Throw back to the birth of the international fixed gear culture. The fashion favoured days of fluro aerospokes, track drop bars and toe straps. As the originators hold the fort across the Atlantic, a crew of ambitious Barcelona based individuals aim to bring a new form and flavour to the global market away from the messenger scene. Little did they know quite how rapidly they would achieve a rockstar status.
Ambitions can be realized, all you need is enough passion and motivation to make it a reality, and the Dosnoventa crew certainly have it. Throwing together bold and confident designs with premium craftsmanship, an enthusiastic community and an unfaltering rock and roll attitude, they rapidly became royalty among the worldwide fixed gear scene.
From humble beginnings of organising community rides and events under the original bike shop C.R.E.A.M Bikes & Things, they soon got around to designing and manufacturing their first track frames for themselves and their friends. It wasn’t about a strategy Uri says, “it’s something we really wanted to do”. It was a vital part of the brand from the beginning to grow the fixed gear scene worldwide, “not just thinking about profits and money”. Having begun as a passion project, what materialised afterwards really solidified the brands image. High profile and documented trips to New York and exploring major Asian cities helped push the Dosnoventa name into the limelight and it revealed a broad and diverse community of people who now form the Brotherhood.
Aside from the bold and confident designs of each frameset, they have always been shrouded in somewhat of a mystery as to their names. The Edinburgh, Stuttgart, Seoul… but why? Well it all started with the Barcelona frame and sort of went from there says Dani Melo, Dosnoventa’s Art Director. The names are derived from the materials and geometry of each model. “The Tokyo was the first carbon frame, so a higher performance and higher tech! The Houston – like Nasa – is the aluminium rocket”. The other advantage of course is that, for example, riders in Seoul buy the scandium frame of the same name. “Now people in Manila are asking for the next frame to be named after them!”.
Before you ask, it’s not all fixed gear framesets. As much as they represent the core fleet, Dosnoventa experimented early on with a full carbon fibre cyclocross frame called the Helsinki, and have also added two road frames. The Stuttgart is a bold and durable steel frame while the carbon framed Verona is more refined and performance driven. As before this evolution just came from a natural curiosity and passion for all sorts of cycling. Uri explains that they would like to work more on road cycling and cyclocross again but it’s hard to justify investing so strongly in promotion while the company is still small and with limited budget. As fixed gear riders evolve, maybe they will also want a Dosnoventa road frame next? “That would be perfect” he jokes. Worldwide distribution is still done by the crew from Barcelona doing away with endless links in the chain of communication. The focus is more on retaining a close relationship with the end user. “People think we’re crazy and not professional, but we are. We want to work on making things better every day” Juanma explains.
The past year has seen a lot going on behind semi-closed doors. The crew are working on a new collaboration with Barcelona based We Outdoor on a new line of cycling and lifestyle apparel. If their previous kits are anything to go by, these will be special!
They have also been working on the new book Brotherhood which charts the travels and friendships of the team with the international brotherhood over one year. With all photography done by Sergio de Arrola and working with editorial design studio Affair Projects, it is less a cycling and fixed gear book, more a lifestyle, art and photography one. Sergio would follow the crew for a full year including a 6 month stint living in a corner of the office. This level of dedication speaks volumes of the relationships the crew have nurtured over the years. “Brotherhood is the most important thing” says Juanma.
So this pre-perceived rockstar attitude seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. As Junama says, “we love the superstar life but we like to keep things humble”. Away from the office it’s all about spending time with wives, girlfriends and sons. Adventuring, snowboarding, skiing, surfing, skating, pretty much what you would expect from life in Barcelona!
2017 will see a reboot of the headquarters including the opening of a coffee shop in partnership with Hidden Cafe Barcelona and somewhat of a return to their roots organising more rides and events from the store. It is a welcome return to the community values from which their passions originated.
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Words & Photos: Charles Nicholson