Bertelli Domenica

Berlinetta Domenica

My first bike was equipped with a coaster brake, and I’ve never forgotten the sensation of locking it up and getting sideways around the gravel paths in our local park. It’s always been a query of mine as to why there isn’t an updated version of the coaster brake by master machinists like Phil Wood or Chris King. It’s a perfect way of maintaining the clean, uninterrupted lines of a fixed gear without actually having a fixed gear.

The relative fragility of the standard coaster brake lends itself perfectly to this assembly by Bertelli of New York. Perfect for morning rambles through the boroughs to the deli on a weekend morning; maybe not so much for hill bombing. This style of riding, however, is what the Italians are more comfortable with and why Francesco Bertelli has cornered a niche in the NY bicycle trade.

This frame on this Bertelli, called the Domenica, is made by Viking Cycles, a Norwegian workshop who specializes in traditional style lugged steel track frames and ‘classic track aesthetics’, of course. Bertelli places an emphasis on individual builds — compiled with parts from around the world and his trusted suppliers. Combined with his Italian sense of style, each of his bikes come with that pre-loved patina, like a grandfather’s watch or hand-tailored suit from an opportunity shop. So the Gipiemme crankset, Titan stem, hand crafted wooden handlebars (made by designer Adam Brackney), vintage Brooks B15 and vintage white Michelins, come together with an understated grace and warmth.

Domenica has been sold, but get in touch with Francesca and he can tailor a bike to your specification — providing it doesn’t involve gears or riser bars… but does require a superb elegance.

Berlinetta Domenica
Berlinetta Domenica
Berlinetta Domenica
Berlinetta Domenica
Berlinetta Domenica
Berlinetta Domenica

  • Lew

    I’m yet to be Cyle Sure I understand, the idea, yes! Every bike? No! The Theme? Yes! Minimalist bikes that are a bit unusual, with a hard earned individual factor, hours of crafting and hard graft, with a bias toward cafe racers and flat trackers..believe me.. I understand the passion!.

    This bike, no! Too much of the latte sippin’ urban wannabe. Steel, frame? Yes! Single Speed? Yes! Brooks Saddle..yes!..yawn… cycle fashion? White tires?

    Maybe…..just maybe…1×10/1×9 is preferable, ali frame, fizik saddle, ali 700mm+ bar, not weird composite wood bar and fixed brakes? Sure we all appreciate the frame brazes/welds but who cares? A real city bike would have a kick stand, and maybe a basket!

  • Lew, do you actually ride bicycles?

  • Someone peed in Lew’s cereal this morning. Keep doing your thing cycleexif. They’re all awesome.

  • Lew

    Adam..yes, I ride 10,000 kms (6000 miles) a year mostly on dirt and use real world modern performance components. I use that real world functionality to decide what components to use, not aesthetics. Many of the bikes on this site are super pretty, and are worth looking at and photographing….food for thought, few however would I actually enjoy riding or find practical. But then again I like wheelies, manuals, endos, hops and riding up and down stairs and kerbs. Sorry for saying this…sometimes excellent frames are made in Taiwan from 6061!

    • Bob

      Maybe you and that troll Adrian Salter should do lunch…..and then

  • Lew, thanks for your comments. I’m dying to get some real world MTB and dirt machines on Cycle EXIF. But the fact is, there is a distinct lack of decent photography of them. Hell, I’m not even going to be fussy about steel vs. aluminum frames! If you can point me in the direction of some beautiful images of real world bikes, or if you have some good photography of your own bike, I would love to hear from you!

    PS: There’s many different hot bikes on this planet, we’ve got plenty of time to get around to them all!

  • DeRosa

    Lew…please. If you are being this fussy with bikes, you must be single. You see, bikes are like women…or maybe art. Some you like and some you don’t. This goes for pretty much every other tangible and non-tangible item on this planet WE call Earth (hey…other planet’s residence might call it something else, right?)
    Another thing, you say that a “real city bike would have a kickstand”? If you are so interested in frame, saddle and bar types, would you not be interested in having less weight (since you mentioned ali) from kickstand (even if it was made from ali-it would weigh more).
    Stop typing, Lew…and go ride.
    And that is my rant for Saturday…i’m going for my morning ride now!
    Happy Halloween!

  • Hey Cycle EXIF! I am the creator of the wooden handlebars on this bike…and I must say I am honored to have Francesco’s bike featured here! He really does create sexy machines, and has a true passion for style mixed with function.

    @lew – my “weird composite wood bar” is actually NOT composite. It is laminated/ 100% bent wood. It may be weird to someone who can’t appreciate a bicycle that isn’t meant to be ridden down the side of a mountain. just like cars, there are many different bikes for many different purposes. You can’t drive a Porsche through a muddy ravine…but you can’t say it’s not a beautiful vehicle.

  • Tom

    Wow. Alot going on here. I’m with Lou.

    This bike is like a model kit, not a durable functional bicycle.

    Can anyone honestly say that rear hub is a good idea? All this “work” and you can’t go find a Bendix hub at the least? Theres also a thing called axle washers. Lets see what those fork ends(on both sides) look like after a few flats. Serrated axle nuts are the best!! Also, $150 dollar juvenile bikes at wal-mart have a braze-ons for the coaster arm.

    You’d think with Italian sense of style this bike would have a nicer seat. Ever seen an Italian with old dirty shoes on? At the least, oil that saddle.

    Wooden handlebars? I guess there too pretty to put grips on. How do you actually ride a bike with no grips anyway?

    Adam- Seriously? No Mtbs to photo? Maybe people are riding them Instead of cleaning them. Heres a good web site with plenty of really cool old MTBs. You should repost some of them.

    Agreed Lou, it would be nice to look at bicycles that have some engineering, R&D and thought put into them. Alot of people can cut lugs, braze steel and glue wood together to make a cool looking retro bike. It doesn’t seem like pictures of MTBs or slightly used bikes is what this web site is aiming for.

  • Joe

    This bike is simply beautiful. Its exactly the style I was aiming for when I build my last bike, down to the wood handlebars. Actually, my first reaction was “Damnit! someone else had the same idea”, but I could never have put together this beautiful machine.

    Thanks for posting this. I love coaster brakes, and its good to see them used on an absolute masterpiece of machinery.

  • Hey Tom, thanks for your comments. I definitely agree with you: there’s a definite lack of MTB and ‘real world’ bikes on Cycle EXIF. Mombat is a great resource, and I’d love to repost a lot of their bikes but I’m also trying to provide original content. I have a strong dirt background myself — my current wallpaper is an Intense M9 Fro — but do you think I can find some decent photography of one, even from a passionate owner? Nope. It seems that only road-bound inner city tall skinny bike riders and randonneurs are passionate about their bikes enough to take nice photos of them. Maybe because dirt riders are actually out riding them all the time…

    Having said that, I am desperately saving up for a DSLR so I can shoot some of my mates bikes, Yeti 25th Anno 303 et al… Any donations would be more than welcome! And I’m still waiting to hear back from the shooter of an original Salsa. So stay tuned. Dirt bike transmission will resume ASAP!

    Cheers, Adam

  • Papaverales

    Please Lew, You are embarrassing yourself.

  • Rom

    totally agree , I have fitted a SC2 sturmey archer 2 speed withcoaster brake , to keep things uncluttered , satin gloss black powdercoating on a ’73 Gitane steel frame, 9 x4 spoked wheels and a sexy trackbar with black leather brooks tape and a brooks swallow also in black , my next project will also have wooden handle bars in solid teak , keep making beautiful bikes