NAHBS 2016: Caletti’s Award winning road bike features intricate artwork

Look close and the effect is almost dizzying, plus a new "production" model called the Scrambler

North American Handmade Bicycle Show Road Bike
Caletti's road race special provided the canvas for one local artist to paint his masterpiece.

Caletti’s road race special provided the canvas for one local artist to paint his masterpiece.

I’ve known John Caletti (Caletti Cycles) for many years now and he is just “over the hill” from RoadBikeReview’s headquarters. He has been crafting beautiful, hand made bikes from steel and titanium since 2004 and he enjoys building bikes for passionate riders. One such passionate rider just happens to be a close friend of us here at RoadBikeReview/MTBR, and he has worked in the bike industry himself for many years.

A shot of Santa Cruz artist Jeremiah Kille hand painting this beautiful work of art.

A shot of Santa Cruz artist Jeremiah Kille hand painting this beautiful work of art.

Caletti won the NAHBS Award for Best Finish with his Road Race Special that was painstakingly hand painted by local Santa Cruz artist Jeremiah Kille. Kille didn’t stop at just painting the frame, fork and stem. In addition, he hand painted a matching pair of Giro shoes, a Giro helmet and a cool custom slingshot that Caletti crafted from the seatstay cutoffs. John was so taken by how it all turned out that he commissioned Kille to do the artwork for the official Caletti Cycles t-shirts, custom bar tape and even his NAHBS booth.

Since the proud owner works at Giro/Bell, the matching pair of shoes and Giro helmet are a natural fit.

Since the proud owner works at Giro/Bell, the matching pair of shoes and Giro helmet are a natural fit.

The bike itself is a lightweight steel frame that has a “racey” feel to it. The custom finish started with a powder coat base (white) and then Kille used a brush and black paint to achieve an amazing level of detail on the bike, mixing elements from the sea (octopus, star fish) with an almost dizzying array of contour lines.

The proud owner of this Award Winner is Sean Coffey, who was the Marketing Director at Ritchey Designs for several years, so he knows a thing or two about handcrafted bicycles. Coffey is currently working at Bell/Giro and is looking forward to putting many miles on his new rig.

Caletti's version of a production bike, the Scrambler is a disc brake equipped do-it-all bike.

Caletti’s version of a production bike, the Scrambler is a disc brake equipped do-it-all bike.

Another bike that Caletti had on display is a brand new model called the Scrambler, equipped with disc brakes. Named after a motorcycle (Ducati), the idea was to capture the same kind of super fun, but super easy to ride bike that can do it all. Built up as a singlespeed for the show, the Scrambler is ready for around town chores, to urban shredding to light commuter duty.

The Scrambler is the equivalent of a production model for Caletti Cycles, with the steel bike being available in 4 sizes (SM, MD, LG, XL). The Scrambler has Paragon Machine Works dropouts that make it easy to convert the Scrambler from a singlespeed to a geared bike by just adding a derailleur hanger. Of, if you desire, an internally geared hub can be fitted. There are also cable guides so that it can be run with a 1×11 drivetrain. Versatility is the name of the game, but the bike still maintains a very clean, almost stripped down aesthetic. John says the Scrambler is designed to be a, “quick, sporty feeling bike.”

While $5300 for a complete bike may seem like a lot, John likes to point out that it is made with a majority of US made parts like the hand built wheels that use Wheelsmith spokes, Chris King hubs and Velocity rims. The Scrambler also uses a Thomson stem and setback seatpost.

For more information visit caletticycles.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Portolla Valley roads. Besides being an avid cyclist, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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