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Festka: from 3D printing to internal routing

It is not surprising to realize that we are most attracted to custom bikes, as these represent not only high-performance builds but also pieces of art considering every minor detail is taken into account. These can only be made by some, as producing them requires a full set of tools and skills that can only be achieved over the years, as working with materials such as long-used steel or new-generation carbon is not straightforward.

The Czech fiber carbon expert Festka is one of the few custom bike manufacturers that has solely specialized in this material and improved the performance of their creations after close collaboration with research institutes and universities, as we were able to test first hand some time ago. Moreover, they have established close links with artists who have transformed their frames into one-of-a-kind pieces with, for instance, mesmerizing acrylic paintings or Japanese drawings that one wonders if they should be kept in a museum.

Following new trends and the customers’ demands, Festka has released its favorite models, Scalatore and One, with fully integrated cable routing and overall upgrades. Thanks to the use of 3D printing technology and 3D printed parts both derailleur and brake cables are routed internally inside the bike frame. Besides the clean look, cables are protected from damage from the elements or eventual crashes.

Michael Moureček, Festka’s co-founder and the man behind the brand’s bike designs, explained: “It’s always been our strategy to make our frames compatible with as wide a range of components as possible. However, this made internal cable routing quite problematic since it requires the compatibility of several components: the frame, the fork, the headset, the stem, and the handlebars. We had two options, either design our own solution and limit the component compatibility or wait and see which of the many solutions will prevail and enable everybody in the market to combine various products.”

Even though the market is not in such a place where all third-party components are readily compatible, they could not wait any longer and had to find a compromise. As there is a substantial number of components that can be paired with Festka’s frames, they launched their bikes with internally routed hoses and cables.

In order to achieve this, they had to rethink some basic parts of their frames and 3D print them to easily include this new technology. In general, these new parts serve two purposes, some act as interfaces for the components to fit together while others go inside the frame to make the hose and cable installation hassle-free. Having brought the 3D printing technology in-house, Festka is now able to offer individualized solutions on a case-by-case basis and still offer customization of their bikes.

Besides integrated cables, both models come with other tweaks and improvements which include re-engineered wound carbon filament tubes increasing comfort and stiffness. Thus, the new Scalatore and One frames represent the top-end products in their catalog, with amazing esthetics and unbeatable performance that have only improved the previous version.

Photos: Festka