The EU might not be able to agree on much at the moment, but Comtat is achieving a unique European harmony all of its own from its base in London’s trendy Shoreditch.
The brand is owned by Brit Adam Roberts, is named after an area of France and its bikes are hand-made in Italy.
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There are two custom carbon frames in Comtat’s range: the Regale, which costs £2,499 and the Vertice, which goes for a relatively vertiginous £3,399, but which is still about £100 less than a Colnago C60. The Regale has a claimed weight of 950g and the Vertice 820g, which is pro-level light.
All Comtat frames are bespoke — there are no stock sizes — and it is even possible to predetermine the ride quality thanks to the method of construction, whereby the tubes are bound together by layers of pre-preg carbon and then cured in an autoclave.
Roberts says: “We had a customer who was 69 years old. He wanted to improve his time in the RideLondon 100. I think he did it in about six hours, which for a 69-year-old guy is pretty good.
“He was on a titanium frame and he said he could keep up with most people on the flat but as soon as he hit a hill… could we make him something? So we suggested a Vertice — an incredibly light, beautiful bike, but the one thing he was worried about was comfort.
“London brand, French name, and made in Italy”
So we spoke to the frame-builder and we said: ‘Listen, this guy is 69 years old and he wants a very light bike but it has to be comfortable.’ “We’ve got that scope to adapt how the bike rides to a certain degree, and that’s really useful when you’re going through this kind of process.”
Of course, the more conventional custom options are available, such as a choice of standard or integrated seatpin, BSA, Italian or BB30 bottom bracket shell and routing for mechanical or electronic groupsets. Frames are individually numbered and come in a range of colours — although here Roberts puts his foot down: “My ethos is to try and make a bike look as classic as possible, in grown-up colours — no fluoro stripes on my bikes that’s for sure,” he says.