Following today’s workshop I was wandering about and heard the “faint” stirrings of Euro-pop way off in the distance. It turns out all these little walled-in town squares and narrow roads basically turn the whole city into an amplifier… Obviously compelled toward it, halfway across the city I found an open air concert, apparently a benefit “for the gorillas.” Which gorillas or why or how were a complete mystery because that’s literally all anybody said, with no explication and no signage, pamphlets, or anything—in any language—but I am sure some primates somewhere feel better about themselves now.
In any event, there were a lot of stands filled to the brim with sausage, many other stands baking fresh cinnamon rolls, and then there were these folks!
Prodoli, it turns out, is a Czech manufacturer of high end road, mountain, and cyclocross bikes. I gather the frames aren’t made here, presumably the carbon is laid up in Asia with everyone else’s, but it seems like they do the painting, finishing, and final assembly here, though I could be wrong. Almost all are carbon fiber with a mix of classic lines and newer, Specialized-style compact sloping road frames. Part of their deal seems to be a heavy emphasis on aesthetics, with some really good basic stylings as well as more ornate, airbrushed artwork. A lot of them look fantastic.
The crawling ants on hexes—a combo that seems to happen often, for some reason—is my favorite of those on display and looks amazing. Prodoli’s gallery has a bunch of other good designs as well. Even some of the wheels have ornate patterns. I particularly like the Butterfly, the blue variant of the Romance, also the blue variant of the Lava, the Square, and the Oxygen team design. In general I prefer a lighter, more open aired aesthetic, but Flames is a super well executed design that I could see a lot of people getting behind. The Spider design also looks a lot less creepy on a solid background with less realistic bloated creepy-crawlies. However, in addition to the Ants layout above, which must be new as it’s not in the gallery, my favorite is probably the clean, simple CSK team design. There’s a whole bunch more in the gallery beside these, plus a custom design program.
I thought it was neat to see a local bike company, and to have a high end manufacturer—I don’t see anything of theirs under about $3500 USD; divide the CZK prices on the website by 20 for a rough idea—out at a smallish, random Saturday benefit festival. I don’t know why I went to all the trouble and worry of packing up my bike to bring over here when I could have gotten one of these beauties around the corner, especially now that I’ve got that credit card linked to Caitlin’s account. I mean, it’d be supporting the Czech economy, buying local, helping an independent manufacturer, all that kind of good stuff…