A lot has happened in the past year since my last blog post…There have been several really nice bikes rolling out of the shop. I also trained, qualified, and completed Paris Brest Paris for a second time (ride report to follow soon). All of this was going on while splitting my time at a very busy aerospace machine shop that I have been working at after finishing a machining program at the local community college here in Denver.
My friend Watson keeps getting on my case for not keeping the blog updated so now that I finally have a little downtime available, I hope to post some of the recent and not-so-recent projects. First up is a pair of bikes from my Small Batch Series. I thought I would post about them in the same entry as it is pretty interesting seeing the two bikes together. The frames themselves have the same specs but each customer built them up quite differently. Both customers are local, so I get to see the bikes quite regularly which is always nice.
Brian’s frame was completed some time ago and then it took a little time to finish up the build. He went for a more traditional approach with the parts and the paint scheme. The bike is setup with a threaded fork and quill stem, Rivendell micro ratchet downtube shifter, Rene Herse cranks, Shimano derailleurs, and Tektro brakes. The wheels are Pacenti brevet rims with a Schmidt Son SL front hub and White Industries rear hub. Since the photos were taken, Brian has swapped out the Brooks saddle and shellac’d cloth bar tape for a Berthoud Saddle and matching leather bar tape. He also managed to squeeze 48mm Compass tires after removing the fenders (Small Batch frames designed for 42mm tires with fenders).
The rack is a little wider than what I normally do for randonneur bikes. This was done to accommodate a variety loads outside your typical handlebar bag. There is also a set of detachable lowriders for touring. Black Magic did the paint work. Traditional panels in a slight cream along with dark red lug and logo lining not only gives a nice contrast to the gun metal grey metallic but also provides a little heart warming drama that you certainly want in a handmade bicycle.
Chris went for a little more modern approach with his build. The bike is built up with a Shimano Ultegra drivetrain currently setup as a 1×11. We complimented the more modern gruppo by using predominantly black components for the rest of the build. The wheels are HED Belgium rims with a Schmidt SL front hub and DT Swiss rear hub. Stopping provided by Paul Comp Neo Retro brakes. The handlebars are Salsa Cowchipper bars and they are wrapped in Brooks bar tape which is matched to the saddle. VeloOrange fenders help keep Chris’s butt dry. Brian at da Vinci Tandems did the paint work. The main color is a 1970’s green from a Mack truck, and the front rack and rear taillight got painted black to keep with the modern aesthetic. I really like the look of a classic lugged frame updated with the more modern parts and styling. When it is done right, you still get the clean lines from the frame and the modern parts both function well and look clean.