Last year while on the Glory Roads gravel ride in Italy I was lucky enough to test out one of Galetti’s monster cross/bike-packing bicycles.
For those that don’t know Galetti it is a re-established name that has not been used since the end of the second world war. The original Galletti name was trademarked in Milano back in the 1920’s and taken from the famous cyclist Carlo Galetti who won three Giros d’Italia respectively in 1910-1911-1912.
The brand came to life in 1952, the year in which the Alessi family produced five different models and added other “sporty” models as the years went on. The Galetti brand was able to produce both high quality road bikes as well as city bikes giving them an edge over certain brands of the time.
The brand which is now owned by the Zen family launched the SAG (SOLO ACCIAIO GALETTI) project in 2013 to compliment the standard range of bicycles they produce. Classic ladies and gents bicycles, Strada and Pista models now stand side by side to custom made gravel, bike-packing and mountain bikes all of which use Italian tubing and craftsmanship.
Galetti Monster Cross/Bike-Packing
So having known little about the brand I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about riding a new bike over 150km of Italian gravel. That being said having done some research while in Italy and having spoken to Max Zen I knew I wouldn’t be let down.
The frame has lovingly been made out of Columbus XCr and Gara tubing by some of the best known frame builders Italy has to offer. Each frame is built to the customers own needs and every attention to detail has been thought of.
The fact that the bike I was using could easily take a 29×2.8″ tyres allows for a huge volume and ample clearance should you wish to run a smaller 700x45c tyre. It is also set-up so it can easily run either a 2×11 or 1×11 with little issue removing the cable and front derailleur.
Due to the fact that this is a custom bike the geometry and sizing is simply down to what ever you would like. Speaking to Max it takes around eight weeks from start to finish for one of these bikes to be made. Each frame is custom painted and can either be built up in house or simply as a frame and forks.
So how did the bike feel?
Well I have to say that for a bike that wasn’t exactly my size (The bike belonged to a customer) I didn’t have a single issue. The components that Max had chosen for me made sure that I could easily handle the huge climbs on the Glory Roads gravel ride, let along the few tarmac sections that dot the course. While it is not the fastest bike out there I can see why having a bike that takes a huge tyre for bike packing trips has a greater advantage over a cyclo-cross bike for instance.
The Galetti Monster Cross can simply handle anything you through at it. It will carry as much luggage as you think you will need, bottle cages for fantastic red wine and allow you to ride in style and comfort.
All-in-all this is one custom bike that makes you think about the possibilities of where next to explore.