Norman Wilkinson was a British artist who specialised in oils and watercolours, but he was also a camoufleur: what he became really famous for was his development of the Dazzle system of camouflage, or disruptive coloration, which made it difficult to estimate a target’s range and speed.
We were introduced to the Czech Festka marque at the 2013 NAHBS, by way of a metallic pink-coated track bike. While it was one of the most stand-out bikes of the show, their latest Zero road bike utilises Wilkinson’s Dazzle camouflage to confound and confuse.
This is the Festka Zero, a ‘lugged’ carbon fibre frame whose tubes far exceed the size of a traditional lugged steel frame. For example, the head tube is 57mm wide, inside of which are 1.5″ bearings. Kind of a paper-thin hammer of the gods.
The Dazzle Zero is the personal ride of one of the Festka owners, which was painted by hand without the use of decals. It sports Shimano’s Di2, a PF30 bottom bracket and Cinelli hardware. A fairly stock Zero, although the Dazzle paint is an optional extra.
Festka are more than confident in the Zero, due to the time and research they have dedicated to refining the geometry. Not to mention a “unique zero degree axial fibre laying process (which) gives the tubes high torsion stiffness and strength.”
I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to peer over that head tube while descending a steep slope. The Zero is available now, through the Festka website and Austin’s local bike shop Cycleast, at 501 Pedernales, who are the US importers.