The owner of this Absolu was looking for something a little different. It’s hard to create something different these days but Cyfac will let you try. The idea was to keep the naked carbon in a matte finish with a subtle peppering of silver decals then add some silky smooth blue panels inside the fork blades and chainstays. Carbon “cyfac” shines through in both. The result? With the love-it-or-hate-it anodised red details on the half black and half red iLink cables plus the red Tune skewers to match the Red on the Campagnolo Super Record you have one sexy bike. No need to add the loud wheel decals or stem logos – the frame is the gem here. No ISP for ease of car boot travel….
The CPS fit put this customer squarely on a standard large frame but as the frame is made-to-order the bottom bracket, seatpost/ISP and fork were optioned to suit. ** Please note, steerer is now cut and looks much better! **
Is this just a cafe ride you ask? Not in this case. This bike has already clocked up a few km’s in criteriums, hill repeats and furious bunch rides. The owner would himself admit, the bike had to look good but that ultimately it’s a beautiful object, mode of transport and purveyor of fun. But rest your bike against it at the local cafe at your own peril…..
Coming off a top of the line Giant, I wasn’t quite sure how much better things could get – would it just be ‘different’? Would I think it was ‘better’? The truthful answer is that it does feel different, and the differences make it feel better (to this rider anyway!). When people in the bunch ask me about the bike, I really try to give them an answer that doesn’t include the word ‘stiff’ – to do so would imply that I had tested thousands of bikes and could distinctly say that this bike was better in that respect! My usual response goes along the line of “I find the frame really comfortable and it certainly responds well whether I am out of the saddle or cranking along seated. I think that this bike will leave me fresher at the end of a race or long day in the saddle, which means I am able to use more of what I have got at the times that really matter. I find the ride to be much smoother and less jarring that the Giant, but I don’t think I have lost anything in terms of response”.
My other first impressions were of the aesthetics and can be summed up in one word: handmade. I specced a clear coat over the raw carbon weave and I love that I can see where the craftsmen and women have joined each piece of carbon throughout the frame. I am also very impressed with the quality of the paint. Everything I asked for has been replicated, by hand, perfectly.
I can see where the time and effort has gone into the bike, and it makes it that much more special for me every time I ride it.
The other thing about building up a hand made bike is spec’ing the components. I love getting involved in all the details – matching colours, lowering weight etc. the process for me was almost as much fun as the first ride.
Overall, I am super happy with how it turned out and wouldn’t change a thing in terms of looks! The only small thing that grates is the lack of carbon rails on the saddle – but there has got to be some room for improvement right??!
A big thanks to Dan and Artisan Cycles for the personalised time and effort put into the build – very much appreciated. Also thanks to Justin from Bike Beyond for the expert build and opinion on most Saturday mornings!
Bike build (by Justin from Bike Beyond):
Frame: Cyfac Absolu (standard large) - matte carbon with silver decals and blue panels.
Groupset: Campagnolo Super Record w/red Alligator iLink cables
Wheels: Reynolds Attack clinchers w/Continiental GP4000s tyres & Tune skewers
Bar/stem: 3T Team “Black edition” Ergonova bar and ARX stem
Saddle: SMP Dynamic
Bartape: Arundel Gecko
Pedals: Speedplay Zero Stainless
Weight: as pictured 7kg (race wheels are on their way and potentially a carbon-rail SMP Dynamic)
Artisan Cycles – 123 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park, 3206, VICTORIA AUSTRALIA
03 9078 4753 / firstname.lastname@example.org