Festka a Czech bicycle producer that specializes in the tailor-made manufacture of exclusive road bicycle frames, has always been known for its bold ideas. In 2017, the company replicated its popular Festka Doppler model, a singular combination of titanium and carbon, with over 1,000 aluminum coffee capsules. Its latest bespoke bicycle frame is for a Bangkok-based bike collector and porcelain lover.
In 2019, Festka’s art director Tomáš Hnida commissioned Michal Bačák, a renowned Czech artist and illustrator for the project. The artist was originally intrigued by the idea of decorating a bicycle frame by hand. The project took thirteen months to complete.
“When the client told me what he wanted, I knew immediately who to invite to participate. I love the work of Michal Bačák, especially his ability to work in the minutest detail. The design works two ways — the frame looks wonderful from afar but it’s when you take a closer look that the stories start to appear,” says Hnida.
Bačák created his own amalgam of the Portuguese Azulejo and English Churchill Blue Willow decorative styles — drawing in cobalt blue complemented by accents in 24-carat gold.
The design shows all the milestones in the life of the owner, from the names of his children to his hobbies such as traveling, playing the flute, and his love of bicycles and the sport of cycling. Despite its fragile appearance, this frame is a proper Festka Spectre that is designed to be ridden.
“To get a perfect match we had to strip off the silver manufacturer’s logos and replace them with more subdued hand-painted designs of our own conception. And we replaced the default bearings in the Lightweight wheelset with best performance ceramic ones,” says Michael Moureček, co-founder of the Festka company.
“I have many custom bikes, but only now I see what custom really means. Festka has surpassed all my expectations,” says Suratchaj Chenyavanij, the bicycle’s owner.
Michal Bačák studied product design at the School of Fine Arts in Zlín. He later combined graphic design education with practical work in the Netherlands. Bačák receives many commissions from big-name businesses such as a recent one from Hermes. He won The Illustrator of the Year category at the 2016 Czech Grand Design awards.
Festka has been making top-quality custom bicycles in Prague, the Czech Republic, since 2010. It counts many interesting people among its clients — Hollywood celebrities and top-notch institutions such as the European Space Agency and the Czech Technical University.
The firm was founded by the former pro cyclist Michael Moureček and his entrepreneurial friend Ondřej Novotný. Ninety percent of Festka’s production is exported, mostly to Asia but also the UK, USA, and Australia.