Festka One - Owner Interview

Festka One - Owner Interview

Posted by Michael Yakubowicz on

A Tale of 2 Festkas - Part 2 of 2 

[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!

I’m Alex, a UX designer and father to Frankie the cat and Cecelia the dog.
Why did you pick this bike?
Before I got my Mosaic Mike and I had talked about building a Festka. Since then they’ve always been on my mind. I’m a sucker for classic lines and have been itching to take another swing at a carbon bike, so when the opportunity came around I had no choice but to take it.
What other bikes do you own?

My other bike is a Mosaic RS2, also designed and built by Blacksmith Cycle. I love it to death!

What kind of riding do you love to do?

Friends and family constantly joke saying most of the riding I do is back and forth from the cafe, which is about ten meters from my house. Besides that, I a sucker for a chill ride through the city at night and doing some casual long rides with my buddy Marshall.
What was the Blacksmith Cycle process like for you?

After two bikes I don’t think I can ever work with another shop. The process is really special to me, almost more than the end result. Initially we were leaning towards a different brand and a different style frame. The fit wasn’t ideal, and Jesse knew that a Festka was a dream bike of mine so he encouraged me to go that route. There was plenty of excitement in the shop as Bastion had just landed, and a Wittson ti-carbon mix was en route. But, I dreamed about Festka. After some back and forth on geometry, Mike mocked up a demo and we got to testing over a few weeks. Each session we would invite a different possibility or metric. I was also nursing a couple of injuries which added another angle to determining fit. That’s why I appreciate the process so much. Mike and Jesse are wizards when it comes to fit, and they’re very familiar with my riding style and changes in fitness.

Did you learn anything new from this custom bike experience?

Definitely, but much of it is numbers that Mike and Jesse can probably explain better than I can.

Give us a one paragraph review about your bike!

Its nice. Really, really, really nice. My last carbon experience was heavy and overly stiff in the wrong way. To make matters worse, it didn’t fit me right. The Festka is the opposite, it’s nimble and well balanced, and much much lighter than anything I’ve ridden before (save the Doppler I had the pleasure of riding last year). I had read that the frameset was stiff, a sentiment that Mike echoed suggesting that it was stiffer than his Parlee Z1, but I don’t notice it. I’m sure it is quantifiably stiffer than the Mosaic but I don’t focus much on numbers or science, as I’m neither a pro nor the strongest rider in the bunch. I’d happily ride the Festka all day. Everything I’ve done thus far has been an absolute pleasure.

Explain how you ended up with such an amazing design?!

My Mosaic is quite simple so I figured it was appropriate to go fucking wild this time around. Part of the reason Festka was so intriguing to me was that they had a full time in house graphic designer that could help translate your design direction to something that would work on a bike frame. I asked my fiancé to help put together a mood board for colours and geometric direction. We took a ton of inspiration from Louise Bourgeois’s pattern work and also used a few of her colors on the final design. The polka dots we’re a nice little surprise, as is the fact that they are individually masked and all a little different! Insane.

Your Schmolke parts - wheel rims post and handlebar - are very light, pretty rare, and handmade in Germany. How do you like the performance so far?

They’re amazing! Honestly I don’t find them to be stiff to the point of discomfort, fragile to the point of underuse, or loud to the point of being an eyesore. Schmolke is doing something great. Jesse said he was very impressed with the quality of the rims and they’ve performed much better than previous all carbon wheels I’ve used. Breaking hasn’t let me down and they’re light enough that doing hill repeats in Old Mill isn’t a total nightmare. Honestly, I just picked the parts that were the most exciting to me.

What would your next dream bike be?

I’ve got some ideas. Sent Mike an email last week with some items of interest. It’s our little secret for now!

Also, I’m not a huge fan of photos of myself on the internet so I’m gonna opt out of a photo of me with the bike. Hopefully thats okay!






Festka One


Chris King i8 Matte Slate


ENVE 2.0


Schmolke Oversize EVO SL


ENVE carbon


Schmolke TLO with Tune seat collar


Shimano Dura Ace 9000


Schmolke TLO 45 on Chris King R45


Vittoria Corsa G+ Anthracite


Berk Lupina Padded


Supacaz Super Sticky Kush

Brake Pads

Swisstop Prince


Shimano Dura Ace


Arundel Mandible carbon


Silca Impero Ultimate Frame Pump


Chubby Bob-Cat TeamDreamTeam


15 lbs with pedals and pump

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 ONE page for more details, or link to Part 1 to see our Festka Doppler and owner interview.

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