The Rapha Continental | Rapha

VANDEYK Contemporary Cycles is an exciting new addition to the framebuilders’ world in the way they approach bicycle building. Instead of a one-man show, the founder Arendt van Deyk curates experts in design, art, framebuilding and photography with the aim of creating art objects on two wheels with cutting-edge performance. All bicycles are strictly limited and handmade in Germany.

The Ride

Made from Columbus XCr stainless steel, the frame features a bold 38mm down tube and a 44mm headtube with a tapered fork. Added tyre clearance, longer seatstays and disc brakes are to support the rider on ratty gravel roads and cobbles. The design concept includes small details like the in-house-manufactured dropouts, milled logos and internal brake cable routing. The coding on the seatstays and fork blades translates as ‘Continental’.

The Interview

What inspired you to build? What does the craft and the material you are using mean to you? Is it a job, a passion, an attitude?
Bicycles and cycling have been a substantial part of my life since I was young. I started Cross Country racing in the early nineties, and was fascinated and bonded with bicycles and the cycling industry from the beginning. I later pursued a career in the creative & media sector and as we founded VANDEYK in 2010, it was about finding a way of combining the cycling world with the creative world such as art, design and photography.
The craftmanship and material is a fundamental part of the process - and it`s all about the small details and making no compromises at all. Besides the focus on design, perfect functionality and craftmanship is of highest priority for us. VANDEYK is set up as a designhouse platform, which means we are collaborating with the best and hand-picked framebuilders, engineers and creatives who share our approach to create something special.
From the beginning, we have been working with steel and stainless steel for the frames, which is a fantastic and soulful material. We will also expand our scope to Carbon Fibre frames very soon this year. We love to be open and multifaceted. Overall, this is an attitude, but even more a passion.
How do you make a bike? What’s important to you in the process and what is it that sets you apart from other builders?
We aim to combine engineering, craftmanship and creative excellence in one. The frame of the bicycle is the nucleus, including material choice and discussion on details and geometry. For example, this frame is handmade by our builder Georg Blaschke, an expert with more than 20 years of experience. But also we take a long time thinking about the creative direction, a perfect paintjob, components and staging of the collection from the very beginning - collaborating with curated experts from all fields. We take the time we need, until we are fully convinced of the overall outcome.
What does the Rapha Continental mean to you and to the bike you've built for us?
I admire the Rapha Continental approach, as it contributes a lot in showing the fascination of road cycling, combined with exploring the most beautiful and challenging rides on the continents. For us and the bike we`ve built it will be great to be part of the experience. A beautiful bicycle will never be an object on its own - after all, it`s about the ride, isn`t it?
Tell us about your favourite bike ride.
There are many that come to my mind, but this would be most probably on a road bike in Ticino/Switzerland, springtime. Alpine but Mediterranean atmosphere. Climbs, lakeviews, long and tough riding.
In our journey to explore the Hidden Europe, where do you think we should go and ride and why?
I`d really like to see the journey stopping for a ride in Germany. Well, it`s not exactly hidden, but I think it would be nice to work out a tough and unconventional route crossing a part of the Schwarzwald. It`s one of the most beautiful and versatile areas for road cycling in Germany, and it would be nice to see the Rapha Continental take on it.
What would you do, if you weren’t building bikes?
Besides building bikes, I`m still working in a variety of projects in the creative and media industry. So, without building bikes, I`d probably just do that - but would miss the bikes a lot - ha!
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