Festka Doppler - Owner Interview

Festka Doppler - Owner Interview

Posted by Michael Yakubowicz on

A Tale of 2 Festkas - Part 1 of 2 

Festka Doppler

[Note: In a new feature we will introduce you to some of the customers who ride our bikes, through a short interview, some photos, and a build spec list. The hope is that this will enlighten people in terms of who some of are customers are, the custom bike process, and buying a bike from Blacksmith Cycle in general.  If you are a customer who would like to be featured, please let us know!]


Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Ali Soheil. Right from childhood up to now a bicycle has been a big part of my life. I was the kid, fascinated by a bicycle and dreaming about owning a bicycle but did not have the opportunity to own even a rusty two-wheeler. I came to Canada at the age of 17 by myself. Between going to school and working multiple jobs, a bicycle became my companion and sole mode of transport all year round. As i got older and achieved a steady job I began to experience what we all refer to as the stress of life and work. Cycling became my refuge and meditation allowing me to reflect and re-energize.

Why did you pick this bike?

I consider myself well-informed about different materials and engineering of bikes. Part of this was gained through mistakes i made and partly through learning and being inquisitive. It may sound funny but any time i am riding the bike i can feel how the materials and the set-up allows each bike to respond to different conditions.  It is almost a feeling of the bike talking to me. I have experimented with and owned over 20 over the years. In recent years i have come to appreciate how by combining different materials such as ti and carbon you can achieve optimal results in both comfort and performance to the point, today my best carbon lightweight bike is not desirable for me. It is important to note materials are a small part of the equation. You need brilliant engineering and craftsmanship to deliver results. That is why I chose the Festka Doppler. 

What other bikes do you own?

I have owned many bikes such as Colnago, Scott, Time, Look, BMC, Passoni and Cherubim to name a few. Today in my stable I have a Cherubim steel bike, Festka Doppler and a Scott Addict.

What kind of riding do you love to do?

Perfect rides for me in Canada would be long and steady rides between 150km to 250km which is the range i enjoy. I also love to travel to Europe, ideally France were I often find myself riding the Alps and Pyrenees. Whether I am a good climber or not I do enjoy climbing and suffering in the mountains.

What was the Blacksmith Cycle process like for you?

The Blacksmith Process started as a collaboration as i tried to articulate the experience I was looking to get from a new bike and then with Mike's help translating that to options and alternatives that may fit the bill. As the options got narrowed down the excitement built for me as I began to see my dream bike starting to take shape and form. I had countless touch points with Mike and as i began to make refinements to the frame, paint choice, and customization all the way to the componentry I probably put more effort in exploring and purchasing this bike than I did in purchasing my home. Mike patiently and diligently guided me through the details and never gave me the feeling that I was becoming unbearable.

Did you learn anything new from this custom bike experience?

I learned that if you want a perfect bike you need to be patient and recognize that brilliant things are worth waiting for. No matter how much you know about bicycles and engineering, if you are dealing with a great brand and experienced people like Mike you need to ask for their advice and listen.

Give us a one paragraph review about your bike!

My happiest moment is when i am on this bike and I feel that we were made for each other. Regardless of the amount of riding i do, once I return home it is like a great book; i have a hard time putting it down. Besides the frame itself the new version of EPS is unparalleled. It is worth every penny spent and if you are building a dream bike this cannot be overlooked. I enjoy the Fizik Arione saddle. For this bike I used the K1. Between the lightweight carbon wheels and the the Arione Carbon K1 saddle, the texture and the functionality became very complimentary to the frame. I like continuity, understatement or a different way of saying it is a classic look in a way that nothing is screaming on first look. I know lightweight wheels come with a hefty price but they are truly the best wheels in my mind. If i had to make a choice over spending my budget on EPS or lightweight wheels, for sure I would choose EPS and look for alternative wheels.

What would be your next dream bike?

I spend a lot of alone time on my bikes. I have managed to convince my wife to entertain riding a tandem bike with me as she is not comfortable riding alone. Now the fun and new journey begins to select the right one and Mike gets to put up with my nonsense questions especially given this space is completely new to me.






Festka Doppler


Tune Bobo


ENVE 1.0


ENVE carbon


ENVE carbon


ENVE Setback


Campagnolo Super Record EPS


Cane Creek EE brakes




Lightweight Meilenstein T


Continental Competition 25mm


Fizik K1 Carbon


Fizik 2.5mm Tacky Tape

Brake Pads

Swisstop Prince

Garmin mount

ENVE off the front


Look Keo Blade 2


ENVE carbon


14.1 lbs with pedals

Special thanks to Jeremy Nathan from Lifeisabeautifuldetail.com for the incredible photos and check out Jeremey's Post for his take.

Also, head to our web-store Festka Doppler page for more details, or link to Part 2 to see our Festka ONE and owner interview.

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