Bikes these days are all about fashion. The fashion changes just like anything else. Just look at sloping geometry. Carbon seat stays. Ergo bars. Compact cranks.Â White carbon and painted white carbon. Integrated seatposts. If you want to be a fashion victim, go with the flow. Mrazek aim to be different. To not follow fashion. I think they’ve achieved that.
MrazekÂ is art. And like art, whether it pleases you or not is very subjective. It’s your choice, and there are thousands of other “cookie-cutter” frames to choose from.Â Â Some people say that they ride as well as they look. On the other hand, if you don’t like the way they look, you might not like the way they ride. And vice versa.
In fact the very first person to rent a Mrazek road bike here in TenerifeÂ told me “it is the ugliest bike in existence” to my face without knowing I was the Europe dealer… Other people LOVE them to bits. I’ve had several requests to buy them after renting them for a week or more here.Â I think considering they are handcrafted & custom painted, they are well worth the money.
I originally teamed up with Mrazek CyclesÂ and bought 6 framesets which would serve as the initial rental bike fleet. The original idea was to give Mrazek some much needed exposure in Europe and also to get people riding Mrazek bikes. On another level, I also personally chose Mrazek to supply my bikes because I had previous experience with them and I knew that Mrazek was a small enough frame builder to listen to my request.
Mrazek hand-craft just 500 bicycle frames a year. I own 6 mrazeks altogether, including my own personal bikes. They’re beautiful & bulletproof. I say they are bulletproof, because they are relatively thick walled and they aren’t prone to denting like other lightweight bicycle frames.Â The last time I spoke with Jeff Burnard, he said that only one Mrazek frame has ever been sent back to a Mrazek dealer under warranty. That’s quite a reputation considering that most owners tend to hang on to their Mrazek bikes for many years.
Mrazeks have never claimed to be light bikes. No one said they had the best strength-to-weight or stiffness-to-weight ratio. If you want to argue that, you don’t understand the design philosophyÂ at Mrazek cycles. Having said that, the tubes are fat, and so they are suprisingly stiff laterally. The lay-back suspension affords some give in the seatpost. They are designed that way on purpose to provide vertical compliance. So they ride like a dream.Â It’s a shame that the bicycle industry dictates what equipment cyclists ride. I can only see three reasons why the majority frames are diamond shaped:
- Because they’re easier and therefore cheaper to manufacture.
- Cause the UCI bans every other shape out there. There have been plenty of other superior designs that have all been banned.
- That’s the current fashion, and so is the light-weight craze.