When it comes to the custom bike scene, there’s plenty to talk about in the Czech Republic, what with the Podia crew, Festka, Rozzo and Tomas Kutin’s SingleBe Bikes. Creating bikes that aren’t afraid of challenging conventions seem to be a Czech characteristic, like Tomas’ SSCX that was inspired solely by Cinelli’s Scatto Caleido saddle.
The aesthetes get two bikes for the price of one here, with a dichotomous scheme that splits the frame in two. The unifying factor is the Caleido saddle by Cinelli, which was originally designed to complement its matching Vigorelli track frame.
Cinelli’s president, Antonio Colombo, has long been a patron of both the arts and cycling, since he became head of the company in 1978. Not only does Antonio govern Cinelli and his father’s company, Columbus Tubing, he also runs a contemporary art gallery.
Art and design has long been part of Cinelli’s brand cache and allure. Many famous artists have collaborated with the business, Keith Haring being the most famous, having painted the disc wheels of a Laser frame in the late 80s.
Other artists include Barry McGee, Gary Baseman, Gabriele Aruzzo, designer Benny Gold, tattooist Mike Giant and graffiti artist DMOTE. Cinelli’s chief art director is Alessandra Cusatelli, as much a visionary and and advocate of cycling and Italian design as Antonio.
The Caleido scheme is the latest in a range based on the latest incarnation of the Vigorelli track frame, which includes the mandatory Cinelli bar tape, apparel and the saddle. As the name suggests, all are a kaleidoscope of multiplied primary colours.
SingleBe’s Tomas Kutin took the Caleido theme and ran with it, breaking it down into two composite halves. SingleBe consists of Tomas — the designer — his friend, Roman Novotny, who is a professional airbrush painter, and his frame builder, Carl.
The frame is assembled from a mix of Dedacciai Zero, and heat-treated Zero Superleggera tubes. You’ll notice some typographic details on the tubes too, which are descriptions of the butting, factory codes and geometry dimensions.
SingleBe have a long queue of customer’s bikes, but they still manage to find time to build a bike for fun and as a show bike. “After many late evenings I was cruising the web”, Tomas tells us, “and I found this saddle at Singlespeed Shop.
“I was so impressed with the design that I was convinced in a second that we have to build some bike designed according the saddle. Nitto dirt drop bars were also dropped into the shopping basket just to complete uncommon bike style.”
The white side is painted with Aprilla pearl and glossy, non-metallic black on the other. The frame is fronted by a custom segmented fork and the wheelset is rolling on a pair of Tufo tyres — another Czech company.