Festka and Sarto - real world experiences wanted

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
sk8ir
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:32 pm

by sk8ir

After a lot of saving up I'm finally close to being able to order my dream bike. I've narrowed my options down to Sarto or Festka, partly thanks to feedback on here.

Ultimately it's up to me to decide, but I'd love to hear from owners on their experiences, both with the order process and with the bike itself. So if you own a Festka or Sarto, whatever the model, how was the buying experience, what do you love (or not) about the bike?

Seedster
Posts: 574
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:05 pm

by Seedster

From what i have seen first hand and heard from owners, the paint design and customer service from Festka is great. You will get a better carbon frame from Sarto, however I cannot comment on the ride besides the Sarto dinamica, which was extremely stiff and responsive. Im considering a seta plus at the moment.

by Weenie


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corky
Posts: 1349
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:53 pm
Location: The Surrey Hills

by corky

Not sure why you would say Sarto is better....... one uses tube to tube construction with filament tubes, the other is molded......

I agree that Festka service is great as I am in a similar position to OP in that I’m considering a Festka, IVe had some interaction with them so far but I really want a threaded BB either BSA or t47 but they can only currently do a PF, which I promised myself I wouldn’t buy ever again.

XCProMD
Posts: 811
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Cantabria

by XCProMD

I’ve lost count how many Sarto frames I have had, plus those of my riding mates in Italy. We can only speak wonders about them, me personally liking the Seta the most.

I have substituted my “old” Lampo with a Lampo Plus this June, really enjoying it.

I don’t know how the prices look like elsewhere, but in Italy these frames go for prices similar to top tier bare frames from the top American brands if you don’t order too fancy paintjobs or overly bespoke options.

I don’t consider Sartos to be posh expensive show off bicycles but extremely efficient training/racing gear that can be made to your liking/needs if you so want. Great performers.


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DrewBru
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:14 pm

by DrewBru

I'm a long time fan of everything italian. I considered the Seta but ended up getting the Scalatore. I had short rides on each. But much of the choice was down to looks. I liked the round tubes and paint scheme. Ride is solid, race feel. Very connected to the road. I visited festka in Prague earlier this month. They showed me some on the on-going builds. They are true works of art. And the guys seem to enjoy the creative side. Festka should definitely be seriously considered if you are going to go with more than the standard paint scheme. That said the festka carbon lay up design is also striking.

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petert123
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:02 pm
Location: London, UK

by petert123

I own a Condor Leggero SL, made for Condor by Sarto, 4 years in this thing is awesome. Don't think you can go too wrong with either brand, at some point you have to pick one, if you've got your short-list down to these two.

morrisond
Posts: 963
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:34 pm

by morrisond

I've had a SARTO built Race Bike/Caliper and quite liked it. Nice and stiff and rode great. Front end was nicely compliant.

I've also had a number of custom frames with almost all of the different ENVE forks.

To me the ride of the frame is more dependent on the fork than anything.

ENVE forks that I have had with comments

Enve 1-1/8 Road - Rides okay on Steel 853 frame made by me
ENVE Rd Tapered - Really stiff - not very Compliant on two bikes (Argonaut Carbon and Mosaic Ti with 25mm tires)
ENVE Rd Disc - I'm running 32mm tires on it so kind of hard to tell - but if I was running 25's it would probably suck. (Saltair Steel Columbus HSS Road Disc Frame)
ENVE CX Disc - Run screaming it sucks for Asphalt - I think this is basically the new Large Gravel fork which they list as good for CX as well (Speedvagen Rugged Road)

I have not tried the ENVE GRD which is now the RD+ - Reportedly it's not that bad - and if you run a tire bigger than 34mm it should be fine.

What type of frame are you buying?

If it's a skinny tire bike I would suggest trying a Columbus Fork - they are cheaper and from what I have read they ride better.

However I think that a fork designed to suit a particular frame (Like Sarto does) would have a better chance at riding well.

zappafile123
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:24 am

by zappafile123

I did a few hundred kms on the newer version of the Sarto Lampo (the one with the ribbed fork etc.) In a nutshell, it’s quite a nice riding frame. It’s got a supple ride quality over smooth tarmac that’s not too dissimilar from the C60 I had. It has a muted or quite ride feel that doesn’t smack you in the face with its performance. Stiffness and responsiveness of the frame I would say are a little bit lacking compared to other frames - it feels a little reticent to get up to speed or respond when you push it hard. Its slightly sluggish off the mark. Objectively it is still stiff and responsive, don’t get me wrong, it just not on the same level as say my S-works Tarmac SL6. The frame efficiently transmits hard hits to you and high frequency vibration so its perhaps not the best all day frame. Handling was sure-footed. But yeah, overall it does have a slightly different ride feel to other frames going around which is nice, but the performance doesn’t match what you can get from bigger manufacturers.

I've heard similar things about Fetska - nice riding rig, but not as light, stiff or responsive as other offerings.

I found that I can't be happy riding frames like that - I just want the fastest thing out there. But where I can compromise is getting a metal bike because they are so utterly different in their ride quality.
Enigma Elite HSS| Spesh Tarmac SL6|Colnago C60|De Rosa Protos|Bianchi Oltre XR4&XR2|BMC SLR01 16|Cannondale Evo HM 12|Focus Izalco Max| Ridley Helium SL|Basso Diamante 15|Scapin Dyseys S8|Time ZXRS|Giant TCR SL 12| Ridley Noah 08|Look 585|Cervelo SLC

tarmackev
Posts: 494
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:59 pm

by tarmackev

I worked for a company in the UK a few years ago that had a limited run of Sarto carbon bikes and they were fantastic. Extremely light and stiff. One of the nicest frames I ever rode.
Looking back I wish I'd purchased one. I dont recall any cutomer have any warranty issues with them. They were just very good.

