One of the most interesting aspects of crafting custom bikes for our clients is meeting them and finding out what they do for a living. A case in point: Martin Mühlböck, a multi-award winning Austrian interior designer with a flair for minimalism and aesthetic asymmetry, for whom we made a custom Sarto Raso. It takes a keen eye to meld the old and the new, but whether he's designing a strikingly modern kitchen for a rambling farmhouse or a warm yet sparse office overlooking the extravagance of a gothic cathedral, Martin's portfolio is one breathtaking project after another.

Yet, good taste or not, our task when creating Martin's custom Sarto Raso was no different from that of any other client. Above all, the bike must represent their personality, fit them like a glove, align with their ride goals, and ride like the wind. 


In a departure from our usual journal format, we decided to present our chat with Martin as a question-and-answer session. Don't ask us why. Some things, like descending at speed and ordering dessert, are all about instinct.


Why did you decide upon the Sarto Raso?

I own a Sarto Raso because it combines all the characteristics a road bike should have in one silhouette: aerodynamics, stiffness, mountain capability, tracking, and timeliness—a bike that has what it takes to ride over all mountains.

What's the riding like in your local area?

When I ride away from home, it's all uphill and downhill; there's never a question of flat and easy. It's straight to the point. When I leave the office, I can cycle along the Danube and relax.

The mountains always inspire me, whether on foot or with touring skis, so I was looking for a bike that would accompany me on tours further afield, such as over the Pyrenees or the mountains in Austria or on a trip to the sea. I like to feel the surroundings on my bike in solitude and immerse myself fully.


How would you describe the feeling of riding a Sarto?

The feeling of riding a bike starts with the thought of where the tour is going, and then when the pedals give their "ready to go" signal, the virus begins. It's really relaxing, exciting, emotional, and satisfying every time you cycle into a certain monotony that immerses you in a world of its own! You have to experience it, and it's only possible with a good bike!


Do you see parallels between good interior design and good bike design?

Absolutely. Unfortunately, I am a bit "sick" due to my passion for design, which you may have noticed. So I can only express my complete satisfaction with my bike—not many people can do that! 

How would you describe a Sarto in the words of your world?

Qualitative, minimalistic, accomplished, 

corresponding to the intended.

What attracted you to Sarto in the first place?

I was looking for the perfect bici for myself and found it.

And it only took me 40 years!


Did you join Sarto to experience the "Sarto Experience" process?

Yes, although I'm not a top athlete, it was important for me to feel what riding a customised bike for myself was like. 

How important is it for you that something is handmade?

It's essential to create the right balance between ergonomics, strength, endurance and enjoyment; you can't do that without your hands.


Is there a particular trip you have taken with your Raso that stands out?

Yes, indeed. It was a story for my mind and body to ride solo across the entire Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. A real experience that goes deep inside you. It was an incredible journey.

Do you have any interesting plans for 2024 or an adventure you would like to embark on with more confidence now that you have your Sarto?

My top three:

Lake Geneva to Nice (French Alps)

Lago Como / Bellinzona / Maloja

Adige Valley cycle path with family


What was it like working with Sarto - did it feel personal? And if so, how important is this aspect of the brand to you?

There are many bikes. I've owned bikes from many brands, but a Sarto is something of its own, something special. It's certainly a challenge for Sarto to always be at the top! But you can do it; Sarto is something you have to understand.


Have you always cycled, or have you only recently taken up cycling, and if so, why?

When I was seven years old, I rode away from my parent's house on a bike that was too big and realised that the world went further than I could see, so I had to ride to discover more.

Cycling is a virus. When it's got you, you can't help it. 

Thank you for Sarto and surroundings. You made me happy.

Tanti Saluti e Auguri

Article by Pete Harrington | June 2024 Photo by Mühlböck