Speedvagen finishes on their fully custom bike builds are always impressive, and this year’s Surprise Me series is no different, getting more detailed than ever in a full CMYK bleed. Nothing Vanilla here… Taking inspiration from the printing backgrounds of their fabrication & painting team, each 2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me bike will painstakingly recreate classic printing proof, color calibration & registration marks in the wholly different process of painting one color at a time…

2021-22 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, custom Painter’s Proof

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, The Painters Proof CMYK edition, frameset

all photos c. Speedvagen

Speedvagen Surprise Me is always a wonder of execution (and craziness), where the wild ideas of their designers get turned into reality through excellent painters… and more often than not, through an unbelievable amount of masking. The idea is simple, instead of picking a conservative paint job for your new custom Speedvagen, the Surprise Me option means they will just go crazy on your bike, and you get whatever you get.

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, in pink

Some people buying Surprise Me bikes book them in advance when you have no clue what to expect, while others wait to see a preview of what’s to come. But even then, you don’t know what to expect as each bike’s paint job is entirely unique. For this 2021-22 Surprise Me, the colors could go any direction that the Vanilla Workshop chooses, plus that text on the fork could say anything on your bike!

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, The Painters Proof CMYK edition registration marks

Even though it is as incredibly detailed as ever, this year’s design almost seems straightforward to anyone who’s seen an offset print project before it was trimmed, or even the bottom of a cereal box, except… those color calibration & registration marks that are simple in multi-pass CMYK printing are nothing like the painting process.

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, The Painters Proof CMYK edition process

Instead, Speedvagen’s masterful Lead Painter Patrick has to mask every individual color and paint them one at a time. And while offset print gives you those lovely blended hues by laying one ink on top of the other, painting doesn’t work like that. Poor Patrick has to mix a separate color to simulate that blend for each time two or more colors would overlap.

Luckily Patrick was an expert printer and printing press operator before he started painting Vanilla bikes (or maybe that’s bad since he knows how much easier this could have been with ink on paper!) Anyway, he seems to have not killed Creative Director Richard Pool during the time they worked on this new Speedvagen Surprise Me (at least not yet), so I guess he saw it as more of a challenge more than punishment.

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, The Painters Proof CMYK edition, dancing unicorns

To prove that they could make the meticulous Surprise Me scheme work, the Speedvagen crew cooked up this full CMYK version that they call the Painter’s Proof – mashing up the painter with the printer’s proof – in the most iconic print separation colors. Of course pure Cyan, Magenta & Yellow paints don’t quite exist in paint like they do in ink, so the team got a bit creative in neons…

All the signature Speedvagen and Vanilla goodies are there, like rearing unicorns (or are they dancing?), the flower headbadge, plus tons of other precise tiny details.

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, The Painters Proof CMYK edition front endThe fork even gets a block of Lorem Ipsum filler text. Each individual bike will get some real text block, although Speedvagen offered no hints what that could include, beyond… Surprise Me, and “No hints. No regrets.”

Full custom Speedvagen under all that Surprise Me paint

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with surprise paintjob inspired by printers proofs, The Painters Proof CMYK edition complete

Claiming that it’s still “what’s under the paint that matters”, you are getting a pretty top-shelf steel bike here too. Surprise Me is only available on custom Speedvagen bikes, which means you’ll be getting a premium steel bike built to measure with swoopy stays, flat mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles, and integrated seatmast, and painted to match ENVE fork, stem & seatpost head.

It costs a $1000 non-refundable deposit to put your name in the line for a custom Speedvagen Surprise Me bike. Delivery time is approximately 3-4 months, and Speedvagens are only available as complete bikes. How much it will ultimately cost is a lot up to you. But, let’s just say, it ain’t gonna be cheap.

2021-2022 Speedvagen Surprise Me series, full-custom Vanilla workshop road bike with meticulous surprise paintjob inspired by printer's proofs, color combinarions

Remember, Surprise Me still means that you don’t know what you’ll get. For the next two years (until a new design comes around starting in 2023), Speedvagen Surprise Me will feature the Painter’s Proof design, in whatever color combination they feel like painting your bike. There is still a “risk-averse” option where they will make sure that you are cool with the crazy color scheme that they want to paint your bike.

Interestingly, of six paint styles to choose from for their custom bikes, Speedvagen says Surprise Me is the most popular choice every year!

Speedvagen.com

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