Handbuilt in the Czech Republic, the Festka Scalatore Mummy pictured is on display in New York nearby Manhattan’s West Side Bike Path Greenway as part of Rubber N’ Road’s initiative to bring smaller innovative, bespoke bike brands to the US city.
Cycling Pop Ups organised by community-based cycling collective Rubber N’ Road during the Covid-19 pandemic connected New Yorkers with independently-owned cycling brands that are responsible for their own manufacturing processes and product development, including the Czech bike brand Festka.
The Prague-based company specialises in the custom production of road bikes, with creative finishes that are truly a delight to gaze at, or take photos of…
Why is this pop up such a big thing for brands like Festka? Well, the majority of bike shops in America are committed to a single mainstream brand, with only 25% of bike shops in the US able to sell bikes from more than one mainstream brand.
According to Rubber N’ Road, one major bike brand used its financial resources and power over the last five years in NYC to eliminate local retailers and opened nearly 10 self-owned and operated stores. Another did not choose to put its own logo on bike shops it now owns, but rather it maintained or created local faces and names for its corporately owned stores.
“This leaves a city like New York, one of the most diverse cities in the world, an extremely cosmopolitan place, with a market that is largely controlled by a duopoly," according to Rubber N’ Road’s co-founder Gil Lavi.
“New York is all about individualism, celebrating differences, and being truly authentic Our cycling community is so rich and amazing. We thought we deserve better.
“We brought into town bikes that no one had seen before: the Festka Scalatore Mummy being one of the notable ones.
“We presented to the market apparel and accessories from brands that offer a level of quality that had not been available here and displayed cutting edge components with an incredible sense of beauty.”
Festka promises that the Scalatore involves no compromise, being super-light and ultra-stiff.
Festka says that partnering with the European Space Agency, the Czech Technical University and CompoTech produced a team whose expertise goes far beyond the needs of bicycle manufacture to create a frame of “nearly new-dimensional qualities”.
With the right setup, the weight of the disc brake bike comes in under 6kg, claims Festka.
The Scalatore is available in Festka’s signature family of design schemes, with patterns including Mummy (picture in NYC), Dots N’ Stripes, Dazzle, Splash and Floyd. The colour combinations are exclusive to 2021.
Prices start at £5,290 for the Core frameset. This basic design scheme reveals the weave pattern of the carbon tubes.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.