Many bikes are made in soulless factories by manufacturers that don't understant - or even care about - the history, culture and artistry of cycling. It's just business to them.

That's not Colossi

The company was founded by Jan Kole, a former Dutch professional cyclist who raced in Europe in the 70s and 80s with the Solahart-Herca and Femis Bank squads.

After his racing career ended, Kole began making custom frames for bike shops in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and the UK. As the industry shifted to Asia, he set up a workshop in 2005 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, close to Hong Kong.

The original team of frame builders that Kole trained is still with the company, working together like a family as they keep costs low and quality standards high under Kole's demanding supervision.

Kole's son, Sander, is learning the business from his father, and his role strengthens the company's reputation for appreciating the classic while exploring the modern side of cycling.

Colossi produces frames and forks for several of Europe's most famous bike brands. But one of the company's greatest passions is making custom hand-built frames.

Customers can choose the geometry and tubing for their dream bike. They can also decide wheteher they want a lugged, fillet brazed or TIG welded frame. Steel is Colossi's favorite material, and the company has one of the largest stocks of Columbus tubes.

Before the building begins, Colossi provides CAD-CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) drawings to customers to confirm that the frame will meet their specifications 

words by William Foreman