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Monday December 17 2012 / Science & Technology - Art & Design - Entrepreneurs

When Francesco Bertelli moved to New York in the mid-2000s for a graphic design job, his interest in bicycles started to grow – but the Italian was unable to find a design that he liked from existing bike manufacturers.

Bertelli Bikes

“It seemed a lot of them did not have enough taste. They needed to put on big logos and use ugly colours,”
 says Bertelli. “I liked the Muji philosophy with a design that has to live within its own ‘natural’ primitive details and limits.

“I couldn’t find what I wanted in a bike, so I built it myself.”

And so Bertelli Bici – ‘Bertelli Bikes’ – Francesco’s one-of-a-kind bike assembly business was born.

Bertelli’s cyclical creations – built in the Bertelli Assemblate, his New York workshop – are inspired by racing bikes of the 1920s and ‘30s, combining “new old stock” and vintage components sourced through flea markets, collectors, regular suppliers and the internet.

Bertelli Bikes

Every part of the bike is hand-assembled, finished and fine-tuned by Bertelli.

“I make a rough sketch using Illustrator based on the parts I already have, just to have an idea, and then I buy the remaining parts that I need,” says Bertelli.

“Sometimes it happens that the final result is not as expected so I start form scratch or change some components.

“It doesn’t take lot of time assembling. The time I really spend the most is on the web in order to find the right components.”

Bertelli adheres to strict clean, minimalist design guidelines when putting together a bike.

Bertelli Bikes

He employs only traditionally lugged steel frames with track geometry, chrome forks, quill stems and vintage cranksets – all complemented by real leather or suede saddles and touches of wood where called for.

Bertelli’s philosophy also includes keeping the bikes free of logos and stickers, and keeping to specific colour schemes.

Bertelli Bikes

“I’m not going to do a pink bike with yellow grips and green tires,” he says. “The colours are inspired by army vehicles, airplanes and sports car from the 1960s and 1970s.”

The pared-down approach also means he makes only track bikes or fixed gear bikes (with the exception of some coaster-brake builds).

A fixed gear bike is a single speed bike without the capacity to free-wheel or ‘coast’ – whenever the bike is in moving, the pedals go around.

Bertelli Bikes

Bertelli also doesn’t fit lights.

“I might sound like an idiot but I don’t like lights or funny accessories,”
 he says. “If it is too dark to ride I don’t ride. If is too slick and rainy to ride I don’t ride, period.

“But the final result is that you won't find exactly the same combination (of components) in any other bicycle out there. Your Bertelli bicycle will be unique.”

Bertelli Bikes

And it will cost you between $1,500 and $3,000 per bike depending on the rarity of the components it incorporates.

To check out Francesco Bertelli’s two-wheeled wonders, please visit:

And he has even created a “how to build a bike” microsite with piece-by-piece component descriptions and advice. You can visit it here:

Suggested by
Maximilian Büsser

Monday November 26 2012 / Science & Technology - Entrepreneurs



Just check out this spectacular section of 'The Joy of Stats', a BBC Four programme presented by Rosling in which he explored statistics in a way that has never been done before – by using ‘augmented reality animation’.  

In this clip he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – all in a lightning four minutes.  

Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Rosling shows how our world is radically different from the one most of us imagine.

After seeing Rosling’s superb delivery in this extract, you can see exactly why he won the 2011 Grierson Award for the Best British Science Documentary.

Not only that, but in 2012 he was included in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people list, no doubt partly due to his involvement in the Gapminder Foundation, of which Rosling is chairman and co-founder.

The Gapminder Foundation developed Trendalyzer, a software system that converts international statistics into moving, interactive graphics.

For more information, on Rosling’s ‘The Joy of Stats’ programme please and to follow him on Twitter, please

Monday September 24 2012 / Science & Technology - Art & Design - Entrepreneurs

Summer is nearly over and many of us are now returning to work having taken time off to go on a well-earned holiday. 

For those of you that like taking real control of your own destiny on your travels, a camper van can provide a freedom, flexibility and sense of adventure that is pretty hard to beat.


Whether it’s a more modest VW camper or a larger American -style recreational vehicle (RV), motor homes aren’t always for everyone. 

Cheaper options can be too cramped or unreliable with older, second-hand models in particular thirsty for petrol and difficult to repair; the bigger and/or more modern vehicles can simply be financially prohibitive. 

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