Umberto Dei, man bicycle, 1920, Italy
Special bicycle probably built in a unique specimen as a prototype.
The particular thing about this extraordinary DEI is its front hub where the gearbox is located, operated by a lever on the horizontal tube.
Bicycle models with similar gearboxes were sold in the 30s and 40s in Germany, so it’s likely that DEI wanted to build this bike to sell it there.
The Umberto Dei was founded in Milan in 1896 by the homonymous cyclist. It was established to build high-quality “machines” and kept operating in that way. Dei will become famous especially for its touring bikes with rod brakes; it also produced excellent racing and track bicycles. After WWI the company dedicated also to motorcycles. The brand was later taken over by Atala.
- Black paint
- Front headlamp and rear taillight
- Chain fairing
- Tool bag under the seat
- Unique gearbox BETWEEN the pedals