In 2019, the high-end Czech bicycle manufacturing company Festka turned heads across the cycling world with a stunning hand-crafted, 24k gold leaf porcelain-inspired road bike. For its $35,000 price tag, the bike was more a work of art than a serious, everyday steed.
This year, Festka has rolled out a brand new, custom bike with just as much design and soul, but built to pay homage to the speed and grit of rally car racers who carved up dirt roads in the 80’s.
(We even offered a sneak peek of it a couple week’s ago with Festka co-founder Michael Moureček’s insider take on the current industry boom & supply chain crisis.)
Festka Antti, rally car-inspired custom gravel bike
The bike, dubbed the Antti by Festka, is the brainchild of Antti Peltonen, a lifelong rally car fan who dreamed of bringing the spirit of his beloved rally track world to cycling.
Peltonen brought his dream to life through the company’s You by Festka program, an offering that allows customers to design and customize every aspect of their bikes from geometry and groupsets to paint. The customization process is so meticulous that Festka limits the program to only 12 slots each year.
Peltonen approached Festka with a plan for a car-to-bike scheme modeled off of a replica Audi Quattro S1 E2 rally car from the 80s.
The “Group B” car comes from an era in rally racing that saw some of the most powerful (and dangerous) rally cars ever unleashed hit the track.
Peltonen remembered Festka’s billing of the Rover gravel frame as “the rally machine of the gravel segment,” and immediately began connecting the dots between the two and four wheel rides of his dreams.
It’s easy to see how the two come together. Anyone who has spent time on a gravel bike, especially racing, knows the thrill of hairpin turns over loose, chunky terrain, and how demanding climbs, jumps, and braking can be when piloting a rigid frame past where the pavement ends.
The Festka Antti Build
Peltonen, who has a background in graphic design, provided a mockup of his dream bike that included exact HB Audi team colors from the 80s and sponsor graphics any racer would be proud to display.
The end result is a mostly white frame with vibrant splashes of yellow, black, and red that scream aggressive and fast.
“Nowadays most gravel bikes look the same – subtle earthy tones, matte finish, toned down graphics… So I wanted something different. Something not so serious and maybe a bit over the top. And definitely LOUD and FAST like an Audi S1 E2,” he said.
The bike is built to perform with the same power and efficiency too. Peltonen opted for an Ekar groupset and carbon tubeless Shamal wheels, both from Campagnolo, to round out the bike.
Tom Hnida, Festka’s art director, said the company works with a wide range of people, some of whom leave the design completely up to the Festka team, and others who take a hands-on approach in building their perfect bike.
“There was no point in messing around with Antti’s design,” Hnida said. “Our job was to put our skills to work and make sure the design comes out perfect. I’m very happy with the result.”