[VIDEO] How to make a modern steel bike with lugs: behind the scenes of the Portofino project

By leonardofinetti

Is it possible to make a modern steel road bike with lugs?

The answer is yes, and in this video, Alex from Officina Battaglin will show you how.

So step inside the Battaglin bike workshop, and get a unique insight into the Portofino’s design project!

Introduced in 2017, the Officina Battaglin’s Portofino is the first steel frame in the world with oversize tubing and oversize lugs.

The Portofino has a modern look thanks to the oversize Columbus Spirit HSS tubing, and chrome steel lugs like classic Italian bikes.

But to achieve such an innovative combination, the 1981 Giro-Vuelta winner Giovanni Battaglin and his son Alex had to rethink lugged construction from scratch.

In the video, you’ll get a closer look at all the frame components that made possible creating such original design, 100% Italian.

To build a lugged frame from Columbus Spirit HSS, the first step was developing the oversize lugs.

In fact, there were no standard lugs on the market that could fit the oversize Columbus Spirit HSS tubing and the tapered steerer.

In the video, you’ll discover how we developed proprietary oversize cast lugs that are manufactured in Italy.

To achieve a modern look, the Portofino had to feature a tapered steerer that could pair with a lightweight and stiff carbon fork.

That’s why we had to design the lower head tube lug so it could fit the larger diameter at the base of the head tube.

In the video, you’ll get a closer look at the uncommon design of this lug and its 10-millimeter offset, which improves the bike’s handling.

Then, you’ll see the tapered head tube, one of the most difficult parts of the entire project.

Initially, it was too heavy.

In the video, you’ll discover the technology that allowed us to shave weight from it while keeping the internal reliefs for integrated headset bearings.

Speaking of technologies, you’ll learn also how we achieved a perfect fit between the down tube and the head tube.

To fit against the head tube inside the lower head tube lug, the down tube end required a specific cut.

You’ll discover the process we use to achieve the perfect shape of the down tube end, which makes for a tight fit when the frame builder inserts the down tube into the lower head tube lug before brazing the joint.

Finally, you’ll see a true Portofino frame after the polishing process.

It’s a frame built for one of our customers from the US, who personalized it with a customized plaque.

The plaque is brazed to the top tube, and it’s engraved with the customer’s name translated into Italian!

Do you want to discover Giovanni Battaglin’s secret formula to building a custom steel bike that rides like a dream?

Now you can access our FREE video series “The Man of Steel” and get a behind-the-scenes look at the specific process used by the 1981 Giro winner in his eponymous bike workshop in Italy.

Click HERE to access the video series

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