With groundwork laid in 2016 in Madrid, The Draft is a relatively new Spanish bike company working closely with Italian & Spanish craftsmen to build made-to-measure road & gravel bikes for its customers since early 2017. First in carbon with their El Chako & Hoba road bikes, and now in steel as well for the new Comet Eater gravel bike, The Draft creates premium custom-fit bikes for all styles of road riding, finished with one-of-a-kind paint jobs…
The Draft El Chako custom carbon all-rounder road bike
The Draft’s El Chako is meant to be the ideal do-it-all carbon road bike. Light with frame weights from just 850g for rim brakes and a blend of high-quality carbon, each bike is laid up based on rider weight & riding style, then topped off with a protective 3K weave. El Chako is designed to be an all-day comfortable road bike, ready to rack up those long rides.
Race it in your local series, or pedal in Europe’s most popular Gran Fondos, El Chako is made one at a time, to your custom fit. The Draft say they offer stock sizing or fully customizable geometry on all of their carbon frames. Either provide them with your ideal geometry or fit data, or head to their Madrid showroom where they will give you a Retül fit.
Included in El Chako’s 3750€ price tag you get the in-house fit, custom-made carbon frame, plus a painted-to-match full carbon fork & stem, a headset & carbon seatpost.
Since the bike is custom made to order, you get a lot of flexibility. El Chako features a tapered 1.5″ headtube, modular internal cable routing, and classic road clearance for just 25mm tires. But you get to choose from a 27.2 or 31.6 seatpost; PressFit, PF30, BB30 or BSA threaded bottom brackets; Di2, EPS or eTap specific routing; or even an integrated seat mast.
Beyond that, The Draft doesn’t go too deeply in the details on further customization, but does suggest that disc brake version of each bike are also available, which should include more room for larger tires too.
Every bike gets a custom original paint job, where The Draft will create a one-off color scheme, or help you develop your own one-of-a-kind design. The bike is then all painted by hand locally, no decals.
Like El Chako, the Hoba is another custom carbon road bike, and again named for a noteworthy meteorite which explains the toptube graphic. But here Hoba is a race-focused carbon road bike, prioritizing speed with its aerodynamic shaping and stiffer construction.
Even though the Hoba gets deep & narrow tube shaping, The Draft still promises custom-made geometry with the use of adjustable alloy clamshell molds. Again, included in the price of the aero road bike is the possibility for a full Retül biomechanical bike fit, and custom geometry as needed.
Unique paint is again one of The Draft’s hallmarks. So even if you chose a simple color palette like this red & gray Hoba, they will make sure that you get a finish that stands out upon closer inspection. And make sure that no two bikes will ever be the same.
The 4250€ Hoba frame kit includes the custom fit frame, fork & one-piece bar+stem – all painted-to-match, plus the aero-shaped carbon seatpost. Claimed weight for the aero carbon Hoba frame is a respectable 1000g for traditional mount rim brakes.
Where it wasn’t explicit with El Chako, the Hoba is specifically offered with single bolt rim brakes or optional flat mount disc brakes.
Again custom detailing carries over, letting you solve the internal routing as needed for your chosen groupset, with or without the need to have a front derailleur like this eTap AXS build, and with the bottom bracket of your choice.
The Draft Comet Eater custom Columbus steel gravel road bike
Now, if you are really looking for an all-rounder, The Draft has added their first premium steel bike – the Comet Eater gravel bike. Looking to offer more flexibility to ride any type of road surface and any type of terrain, the Comet Eater was designed to marry endurance road geometry, narrow road-like Q-factor, and room for fat tires.
For The Draft’s first gravel road bike they turned to a careful mix of Columbus Life & Zona lightweight steel tubing. And instead of working with Italian frame producers, the Comet Eater is fillet brazed in Madrid by framebuilder Arregui Velázquez.
When geometry is custom (including a bike fit), tire clearance becomes maybe the most important design characteristic of a gravel bike. The Comet Eater is optimized around a large-volume, large diameter 700c x 44mm tire, with room to fit up to a 650b x 2.1″ tire.
Frame weight is claimed at 1500g for IS mount disc brakes, with 12mm thru-axles and a straight 44mm headtube for the 1.5″ tapered full carbon fork. A threaded bottom bracket is standard and the bike includes internal cable routing in the main triangle.
At 3490€ for the frame, fork, stem & seatpost, you are reminded that this is full custom steel and there are even fewer limitations to how far custom will go. Paint is of course custom designed for each buyer, and carefully painted by hand in Spain. But you can essentially get any other braze-ons you can imagine, letting you pick cable or electronic routing, how many bottle mounts you need, or even if you want rack or fender mounts.
All of The Draft’s bikes are made entirely in Europe, with carbon frames fabricated in Italy and now steel fillet brazed in Madrid, then all hand painted in Spain. If you feel the need for a new custom-made dropbar bar, maybe a trip to their Madrid showroom could be worthwhile.
You can never have too many options for bikes handmade in Italy (or Spain for that matter), right?