Finding inspiration in vintage track racing catalogs and archival images, Francesco Bertelli builds gorgeously minimal bicycles in his NYC workshop Biciclette Assemblate. The Italian transplant's one-of-a-kind creations combine new, dead stock and vintage components found at flea markets, collectors, trusted suppliers, and of course, eBay. This scavenger style of sourcing parts allows Bertelli to stockpile choice components and later pick and choose the perfect parts for each individual build.
Central to the design process are Bertelli's strict guidelines; he only uses classically lugged steel frames with track geometry, quill stems, chrome forks, and vintage cranksets—all accented with leather and wood when appropriate. Hand assembled, finished, and fine-tuned, the bikes are emblem- and sticker-free, in keeping with the builder's extremely pared-down style.
Bertelli teamed up with Norwegian track frame manufacturers Viking (also an exciting new upstart) to produce his own frame variation in custom anthracite colorway. These framesets are available through Biciclette Assemblate for the admirers of the craft who wish to build their own, which Bertelli encourages. His site even includes a "how to build a bike" section, an online diary of Bertelli's own build experiences and advice, plus piece-by-piece component descriptions.
To commission your own unique bicycle build, cop one of Viking's Bertelli framesets, or to simply drool over previous builds, contact Bertelli through his site.
Additional reporting by Graham Hiemstra