Only 12 bikes a year get a slot for the You By Festka full custom treatment, and these latest hand-painted Dragons for Harold show that full-custom doesn’t have to mean over-the-top, too. This custom dragon-adorned carbon Rover gravel bike was more about connecting with its future owner, and connecting Harold back to his homeland.
And if you aren’t looking for personalization, Festka also added a new Beat The Lead Time program where they offer their exquisite show bikes for sale for cyclists who don’t want to wait. And then they have a good excuse to cook up new show bikes…
You By Festka Rover custom Dragons for Harold
The concept of Czech premium bike builder Festka’s custom ‘You By Festka’ program is the ultimate level of customization potential, and a completely personalized one-on-one process that ensures the buyer gets exactly what they most desire. Sometimes that means a one-of Artist Series bike like this Ondrash & Kasparek edition Scout gravel bike. Or a glossy Spectre road bike with such tiny hand-painted & 24-karat gold detailing that it ends up looking like Porcelain. Festka’s top-tier custom takes so much time to plan and create, that they limit You By Festka to just a dozen bikes each year.
But a personalized design can be more restrained as well.
Full custom process
This You By Festka custom Rover original gravel, now all-road bike was created for a Chinese expat living in the Philippines named Harold, working with Festka-partner The Brick Multi Sport Store bike shop in Manilla. Harold wanted a simple bike with “a pair of red and gold dragons on the head tube and the fork.” To Harold, it was a link to his homeland, a link to the Chinese belief of being descended from dragons, plus a symbol of power and bringer of good luck.
Harold was impressed by the hand-illustrated Spectre Porcelain created by artist Michal Bačák, but was thinking of something more subdued.
And he was particular about the colors he wanted, while letting the signature fiber-wound carbon tubes of the Festka show through.
Festka Art Director Tom Hnida loved Harold’s motivation and the idea of creating a deeper bond between rider, his ancient roots & his bike, so Tom jumped at the chance to work together on the design.
“Once Harold approved Tom’s early sketches, the much longer period that followed was about finding the right colors and fine-tuning the details. Tom’s masterstroke, however, was the video in which he sketched out his final version of the design in Illustrator. When Harold saw the video of the process, he was amazed. He said it felt as if he were sitting next to Tom. With the designs, colors, and lines given the seal of approval, Tom could get to work on the frame.”
After painstakingly hand-painting on the intertwined dragons, Tom sent the frame to get its final layer of transparent lacquer clearcoat to protect the mythical beasts over any terrain. The Festka Rover all-road frame had of course been made-to-measure to give Harold the perfect fit & all-day comfort. And it will be built up directly by The Brick Multi Sport Store into a premium complete bike.
Festka has decided that from now on, they will share the story of each of their unique You By Festka custom bikes. So follow their Journal to keep up to date with the Czech bike builder’s most custom creations.
Beat The Lead Time and get a unique Festka bike now
There’s no denying that the full custom You By Festka process is both expensive and time-consuming. But what if you want this same premium level of performance immediately, and at a bit lower cost? That’s what Beat The Lead Time promises.
The new easier way to buy a Festka program bypasses the long custom builder waiting list by offering up the builder’s fleet of show bikes, demo bikes, and media test bikes for sale. Some have been hardly ridden, others ridden hardly. But all have been meticulously maintained and are in excellent condition.
Btw, that Spectre was straight-up the bike Orlando Bloom was riding on the roads around Prague while he was filming Carnival Row. No joke. But it.
Bikes are sold as built (with a frame warranty), in whatever stock size Festka created the bike, and sell first-come-first-served at discounts of 16-48% off regular pricing. See if they have one in your size that strikes your fancy.