Trade shows aren’t the easiest to digest, especially coming off of NAHBS, where I got to photograph the literal cream of the crop in terms of custom framebuilders. So when I was invited to attend the Berliner Fahrradschau, I had no idea what to expect. Well, that’s not entirely true. I knew a few things about the European market. First off, professional cycling pedigree. Racing made its roots in Europe. Infrastructure’s another huge plus. Cities were laid out, in the most part anyway, for the bicycle. A lot of the European brands reflect that in their offerings.
Back to that first point: pro cycling pedigree. While the US has a lot of builders who have supplied Olympic and professional athletes frames for various occasions, it’s hard to come close to Europe. Case in point: Jaegher.
Jaegher is a Belgian builder spanning many generations. Quickly, name one world famous professional bike racer from Belgium… Chances are, you’d think of Eddy Merckx and that’s where Jaegher’s more notable roots have embedded themselves. Since 1934, the family behind Jaegher have been building frames in Belgium. Yet, they made their claim to fame with Merckx.
Diel Vaneenooghe is the current builder behind Jaegher and while their modern offerings might be those associated with NAHBS-flash and ostentation (not in a bad way by any means,) Diel’s father, Luc built bikes for Eddy Merckx, a powerhouse of “get it done,” made in Belgium race frames.
This race-pedigree is very apparent in the inspiration for Jaegher’s current offerings and case in point was this Campagnolo-equipped road bike. With its painted-to-match ENVE components, tight, race-ready geometry, clean branding and beautiful construction, this bike stole my heart at the Berliner Fahrradschau. Was it my favorite bike at the show? Yes and I don’t normally gravitate to road bikes! My only regret was not lugging my lighting setup all the way across the ocean to document it…