Bikes of the Bunch | Cyfac Absolu

by CyclingTips

This week’s “Bikes of the Bunch” is Sam Pickering’s custom built Cyfac Absolu from Artisan Cycles. You won’t see many of these rare Cycfac’s rolling around Australian cities. This one will make every bike perve’s heart flutter with excitement.

Cyfac is a brand not commonly found in Australia but a Port Melbourne based boutique cycling shop, Artisan Cycles, have been introducing them to the Melbourne cycling scene. Cyfac was started by Francis Quillon in the early 80s making frames for the European peloton. It was the first company to TIG-weld an aluminum frame and the first to create a custom lug-less carbon frame (according to their website). Under the paint of many famous team frames have been a Cyfac, including Systeme-U, Cofidis, Festina, Carrera Jeans, Castorama and many others. From what Cyfac states on their websitewebsite, their bikes have ridden to victories in races including Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Giro d’Italia and many more.

“This bike project started off early last year when my brother decided he wanted to open a shop and start to import bike frames. It was a good excuse for me to sell my current bike and build something up pretty unique and see what was possible (helps to be paying shop prices). From then on I hand picked every part (with very little regard for price and hence why it has taken so long). The paint job uses a Cyfac template with colours picked to match the colours of the shop. I put the whole bike together myself with a final check over by Justin at Bike Beyond (Melbournes greatest and most anal mechanic). Originally I was going to go with Super Record but when I saw your post about what Fairwheel Bikes had done with Di2 and what Icarus batteries were offering I thought we could give it a go. I think it came out really well because there are next to no visible cables and gives the frame very clean lines. The battery should also last about a year! I never really liked the look of Shimano Dura Ace cranks and started researching different cranks that could work. The lightening cranks were also featured by Fair Wheel in a crank test and came out mid mark on price and stiffness but very light. I like the Campag chain rings so was looking for something similar in Stronglight. I had heard nothing but good things about the EE brakes so that was an easy choice and have had heaps of questions about them since.

For me it was a bit of a risk investing so muh money in a bike that I had never ridden and had never really been sold in Australia but i’m extremely glad to say that the ride is amazing. Its stiff without feeling sluggish and unresponsive and seems to fly uphill as soon as I get out of the saddle. The fairly classic geometry is timeless so i’m hoping its a frame i’ll keep forever.”

Bike Specifications

>>> Custom geometry and hand painted Cyfac Absolu (no stickers or decals, artwork is airbrushed stencils).
>>> EE-brake calipers made in the US by EE-Cycleworks (168g with all hardware – 79g per caliper).
>>> ISP clamp – hand built by Fetha cutom components in Melbourne.
>>> Custom Di2 battery – 3x longer life than the standard Shimano battery and mounted in the seat mast with a modified Shimano Di2 harness (locally done).
>>> Lightening carbon cranks with ceramic bearings – handmade in the US by Lightening Bikes – 430g without chainrings.
>>> Stronglight teflon coated chainrings.
>>> Tiso titanium chainring bolts.
>>> Wheels are hand made in Colorado by Dash. 887g for the set. The wheel-set comprises of Dash carbon hubs, Sapim CX-Ray spokes and AX-Lightness SRT-42 rims.
>>> Recon, one piece cassette.
>>> Dash saddle weighing at 58g (kevlar/carbon rails, carbon shell and single density padding under leather).
>>> FMB tubular tires (handmade in France).
>>> ENVE bar and stem.
>>> Alligator iLink cables – alloy casing, half the weight of standard housing and offers improved braking performance.
>>> Fetha skewers and seat clamp

The overall bike weighs in at 6.22kg (including pedals). Sam said he tried his best to keep track of the expenses, but estimates he exceeded $15,000 on the bike.


by Veeral Patel

A minimalist entrance to Artisan Cycles but upstairs awaits a small but beautiful shop full of surprises.
The wall of Cyfac frames are presented like works of art.
Cyfac Absolu with Shimano Di2 and Dash Carbon AX-Lightness SRT-42 wheelset. Go easy on Veeral, I've informed him of is errors in shooting a bike. It won't happen again...
Industrial designed brake calipers by EE-Cycleworks.
The matt finish and sleek lines of the Absolu.
Alligator iLink cables provides an alloy casing at about half the weight of standard housing.
Shimano Di2 Rear derailleur with a gold Recon one piece cassette.
The Recon gold cassette on Dash wheels. The tyres on the Dash wheels are FMB tubular handmade in France.
The rear dropouts are a unique feature of the Cyfac Absolu as it has sandwiched metal for extra rigidity.
Custom anodised skewers and seat post clamps by Fetha.
The Icarus battery housed inside the seat post which is water sealed. The battery is said to last a year before needing a charge.
Weight weenies will take note the Cyfac Absolu weighing at 6.22kg with pedals.
Have a great weekend!

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