Founded back in 1922 when steel was really the only option for building bikes, Czech bikemaker Favorit continued for decades to produce everything from race winning road bikes to the indestructible townies that grandmothers would tool around on through their villages. But the brand’s innovation didn’t keep up with the market until 2015 when new owners debuted some custom carbon bikes catering to a wealthy clientele who were often reminiscing about the bikes they had ridden when they were younger. Now Favorit has a line of four standard urban bikes built around Czech made carbon frames and maintenance-free belt drives, with some slick custom features and a healthy dose of made in Europe components…
From the 1950s Favorit’s top F1 Special line of race bikes would end up ridden to multiple victories in the Olympics, several World Championship disciplines, and a handful of other international races. By the late 70s, they’d even built more than a million bikes, with one of the most advanced production lines in the world. So now with new vision the brand is clawing its way back to the top of the market.
The bikes that are leading them there are four models labeled as ‘lifestyle’ bikes: the Cronos, Bigboss, Aviator & Diamante. Each one essentially starts out with the same basic belt-drive frame, built up in a different characters to suit different types of riders, but all at the same price. The bikes are built in a tube-to-tube construction, with some carbon lugs as well as some machined aluminum lugs and inserts for certain joints like bottom brackets, fork crowns, and dropouts. This lets Favorit build bikes with a aesthetic reminiscent of their old steel frames, but with lighter weight and improved stiffness of carbon, while still trying to build in some of the damping of classic steel. The end result is that the frames are quite light (between 1100-1400g) and build up to relatively light city bikes, ranging from around 9kg up to 12kg for those with the most accessories added on.
The concept for the four bikes focuses around the idea that everyone who rides deserves a nice looking, fun to ride, and reliable bike to get around town. And with all of the history of bike making Europe, why shouldn’t cyclists have the opportunity to ride a bike developed and produced in the heart of Central Europe.
The Cronos gives the Favorit a modern city bike look with a medium-width flat bar that can take on city streets or a bit of bike path exploration out of the city, leaving a lot up to each rider as to where to take it.
The Bigboss throws on a set of dropbars and of course a bit lower stack for a city commuter designed for those looking for a classic road bike feel. It is the bike they call ‘the fast one’.
The Aviator is the classic universal townie, meant to have a more elegant look with backswept bars, an upright position, full coverage fenders, and a rear rack.
Lastly, the Diamante adds another tube into the front triangle for a bit more standover clearance and a high-rise, backswept bar for the most comfortable city cruising position.
With the belt-drive setup, all four bikes were developed around internally geared hubs. The standard is a mechanical Alfine, but they also offer an upgrade to the Di2 version for those who want to go electronic. All of the bikes include disc brakes for reliable braking, get spec’d with Czech-made puncture resistant tires, and all include a built-in electronic bell. They also each build in sensor-controlled adaptive LED lighting for both daytime and nighttime visibility powered off front hub dynamos, all with internal wiring.
The bikes also all are built with integrated seatmasts and their own custom-made alloy topper, with real leather grips and in-house made leather saddles in 3 widths all with titanium rails. Besides frame & fork, several of the other aluminum components like the unique stems, seatpost toppers, and even rims also get built in Favorit’s same original factory in Rokycany, Czech Republic.
Each bike is available in metallic blue or green, or pearl red or white for the same 2990€ price with the mechanical Alfine 11. Upgrade to the Di2 Alfine 11 for 1000€ extra, all including VAT and delivery anywhere in Europe. Favorit builds each bike to order, so they work with each customer to make sure everyone ends up on a unique bike fit to them. They even all get personalized with the owner’s name on the laser engraved serial number plate. Delivery time varies throughout the year, but the custom bike builds usually take between 2-4 months til delivery.