Article from the newspaper "24 heures" published 30.07.2015
It is a funny looking bicycle. I looks like an inverted Penny Farthing from the last century but in its smaller version, with the small wheel in front and the big one on the back, with its Brooks leather saddle right on the back. This Velocino it is a recent revival from an Italian company, which is one of the curiosities that you can find at the bicycle shop ran by Arturo Morell that opened two years ago in Rolle.
As part of his offering, you can find next to the carbon road bikes, or the latest MTB, old school looking bikes for ladies with their fiber threaded baskets with flowered panniers. Brand new “vintage” bicycles, sitting next to hugely wheeled snow bikes, or the simplistic designed German high tech belt driven bicycle.
Its is just that the owner of bikespot.ch is not only happy selling typical bicycles “ By proposing uniqueness, I want to awake people’s joy of riding bicycles, stimulating them to pedal everywhere as it was common in the old days”, says Arturo Morell very environmentally conscious and disappointed by the lack of development of bicycle paths in the Swiss French part. To motive his customers he repairs, and customises any bike, especially old bicycles that end up in the basement, or have been kept for sentimental reasons “Because a good bike should never be thrown into the bin”. Good bikes can last 100 years, just like the military bike from 1915 that I just recently repaired for a customer”
Childhood passion – This ex finance manager reconverted pretty late into the bicycle business, reason to making his store a “happiness factory”. Born in Puerto Rico forty-nine years ago, he earned a diploma in International Business from California before coming to Switzerland. The Swiss economic model had attracted him but not as much as the beautiful girl from St. Gallen whom he met at a Caribbean beach, later becoming his wife.
He worked in the region for five multi national companies, including Philip Morris and Logitech. In 2012 nearly reaching a burn out he ultimately decided to quit. “When I was 12 years old in Puerto Rico I used to pick up old bikes thrown away to mend them. Once I decided to change career I listed all the things I am passionate about: Fixing things up, mechanics, sports and nature. As a result, I had the idea to open a bike shop after a visit in Italy where bicycles are not only for leisure or sport like in Switzerland, but also a useful transport tool for every day life”.
To the image of the Velocino produced by ABICI, a modern copy of the small bicycle designed in the 30’s by Ernesto Pettazzoni during the Mussolini years. It’s a small, lightweight bike that provided Italians with a practical means to move around the city. If the handlebar today is not under the thighs but in front, it is an urban bicycle easy to lift it up the stairs. “ My aim is a return to simplicity and with the ABICI vintage collection we are far from the electrically assisted bikes, they only have four gears” . Same thing for the elegant Schindelhauer with a belt driven transmission marrying innovation and tradition, with the gears integrated in the rear hub.(24 heures)