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Life

A Love Letter to History

An Olivetti Valentine Like You’ve Never Seen Before

In 1908, Camillo Olivetti founded Olivetti S.p.A. Although they eventually expanded into electronics like computers and calculators, their first product, the typewriter, remained the core of the company. In 1969, designer Ettore Sottsass developed the iconic Valentine, a red plastic travel typewriter that cemented Olivetti’s reputation in the design world. Light, sleek and colorful, the Valentine is a benchmark of 20th century product design and has found its place in the collections of modern art museums worldwide.

Camillo’s great grandson Peter is a custom framebuilder in Boulder, CO, beautifully blending form and function like his family always has. When Columbus, another legendary Italian company, released their 100th anniversary Cento tubeset, Peter saw an opportunity to pay tribute to his family’s Valentine. The road bike he built matches the Valentine’s red color, with plenty of other details as well.

“The Olivetti logo for the bike is ‘ghosted’ similar to the logo on the front of the typewriter. The three dots on the fork mimic the three dots that indicated the color of the ribbon you were using. The orange dot on the pump is just like the ribbon caps. And the inside of the fork legs have a representation of the hammer arms that swing up when you strike a key” says Peter.

With steel tubing, rim brakes, wireless eTap AXS shifting and a Quarq power meter, this Olivetti is a perfect blend of classic and modern, just like the famous family typewriter.

SPECS

Frame tubing: Columbus Cento steel

Drivetrain: SRAM Force eTap AXS with rim brakes

Crank: SRAM Force AXS Power Meter with 48/35t chainrings

Cassette: SRAM XG-1270 10-33t

Bar, stem, seatpost: Zipp Service Course Silver

Wheels: Zipp 303 NSW rim brake

Typewriter: Olivetti Valentine