Regina was founded in 1919, in Merate near Milano. Since this time the focus of the company’s activities has been the production of drive chains, first bicycle chains, then motorcycle chains were added and then they got into every conceivable type of industrial drive chain.
In addition to chains Regina also manufactured freewheels. By the late 1960’s Regina had established themselves as the chain and freewheel that ‘went’ with Campagnolo’s groupsets, and had thereby captured the high end market. However during the 1970’s they suffered from the typical European arrogance of the time. Although no one ever doubted that they could make a well hardened chain or freewheel cog, they ignored the advances in usabillty and shifting performance coming from Japan. While other companies (Sedis, Shimano and DID) were introducing chains with shaped links that gave a better gear change, Regina stuck with traditional flat plates. Regina freewheels had a pathetic central ring with two cut-outs that engaged with the removal tool, and this ring stripped nine times out of ten. To cap it all Regina came up with the devastating idea of stamping a groove into the tops of the freewheel’s teeth, in order (in some unexplained way) to aid shifting. In fact the chain plates rather liked to catch in this groove - dramatically worsening the shift. SunTour and Shimano freewheels rapidly took over the mass market, and Maillard freewheels (which you could also actually remove) made in-roads amongst road enthusiasts. In the mass bicycle market Regina committed ‘suicide by laziness’.
In the early 1990’s Regina could feel the European bicycle industry vapourising around them, and decided to introduce a groupset of their own using a re-branded Sachs derailleur. This was their one foray into the world of derailleurs.
Although Regina no longer manufactures bicycle chains or freewheels, it is still very much in business, head-quartered in Merate, and produces a wide range of motorcycle and industrial chains.