Confident for Confente.

Felix's rare 'Confente.'

Felix had a very rare Confente in his wondrous collection. Frankly, I never heard of the name before but I was rightfully put in my place. It was sitting in the corner right beside an older Bianchi, gleaming red. The lug work is beautiful and with the brown leather wrap on the handlebar has a look of greatness. After Felix gave a brief story of Confente, I was in awe.

Mario Confente was one of the finest framebuilders to come out of Italy. He was a disciple of the great Faliero Masi and was brought to the United States to manage the USA factory. That was in 1973 in Carlsbad, California. He was the driving force in American bicycle framebuilding. He made only 135 Confente frames before he died, suddenly on March 8, 1979. He was only 34.

Here’s the full story of this incredible artisan!

All images © 2009 Richard Lee - All Rights Reserved.