Six months ago we were commissioned to build a bicycle for the world renowned espresso machine manufacturer La Marzocco through their UK headquarters. The goal was to show off their company name, emblem and colour on an urban type track fixie. Our first attempt was shown at London Coffee Festival in April.
It was well received and we were asked to make a few changes to be released to La Marzocco dealers and general public worldwide at The World Barista Championships in Rimini, Italy. Well, it may not come to much if we don’t sell any, but we had to step up our game to get some kudos.
Some of it was straight forward for us, like putting brakes on it and incorporating the company colour of red.
Some of it, well, not so easy!! We did want to initially put a metal lion on as a head badge, but ran out of time. The guy who makes our head badges for Malcolm Custom Bicycles just didn’t manage to get it done before the London Coffee Festival. So we had to use the first mould he did and sprayed it red.
The metal lion is the companies logo or mascot if you will. It is taken from the Marzocco Statue which is a symbol of Florence, where they make their coffee machines. The one that comes on the machines is made of brass and weighs more than a large chocolate bar. You can imagine how long that would stay on the front of a bicycle before it clanged off, into your wheel, finally being flung back up to hit you in the head. Ouch!!
This one made of pewter did the trick…
The next thing La Marzocco wanted was their name on the frame in metal, particularly the badges they put on their coffee machines. These are stainless steel coated with enamel…
There were a few problems here. The main one being the badge is flat and a bicycle tube is round. One of the great things about building bicycle frames now is I get to play with fire, alot! So, after getting the enamel off the badge we fixed it to piece of scrap bicycle tube and fired up the torch. Between Ian and I, we heated the metal up and while maintaining it at red hot heat (talking glowing red), manipulated the badge around it.
After a polish up to get the carbon off the steel we decided it didn’t need painting It was going to look tip top on the black frame as straight stainless steel. Nice industrial look we think ties into the bike beautifully and it’ll last…
It’s not been easy to make a product for a large company’s expectations in such a short period of time, but we believed it was doable. So we cracked on with getting a bike worthy of the occasion built. Besides, making bikes is just one of the things we do and try to do well.
We are stoked with the result! We have learnt lessons to make the next one better, but for our first crack at it, we feel we’ve done well. Paul from Coffee Hit, who set this all up, is wrapped with the product and we hope La Marzocco are too.
Go Brockley… let’s take on the world!!
FRAME AND FORKS: Lugged steel construction
HEAD BADGE/NAME: Pewter Marzocco Lion/Stainless Steel La Marzocco coffee machine name plate
COLOUR: Gloss Black
HEADSET: Tange Levin
BARS/STEM/SEATPOST: Quill/Straight Silver
GRIPS: Foam Red
BRAKE LEVERS: BMX Red Lever Alloy
BRAKE CALLIPERS: Shimano Tiagra Silver
BRAKE CABLES: Shimano Black
SADDLE: Cinelli Unicanitor Saddle Red
CHAINSET: Sturmey Archer 1/8 46 tooth Silver
PEDALS: BMX Plastic Red
CHAIN: KMC 1/8 Red
COG: 1/8 16 tooth Fixed
WHEELS: White Omega Rims/Black spokes/Flip Flop Track
TYRES: Vittoria Safira Pro Red
INNER TUBES: Michelin