The Italians have never produced a really good small-wheeled bicycle, despite their considerable engineering tradition. They have, however, occasionally produced interesting machines that provide a talking point – even if the riding experience is less than exhilarating.
The Duemila, made in Padua, was a case in point. The interesting aspects were the exceptional fore and aft adjustment of the motor-scooter-style saddle and the integral front carrier, created by the unusual fork configuration.
Below is the front of an English-language brochure for the bike, showing how all the family could ride it – though ideally not at the same time. There is no evidence that the bike was ever marketed in the UK, which at the time (mid to late 1960s) was not part of the European Common Market, as the EU was then known.
The back of the brochure is shown below. This shows not only the adult version but the children’s model, the Duemila Minor.
The photo below, which I took in Bruges (Belgium) in the summer of 1970, shows the only Duemila I have ever seen.
The father-in-law of Imke Tietje from Hamburg inherited a Duemila and a picture of his machine is shown below.
Christian Barf kindly sent the photo collage below, which shows details of his own Duemila, including the fold.
25 thoughts on “The Duemila (updated 2015-05-24)”
Could you please provide a scanned copy of the original depliant brochure for this bike (pdf version)?
I’m very sorry but all I have are the JPGs that appear in the article on my website. I don’t have access to the original document.
I am selling a white and green one in good condition.
It has all the pieces including the working lights, the knobs, the bell, the saddle.
The bicycle is located in Italy.
My email address is:
Thanks for this, Simone.
I have recently purchased a Duemila and am trying to find out who made the headlamp into for them. Mine is missing and I’m missing the top lense for the taillamp. Mine was in a house fire and it melted the know that tightens the fork onto the head tube. Any help would be much appreciated!
Thanks for this, Joshua. I have replied privately in the hope that one of my contacts can point you in the right direction.
I have orange/green version in US in need of new decals and tail light lens. Mine has mill finish adjustment knobs, not the green painted seen here. I assume mine is older
Thank You! Is it possible to send a photo of my bike to your email adress? Can’t find one on your side, Tony.
have the same like Imke in all original condition. got it from an old bike store in Hamburg which used it for decoration.
That’s interesting, Christian – thank you. I noticed one was sold by auction recently when Michael Embacher sold off his collection in Vienna.
Yeah, the Embacher Duemilla fetched arround a 1000 Euro. Don’t know if it’s worth that much money.
It’s more than I’d pay but I’m glad that someone has found a home for it!
Could you send photos of the decals with a ruler near them to reference the size? I am going to have decals made but need to make sure they are to scale. I also Need photos of the headlight. Thank you.
We repaired a Duemilla recently. It felt like riding a horse with that saddle. Very interesting how the main tube was split to form the rear wheel stays.
I am a great fan of your blog and read your Moulton-book. Well done, very informative. Now I am in search of a Duemilla. But I was not successful yet. Science I am living in Hamburg I am just curious, who Imke Tietje is.
Hello Tony. I have one of the white and green Duemila Bikes and it is like brand new. Too beautiful to use it for daily bike rides. So it is waiting for better times.
Sounds nice. Thanks for sharing this, Michelle.
I have one of these if anyone is interested in buying it.
That’s interesting, Michelle. What country are you in and how can people best contact you? And can you give an idea of price and condition of the bike?
Do you still have your Duemila? Please contact me if so – email@example.com
And I found anotherone, a foldingbike with adult wheels, front and rear suspension, made by Bianchi for the military in 1942:
I started looking in Italy, for one showed on a dutch Ebay-site today (400 euro).
I recently found an Italian prewar foldingbike:
Well done, Wiel – hartelijk bedankt!