"Cilo" is an acronym for Charles Jan Lausanne-Oron. The abbreviation of the name from the manufacturer "Jan" was transformed in "i" for pronunciation purpose in French. "Lausanne-Oron" refers to a holding in Lausanne, associated to the industrialisation of the city at the turn of the 20th century.
Hans Knecht became world champion in 1946 riding a Cilo bicycle; other notable riders include Beat Breu, Daniel Gisiger and Tony Rominger.
Cilo co-sponsored a European cycling team along with Aufina from 1980 to 1986, and then with Atari and Ciclolinea in 1992.
The Cilo of the mid-1970s was a beautifully crafted racing bicycle made of Reynolds 531 with the typical Swiss attention to detail. It had chromed forks, drop-outs and rear stays. Also all lugs were beautifully chromed and polished. Only the finest components were used. These included full 'top of the line' Campagnolo: although Campy brakes were an option. Brooks saddle, Cinelli road bars and stem, Christophe clips and straps were provided. Silk tubulars mounted on Cerchio Fiamme rims were standard.