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So far it’s a solo ride.

A Magnifica Sarto Raso

Julius Berith |

We might be based in Marin, where we proudly serve the local community, but AC bikes ride far and worldwide. Over the years, we've sent bikes to places we had to look up on the map and more familiar far-off spots, like this week's featured build for a coastal cousin on the eastern seaboard.

This superb Sarto Raso came together after we exchanged a few emails with our client about commissioning a fully custom bike. A little later, he flew to the Bay Area, and we had the pleasure of welcoming him to the AC studio to kick things off with a bike fit to dial in his position and obtain his measurements. It had been a few years since he had a new bike, and as this one was set to be all bespoke, we went the extra mile to ensure everything was optimized out of the gate.

One of the cool things about visiting the AC studio is the revolving display of bikes that greets you upon arrival. From Australian titanium to Italian steel and handmade carbon fiber, a walk around the studio is a great starting point to your custom bike journey, and that's precisely what helped our client arrive at his choice of a Sarto Raso.

Fully custom carbon bike frames are still relatively rare. Fully custom carbon frames that live up to our exacting standards here at Above Category number just one: Sarto Bikes of Italy.

When choosing the suitable model, we considered the client's needs, wants, environment, and riding routine before deciding on the Venetian brand's Raso, an ultra-comfortable aero endurance road bike built for blazing speed on any surface.

The Raso uses a unique carbon tooling system that allows it to be lightweight and aerodynamic while retaining a well-damped ride. The frame starts at 890 grams before paint and has a carbon layup that balances aero speed with a smooth ride without moving parts or extraneous suspension bits. Able to accommodate up to a 700x35 tire, some people are calling this an all-road bike. But we just call it a phenomenal option for those eyeing a performance bike built for speed that doesn't sacrifice a pleasant ride quality or limit tire width. There is a reason why the Raso is one of our most popular bikes at AC.

The Raso is primarily a disc brake affair, though we have seen the odd rim brake model here and there! Like all Sarto bicycles, it comes with custom geometry, a custom carbon layup, and custom paint. A Sarto really is the last word in bespoke.

The frame comes with a fork, seat post, headset, and one-piece bar/stem combo, as well as the brand's carbon cages, which we sent to Velocolour to get painted to match, along with a Kask Elemento helmet that also received a few custom Italian touches.

To continue the Italian/Euro theme, we went with Campagnolo's newest Super Record wireless groupset, Fizik's Antares Versus Evo R1 Adaptive 3D-printed saddle, and Lightweight's Obermeyer EVO Schwartz wheelset. In typical AC fashion, we installed the usual suspects from Ceramicspeed and stripped the chain before waxing it.

Before we knew it, it was New Bike Day, and we had the pleasure of taking our client on a small ride to Tiburon to show him Paradise Loop and to get a proper shakeout ride on his new rig. These rides where you get to talk 1:1 are the best part of our job and the process. Our client was a true gent, and I truly enjoyed getting to know him as we shared stories of being married, having kids and life in general. It's funny how something as simple as a bike ride makes you realize how much you have in common with other people.

Bikes as a way of bringing people together? That gets our vote.

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