Allegro Bikes

Greener bikes designed in Melbourne.

Down a cobbled lane way in an inner suburb of Melbourne lies a double story warehouse dating back to the early 1900s. This warehouse was originally a bakery, however today it houses a different business, and the old wooden mezzanine now holds volumes of high quality bicycles and parts. The purveyor of these fine products is Diggari Pty. Ltd., a company established in 2001 by cycling enthusiast, Richard Ayling.

Richard has a lifetime’s experience in the cycling industry. Starting out as a road racer in the early 1970s, he was trained by Nino Borsari, an Olympic and Italian National Cycling Champion, and worked at Borsari Cycles. Richard was also trained by Mario Giramondo.

Richard moved into bicycle design and distribution through the 1980s and 1990s. He began with Easton Sports as a designer and sales manager. Then he worked for Cannondale as an area manger, while at the same time managing their competitive Cannondale / Volvo Cycling Team. That team included Cadel Evans, Mathew White and Matt Wilson, and was coached by Phil Anderson. Richard later moved to Peugeot where he acted as a distributor for their products, and managed the highly successful Peugeot bicycle team which included Scott Sunderland.

With so much experience behind him he decided to set up his own business designing, manufacturing and selling functional commuter bicycles, as well as providing quality parts at affordable prices. So, in 2001, Diggari Pty. Ltd. was born.

From humble beginnings as a home-based niche business, Diggari grew as the reputation of the products spread. Along with increasing the customer base for his own bicycles, Richard soon acquired agency for quality international products such as Ortlieb, Tubus, Racktime and Basso bicycles. Increasing product volume meant increasing storage, and Richard therefore decided to purchase his own warehouse, not only to have greater control of product turnover, but also to better represent the philosophy underlying his business outlook.

So, what is the Diggari philosophy? Richard has always been a keen supporter of environmental and social causes. At present, more than 5% of total profits from the business go to supporting social and environmental organisations. Richard wanted his business to provide the cycling public with quality affordable multi-functional commuting bikes which entailed minimal environmental impact at every step of production, and minimal social exploitation. To this end he set up a special relationship with two assembly plants, one located in Taichung, Taiwan, and the other in Vincenzia, Italy. This relationship involves a number of directives, primary among which is that all parts must be sourced from within a fifty kilometer radius of the plant, thereby minimizing the carbon imprint of transporting parts for assembly. Other directives include fair pay for labour, and a manufacturing process free from toxic chemicals.

This philosophy extends to the day to day running of the business and to the warehouse itself. Packaging and paper is recycled as much as possible. The building itself is an example of recycling writ large. Minimal interior redesigning has meant minimal use of new building materials. A system has been put in place to collect natural light which is then redistributed throughout the building. Other initiatives include passive heat dispersal for cooling, and solar paneling to generate electricity for heating and other needs. A plan is in place to feed excess solar power back into the grid.