- The Olympic women’s mountain bike winner is taking a bike with Japanese inspiration to this weekend’s World Championships
- Trek delivered some of the most inspired custom designs for their pro riders in Tokyo. This Supercaliber, is no different
- It is all about the gold detailing and bamboo elements
As the reigning Olympic gold medalist, Jolanda Neff will be going into this weekend's UCI World Championships as the form rider.
The Swiss will be looking to add to her four UCI women's XCO world championships in Italy. And the bike she is riding looks like it has rainbow stripe potential.
Graphic designers and product managers at most frame brands try something special for the UCI World Championships. Outrageous colours, meticulous paint finishes and intricately colour-matched components have become a tradition for the World Championship weekend.
Swiss rider meets Japanese design
Neff is rolling a Trek Supercaliber at this year's event with the lightest components and a Japanese theme graphic design.
In part, this Trek Supercaliber pays homage to Neff's recent experience in Japan, at the Tokyo Olympics, where she won.
Bold gold details contrast with an overall white finish, and the graphic elements are all Japanese: mountains, bamboo and apple blossoms.
Making it all work - from concept to reality
Overall responsibility for Neff's World Championships bike was delegated to Trek's Katy Steudel.
"I looked at Japanese art forms, did some concepts, and Jolanda chose from them and we took it away," Steudel says. "She knew what would be on it, but there were tweaks to the design after she saw it, and the colors look totally different in the concepts than it does in real life. She should be surprised, but pleasantly so."
Some of the shapes on Neff's stunning Supercaliber, were inspired by a fan design she saw in Japan, during the Olympics.
Gold details matter
Beyond the frame's rich design, Trek's pro team mechanics have also done their part to ensure a complete World Championship feel for this bike.
Most of the cabling is white, with a gold-coloured connector porting the cable into Neff's rear shock lockout function. Both the bottle cage mount and stem bolts also have a gold colour.
Steudel says that they wanted to have plenty of gold on the bike, without overdoing it. "I’d say the design is refined but still kind of playful and celebratory in the stylized clouds, brilliant colours and loud bamboo pattern."
Painting and finishing the graphic work on Neff’s World Championships Supercaliber required the skills of Steudel, several other product designers and Project One painters.