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Gallery: Czech out this 90s throwback the Festka Spectre Splash

Is this the best looking bike we've seen for a while? We think it may be!

Joe Robinson
4 Jun 2020

Boring beige and Scandi pastels are so de riguer in the world of cycling at the moment, I don’t know whether I should concentrate on riding my bike or growing a moustache. It seems like the current trend is for everything from bikes to bibshorts to come in a shade of understated that while cool, is just a bit boring.

Don’t you miss the good old days when bikes glowed brighter than some pro cyclists' haematocrit levels?

In all seriousness, we are hugely nostalgic of how things looked back in the early 1990s. Everything was bolder, louder, more colourful. We’d just had the second summer of love, we drank Hooch and MD 20/20, and hi-vis anoraks were the order of the day.

And cycling was no less loud than real life. It was all Cinelli Spinaci tri-bars, four-spoke Spinergy wheels, gravel bikes were just called mountain bikes and cycling jerseys had a massive fluorescent Z across the chest.

It also turns out we’re not the only ones pining for the past. Czech bike artists Festka (we call them artists because their bikes are truly art) have also taken inspiration from the 1990s with the latest, special-edition Spectre Splash road bike.

 

For inspiration on a new design, the brand’s art director Tom Hnida had been flicking through Pinterest boards when he found himself becoming obsessed with 1990s ski apparel which spawned the idea of this fluorescent blue and pink hand-painted bike, aptly called the ‘Splash’

Festka has used the name Splash not only to ‘refer to the design being loud and bold’ but ‘also the way it is made because the overlapping shade is splashed on by hand using a specially designed brush. As with all other Festka paint schemes, Splash is 100% painted and it doesn‘t utilise any ready-made decals.’

And for any bike paying homage to the 1990s, four-spoke wheels are non-negotiable. Festka has opted for a set of Corima’s ‘4 Spoke DX’ tubular time-trial wheels which while not the original Spinergy wheels, will certainly do. I mean, you can just hear the ‘whoosh’ of those wheels by looking at them.

 

While truly inspired by the 1990s, this bike is also still thoroughly-modern. The Spectre frame is full carbon, as are the Enve handlebars and stem. You can even fit 28mm tyres, too.

Rather than using a 9-speed mechanical groupset, Festka has opted for the ever-trusted Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 disc groupset swapping out the standard jockey wheels for a set of oversized Ceramic Speed wheels for some efficiency optimisation.

This bike is currently with Cyclist’s editor-at-large Stu Bowers and I, for one, am deeply jealous and cannot wait to see his thoughts on this incredible retro-modern machine.

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