special insights shared throughout the process, we bring to life a cycling experience like no other. It’s a journey, and you’re part of it from start to finish.
Creating a made-to-measure bike this way means committing to quality over quantity. It’s not the easy way, nor the fast way, but it’s the only way that can truly serve your cycling aspirations.
You can order a custom Fenix direct from Officina Battaglin and enjoy the experience of building your e-road bike to your preferences just like you would do with a regular custom road bike.
The Fenix only comes as a complete bike and it’s only compatible with Shimano or SRAM electronic groupsets.
Each custom build includes:
- custom steel frame built to your measurements in the Battaglin workshop
- carbon fork
- head parts
- custom cromovelato finishing (one color from the Officina Battaglin Premium Selection)
- Painted-to-match Officina Battaglin stem
- Painted-to-match carbon seatpost
- Painted-to-match carbon handlebar
- Individually numbered plate
- FSA hub-based motor
- Vision SL disc wheels
- Certificate of Authenticity signed by Giovanni Battaglin
The price for a complete build custom-made for you in the Battaglin workshop starts at 9.900 €.
The Fenix is not available for sale outside the EU.
- Columbus GB81 tubing with custom Officina Battaglin specifications
- 31.6-mm seat tube
- 1”1/2 straight head tube
- FSA E-System Hub Motor
- Vision SL disc wheels
- 32-mm tire clearance
- Available only with Shimano and SRAM groupsets
- Disc-brake only