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Calnago
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm

by Calnago

I would certainly be looking at Sarto if I was in the market for a new frame. But that website... at least on my iPhone... is somewhat hard to really grasp. Tough to see what I’d really like to see, quickly. Many of the things that Zappafile points out above are exactly why I would choose the Sarto over something more “performance” oriented. To each his own.
Colnago C64 - The Naked Build; Colnago C60 - PR99; Trek Koppenberg - Where Emonda and Domane Meet;
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StevenH72
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:17 pm

by StevenH72

Calnago wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:50 pm
I would certainly be looking at Sarto if I was in the market for a new frame. But that website... at least on my iPhone... is somewhat hard to really grasp. Tough to see what I’d really like to see, quickly. Many of the things that Zappafile points out above are exactly why I would choose the Sarto over something more “performance” oriented. To each his own.
I've not ridden a Sarto or Festka (although the Festka I have looked at rieally didn't have a great finish, and were poor in the QC side of things), but I ride a custom FiftyOne with a tube to tube construction, so not similar to any performance-oriented frames out there.

However, the FiftyOne, being mm custom, literally puts me in my ideal position and as a result it feels far more performance oriented than my Canyon Aeroad.

Having a bike made for you means no positional compromises, or handling compromises to overcome positional compromises. The FiftyOne is the best descending bike I've ever ridden, came out at 6.6kg and as not noticeably slower than any aero-optimised bikes I've had.

I'd go Sarto out of your two options, but whether you're after performance oriented or all-day comfort, the beauty of a custom frame is that it allows it.

zappafile123
Posts: 436
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:24 am

by zappafile123

Personally, I would chose Sarto, but I wouldnt choose a model like the Lampo. I reckon a traditionally designed frame like the Dinamica or the Seta would maintain that unique ride quality whilst being a bit snappier and fun to ride. Making aero bikes ride well is extremely difficult on account of their contorted tube profiles - I maintain a bigger manufacturer with the money to pay high level staff is more likely to get that right than a traditional workshop style manufacturer like Sarto.
Enigma Elite HSS| Spesh Tarmac SL6|Colnago C60|De Rosa Protos|Bianchi Oltre XR4&XR2|BMC SLR01 16|Cannondale Evo HM 12|Focus Izalco Max| Ridley Helium SL|Basso Diamante 15|Scapin Dyseys S8|Time ZXRS|Giant TCR SL 12| Ridley Noah 08|Look 585|Cervelo SLC

shotgun
Posts: 279
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:38 pm
Location: Philippines

by shotgun

I've got a Festka Scalatore. I find it pretty stiff, light and responsive. Not as stiff as my TCR ISP, but a tad more responsive. They were easy to deal with, I had a custom paint, geometry and a few add ons (ISP, wireless).

No experience with Sarto, but I do see their products on IG. Seems that they're of the more modern/aggressive design over Festka.
2018 Giant TCR Advance SL0 Disc
2017 Festka Scalatore
1989 Battaglin Roche
1985 Alan Carbonio

ichobi
Posts: 979
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:30 pm

by ichobi

I rode Sarto Lampo and Dinamica. Both tube to tube construction. Similar to what people describe above both they ride well. Subdued enough, nimble enough, and fun enough but not just as good (performance wise) as the heavily engineered frame. If you are looking for the ultimate performance like really want the best of the best performance the small manufacturer still cannot match the big brands.

Look at Specialized or BMC they use server farm to run thousands of iteration of frame modelling to get the optimum tube shape to match given criterias at the same time like aero, stiffness, and comfort. No millimeters of carbon fiber is wasted hence no excess use of material either. It is just a better science. I still have not ridden any frame that's better than my Tarmac SL6 and as a bike media owner I have ridden most of the modern frames as well as some boutique customs. True they might not have the exquesite craftsmanship or paint as custom frames but frame like Tarmac and TCR are just very hard to beat as far as pure performance goes.

This doesn't mean performance should be your only criteria. I am planning my next custom steel bike from Prova which has a combination of custom carbon seat tube, Reynolds 953 and Columbus XCR with Columbus carbon fork. I know it might not perform as neat as the Tarmac but I will enjoy every minute on it for sure.

For choices from Sarto and Festka, the latter seems to invest more on a development side and in my opinion has a fancier paint. It feels more hip. Sarto had the heritage going for it, so both would attract different value. I wouldn't mind order from both but I will know what to expect.

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by Weenie


hannawald
Posts: 592
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:28 pm
Location: Czech Republic

by hannawald

I guess it is all very individual and very much dependent on frameset-wheelset combination, used tyres..
You say sou have never ridden better bike than Tarmac, i had a chance to ride s works sl6 with lightweights vs Bianchi Specialissima on Boras at the same ride and Tarmac seemed slightly more comfortable but Specialissima much more responsive, for me definitely better bike..

I have never ridden Festka or Sarto, but if you want classic bike it is hard to beat Festka paint. Really beautiful. From all the reviews i have read they are not the most comfortable bikes but very stiff and racy.

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