17 February 2018

Ebony, Ivory....And Rubies

Did Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney go to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show?

They probably didn't. But Helio Ascari did.

Of course, he brought something he crafted in his Brooklyn workshop.  The Brazilian-born custom bike builder is probably best known for wrapping leather string around his frame tubes to make them look as if they're woven, like baskets.  While the work is eye-catching, it's probably not surprising when one realizes that Ascari has made furniture and leather goods, and restored antiques.

The "something" he brought to the show takes his showmanship to another level.  It draws on skills acquired in other work he did before he became a bike builder:  as a fabricator of steel goods, and in the fashion industry. 

The bike in question, which starts with one of his leather-wrapped, Columbus-tubed frames, includes dynamo hub lighting and a Brooks B17 saddle with large copper rivets.  All right, those things are nice, but not terribly unusual. 

There's more copper-- and brass-- in accents on  the frame.  Oh, and carbon fiber-reinforced beech wood Ghisallo rims.

But the pieces de resistance are the brake levers made of gold and ebony--and 13 rubies applied on various parts of the bike, including the levers.

For only $38,000, it could be yours.  Or Paul's.  Or Stevie's.


  1. I would love to read a review of this bike by BSNYC. "Super Fred Chariot"?

  2. Leo--I wonder whether he's at the show.