There’s been a groundswell of custom builders emanating from Central Europe and, in particular, the Czech Republic. It’s spearheaded, of course, by Festka, but Rozzo is another. One of their latest builds is a silent, belt-driven commuter for the father of fine audio equipment: Mark Levinson.
If you’re an audiophile as well as a velophile or, perchance, you drive a Lexus, you’ll instantly recognise Mark’s name. He founded Mark Levinson Audio Systems in 1972 and, although plagued by a legal wrangling which disassociated him from his own brand, introduced a number of innovations and new ideas to high-end audio equipment.
Some Lexus models sport ‘Mark Levinson’ branded automotive audio systems as an option, although that brand is now owned by Harman Becker Automotive Systems. Regardless, Mark is still an innovative entrepreneur in the field, dedicated to fine stereophonica.
Jan Habich is another passionate owner of a Rozzo, enough to want to write these words about Mark’s project: “Rozzo was tasked to built something unusual for Mark Levinson, father of high end audio. The crazy thing is that we found that Mark has some Czech ancestors, so the hi-fi man with Czech roots has now hi-fi bike with Czech Roots.
“Jaromir from Rozzo had a vision of Mark riding a bike to his studio and because Mark’s hearing is legendary, Jaromir decided to go for belt drive (and, you know, maintenance). Mark is also not a seasoned rider so the handlebars are rather straight. The design was inspired by Mark’s signature speaker line combining black and metal parts, therefore the combination with stainless steel.
“Even if there’s another Rozzo bike combining carbon and stainless steel, it won’t be the same design. But Jaromir confessed that he wants to build orthodox road bike using this technique.
Jan continues: “The founder, Jaromir Hruby, started in the 80s, doing repairs and modifications on frames, because it was hard to get racing bikes in communist Czechoslovakia. He then moved to his own designs. After the fall of communism in 1989 he quit his job and made his hobby a real job. Rozzo grew up to 10 people but now most of the designs are done by Jaromir himself.
“He likes the beautiful thin 90s designs the most, so he will mimic it even when making carbon bikes.”
Head to the Rozzo website for more information. Massive thanks to Jan Habich for the story.