11 Jun 2021
WORKSHOP STORY: EP#4 FM BIKE / FAVALORO
The Italian frame builder, Michele Favaloro, began his adventure 25 years ago with the construction of his first hand built steel frames. He later started to use lighter weight materials such as aluminium and carbon to build his frames, but no matter the material, they were always handcrafted. R&D, newer materials, newer technologies and continuously higher standards of quality and precision have always been the mantra of this Italian master.
THE FIRST APPROACH WITH MTB WORLDS
It all began in 1990 when Michele started racing in MTB where he discovered his passions for the “two wheels”. He originally studied as a car mechanic but in 1994, he began his career working for a well-known craftsman as a full-time frame builder and he learned a job of responsibility. Since then, he has been racing with frames built by himself and he is always up to date with the changes in the market. Eventually came the birth of his own brand, FM-Bike, the acronym for Michele Favaloro.
One of the strengths of the bike with his name is certainly the fact that each frame is built with Michele hands and nothing is left to chance. He takes care of every detail (even on the cheapest frames) and are always built by him and made to measure up to his personal standards. He builds frames in aluminium, steel and carbon with unlimited customizations. He is also the only one to have a complete range, from bicycles in steel, aluminium and carbon in all geometries: MTB 26", 27.5", 29" full road, track and electric bicycles with one or two batteries.
A LONG STORY OF INNOVATIONS
Since 2007, Michele has been building carbon frames intertwined with titanium as he saw the future of integrated seatposts. Since 2008 he started building frames with thru-axle and he was the first in the world to use full carbon handlebars. In 2009, on his high-end bikes, the steering was already set up for the ACR system and was among the first to believe in 29-inch MTB wheel, revolutionizing the market. Since 2015 he has been producing stock frames with the BOOST system on an aluminium and carbon frame, beating the big name brands by two years. He was also the first to believe in developing frames with a Polini engine. All this was possible thanks to a meeting with great industrialists who enlightened him on work and development methods and structural engineering concepts.
THE “AMERICAN DREAM” OF MICHELE FAVALORO
To Michele, the United States is very sophisticated market. More than a decade ago, the current Fm-Bikes American distributor was looking for a collaborator who knew how to work steel, aluminium and carbon, had new ideas and knew how to satisfy every geometry and type of bicycle. Infact in the US, craftsmanship counts much more than big brands. The custom fairs bring a lot of visibility such as NAHBS, which is an important reference as the meeting with Zapata Espinoza! One day he took a plane to come and see Michele and understand if it was true that he existed! Zapp was amazed to see a small but well-equipped workshop where every square cm is functional to the job.
Today after 20 years FM BIKE / FAVALORO has grown; the staff is made up of Michele’s wife who manages and organizes the accounting; two employees, two external painters, an engineer who certifies everything what are they doing, the factory team that tests the innovations on the competition fields and of course Michele, who in addition to welding, wrapping, laminating, finishing, makes everything work!