Veronica’s Custom Painted Specialized Aethos

Down in Tucson, AZ Spencer met up with local artist and mechanic John “Cookie” Sands to photograph the bike he custom-painted for his partner Veronica. It started as a Specialized Aethos but after it got a few paint chips, Cookie decided to give the bike a truly one-of-a-kind custom paint job. Make sure to check out the gallery of all the hand-painted details…

You may recognize Cookie from Josh’s amazing cover image from this year’s SSAZ coverage, jumping over the campfire. He’s quite the shreddy bike rider but he is an equally talented artist. When his partner, Veronica, kept asking him to paint her Aethos little did she know how far he would go…

With over two hundred hours spent painting the frame, after work and before bed for weeks, the paint was truly a labor of love. The base coat was painted with Spray Bike which Cookie then spent many hours meticulously drawing each line with paint pens. Finishing off the paint was a sparkle clear coat for that extra bit of shine. The style appears to be a nod to post-impressionism.  An iconic saguaro and of course “S-Works” break up the continual flurry of lines and swirls that cover the frame.


  • Frame:Specialized S-Works Aethos
  • Stem: S-Works
  • Bars: S-Works
  • Cranks: Force AXS power meter
  • Cassette: Sram Red
  • Brakes: Sram Force
  • Wheelset: Roval Terra CL
  • Tires: S-Works Turbo 700×28
  • Seatpost: Roval Alpinist Carbon
  • Saddle: Specialized Power
  • Rear Derailleur: Sram Force
  • Front Derailleur: Sram Force

This bike is sure to be the envy of anyone riding up Mt Lemmon or out on the bike path around Tucson. While a stock Aethos might not look nearly as striking if you are in the market for one don’t miss John’s Review from a few years back if you need some extra light goodness in your stable.

All that work didn’t deter his spirit and Cookie is working on painting his personal bike at the moment in the same incredible detail.