The custom scene in Eastern Europe is spearheaded by one brand, and that is Festka: the Czech house that is completely unafraid of bucking convention and producing bikes that are very different and as striking as any you’ll find in the other major centres.
Texan shop Cycleast already represents Festka in the US, and now it looks like they’re beginning to make headway into other regions as well, evidenced by their latest build. ‘USAGI’ is decorated with Japanese mythological motifs, a clue as to its final destination.
USAGI was unveiled at the 2014 Festival Bike Portugal in Santarem, a tradeshow and exposition that profiles European brands. It was made for Festka’s Japanese representative and features nami-usagi, a traditional pattern that depicts the symbols of the waves and the moon-rabbit.
According to Japanese folklore, a rabbit can be be seen in the markings on the moon, pounding on an usu, a Japanese mortar used to make mochi, the popular snack of mashed sticky rice. The rabbit is also a symbol of fertility and longevity because the animal sleeps during the day and wanders at night.
The frame is available as a custom order, known as the XCr Modern Disc. It is the realisation of an idea to produce a competitive steel frame that was an equal to other modern materials. The idea was presented to Columbus, who created a special set of tubes that catered for today’s requirements.
The XCr Modern tube set accommodates 44mm head tubes, enabling the use of tapered forks, a PF30 bottom bracket and it’s perfect for Di2 systems. Festka’s proprietary dropouts both complement the frame and allow for the installation of road disc brakes. Sounds like a sweet ride.
The stays can fit tyres up to 27mm which, along with the compliant nature of a well-made steel frame, makes this a perfect all-day rider, commuter or even dirt road racer. Find out more on the Festka website.