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I know quite a few people riding old and newer hybrid Minelli bikes. They seem to be cheap hybrid bicycles. Looking at their website, they still seem to be in business in 2023. They claim they have been for over 30 years.

I have a hard time getting information on this company. The about section of their website does not say much and I can't seem to find reliable information elsewhere.

Where are Minelli bikes manufactured? Is Minelli a Canadian company? Is the Minelli brand under a larger parent company?

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    It's amusing that warranty registration for Minelli bikes is through a gmail account. According to their manual"To be able to benefit from the terms and conditions of the Limited Warranty offered by MINELLI, the Owner must fill out a MINELLI Limited Warranty Registration form (enclosed with this Owner’s Manual), and return it to the dealer or by e-mail to [email protected]"
    – David D
    Feb 28, 2023 at 21:17
  • @DavidD that gives a good indication of the scale of the company. What is also funny is that they have a store locator map on their Home page. At first glance you would think they have point of sales in many regions of the world with a concentration in Quebec and France, but actually they are almost all in Quebec with a few in surrounding provinces. For a good chunk of the store addresses, the map uses the street name thinking it is the city name to pin it on the map.
    – olliebulle
    Feb 28, 2023 at 23:16

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It looks like a branding exercise. It's a diy WIX website and the bikes all appear to be off the shelf "catalog bikes" from Taiwan or China with their brand slapped on the side. A quick search of Alibaba and you'll find bikes that look exactly like this with the exact same drivetrains (low end OEM only Shimano, some Tektro and suspension is all low end OEM SR Suntour).

The name Minelli is likely to piggyback off the much better known and respected Cinelli.

Absolutely nothing wrong with this business model as long as the company provides good support for the products (that's where the value is added over ordering something from Aliexpress). The name use is questionable in my opinion and reeks of the technique used by white van speakers to gain trust or interest in the product.

In addition to catalog bikes there are bikes referred to as "open mold". This is a particular design that can be potentially modified and then the company will select their components to put on (drivetrain, suspension etc). There are a few MTB companies that go by this model (selecting frames from a supplier) then adding branding and the rest of the components. Most often they will deal directly with component distributers rather than buying a fully build bike directly from overseas. R&D is expensive so it allows a bike company to get a start in the market while adding value in other ways.

For the current prices listed I'd look at a similar Norco or Devinci (as a Canadian).

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  • That's interesting. Minelli bikes used to be made by the Canadian bike manufacturer Victoria Precision Inc in Montreal, but it (Victoria) went out of business in 2004. The Minelli brand may then have transitioned to using catalog bikes from Taiwan or China at some point as you suggest.
    – olliebulle
    May 6, 2023 at 15:29
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    I have no evidence either way but often when a trademark expires it gets reused. In this case since they are claiming the brand is 30 years old I'd assume they purchased the trademark, but who knows. Ianal so I'm not digging down the rabbit hole of trademark registrations and incorporation registrations. There are still bike frames made in Canada by some companies. I only know a couple off the top of my head, but I know there are more than what I could name.
    – shox
    May 6, 2023 at 23:41

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