The smell of raw steel has a unique tone. It might seem odd for someone to say they enjoy the smell of it, but Dario Pegoretti does. When combined with the aroma of fresh paint, the unwrapping of a fresh frame from the Italian master frame builder must surely be an olfactory — and visual — sensation.
Most of Dario’s customers are more than just cyclists, they respect his artistic skills also and, when selecting the Ciavete paint option, will receive more than a new frame. They’re the new owner of a work of art. Dario has built around 10,000 frames, and by now he expresses himself as much through the brush as he does through the torch.
Mike Fiechtner is the custodian of this fine example of Dario’s work, a stablemate of the Festka Asphalt built up by Hong Kong’s Life Cycle bike boutique, that we featured a while ago. One of Mike’s favourite artists is Jean-Michel Basquiat, who Dario claims as an influence upon his own art.
When Mike encountered Dario’s art, he told him he would be first in line to buy one of his canvasses, but then went a step further by putting a deposit down on a Ciavete frame. After discussing model options with Dario, the choice of a Responsorium was made. Geometries were finalised and Mike entrusted him completely with the finish.
Life Cycle — one of Hong Kong’s premium bicycle stores — built the Responsorium up with a predominantly Italian list of components: A Campagnolo Chorus gruppo, white Cinelli Vai seatpost, stem and handlebars, and a white fi’zi:k Kurve Snake saddle. The Zipp 404 wheelset isn’t Italian but they don’t look out of place at all.
Dario’s paintings might not be to everyone’s taste but that’s ok. There’s plenty of less interesting options out there. But none capture the joie de vivre of cycling as passionately; nor the excitement and speed experienced by riding a frame by one of the world’s most colourful frame builders.
Special thanks to ALT-254 for the photography.
PS: Read the Cycle EXIF interview with Dario Pegoretti here.