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SARTO ANTONIO : 100% Italian Handbuilt Bicycle Frames

Sarto are a premium Italian bicycle manufacturer who have been creating hand-built frames since 1950.

Founded and operated by Antonio and his son Enrico, Sarto is at the forefront of frame technology thanks to a continual process of research, computer modelling and rigorous experimentation and testing.

Each frame is 100% hand-made in Sarto’s own facility in Venice to ensure continuity and quality and it is for this reason companies like Campagnolo look to Sarto for their test / company bikes.

Historically 80% of Sarto’s business has been for other companies, and while this is good for bottom line, Enrico is keen to shift more business to individual consumers.

So why choose Sarto?

In a market replete with frame manufacturers producing bikes in carbon, Sarto set themselves apart by being attentive to the individual needs of the rider. While Sarto produce a range of stock geometry framesets, their strength lies in their personal approach to individual rider needs and wants.

Sarto in Italian means Tailor, and like all good tailors, Sarto pay exhaustive attention to the details that make the frame unique and special to the owner.

This personalisation allows the customer complete freedom with the design of their frame: from material choice to the shape of the tubes; custom geometries, bottom bracket standard, reinforcements and graphics. Every feature of a Sarto frame can be customised by the rider.

This is achieved by way of direct communication between designer and rider. From initial thoughts to mood boards, the engineer creates several designs for the rider to help realise the initial concept.

The construction method used by Sarto was driven by the company’s desire to offer frames as individual as the rider. The tube-to-tube process allows pin-point accuracy to create a frame that perfectly fit the riders body. This is followed by ‘welding’ the joints with resin to produce tailored stiffness, comfort and performance. The excess resin is sanded back to create a seamless, perfectly shaped frame. The final step involves hand-wrapping the frame with a final layer of carbon – this step is incredibly detailed and engineers align weave patterns to ensure a perfect finish both to the touch and to the eye. 

Our decision to become a Sarto dealer was cemented after a conversation with Enrico at a trade show.

I was with a good friend of mine Matt, who loves his cycling and loves his technology. I had just finished speaking with the head of design and I joined the conversation Matt was having with Enrico...

Like so many consumers these days, Matt was asking about stiffness-to-weight ratios, carbon-fibre quality and other technical aspects common to carbon frame production. Enrico’s response seemed – at first – typically Italian and unintentionally dismissive. But as he continued, it became clear that Enrico was, quite simply, entirely focussed on what Matt wanted to get from his frameset. All the ‘numbers’ surrounding the build were inconsequential and the ride quality that Matt was after was the only thing that mattered. That’s not to say that the frame would not be stiff, light, comfortable etc – these aspects to Enrico’s mind, are a given and are there to be tuned specifically for your needs.

This was one of the most refreshing conversations I have had in the bike trade in over a decade and like most conversations that go this way, it involved an Italian. The Italian approach to bikes, frames, components, clothing – everything cycling in fact, is one that stems from genuine, deep-rooted passion rather than bottom line and bullshit, and it infuses their products like no other nation.

Ultimately, each of us have specific requirements and elements of frames that we appreciate. Sarto aim to dial into those elements to create a frame that addresses each one to achieve subjective perfection, eliminating the things we don’t need and ensuring that we get exactly what we strive for.

At this point you would be forgiven for thinking that all this personalisation must come at a prohibitive cost. It’s true that most companies offering this level of service will charge for each element of customisation – Parlee are a good example and their top end frames can cost upwards of £7500.

However, despite the level of detail that can be fine tuned by the rider, the only additional costs in your unique Sarto frame are in the paint. If you want a stock design but in non-standard colours, the price is just £209, with completely custom colour-ways costing  £479. You can take this further with custom painted seatposts and stems and Sarto will happily do this with most brands of finishing kit. It is a relatively modest addition to a very personal and unique bike.  

With frames starting at £3359 and the top-of the range (and highly praised) Seta at £4859, the price is similar to that of off-the-peg premium frames from the likes of Colnago and Pinarello, so it is difficult to see why you would not want to choose something made specifically for you, with the attributes that you want and none that you don’t.

We would love to talk to you about exactly what you want from your Sarto and help you create a bike as individual as you are.

A custom project like this starts with a fit and we are happy to perform this for you. Equally, if you have existing measures or a bike or geometry that you wish to replicate we can start there, customising the feel and ride quality, paint and details on the journey to your unique, custom Sarto road bike.

If you’re not quite there yet and simply want to have a conversation about the options over a coffee, feel free to pop in.

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